(Warning: Super Long Post)
Have you ever done something so totally crazy, everyone around you just shakes their collective heads? I do – regularly. And I did it again about a week and a half ago.
At around 8am on Friday 10th January, I set off for Rosedale and Lily Lane, the first stop on my Winding Ways journey.
Last time I went this far into Gippsland, I was driving a 1980 Mazda 323 Hatchback with a dodgy radiator. It was one of the hottest January days that year, and the Monash Freeway was still called the South Eastern Freeway, or more affectionately, the South Eastern Car Park. The AFL were still using Waverly Park, and I had to pull of the road about there to allow my engine to cool down. (The South Eastern was living up to its nickname) That journey, from Geelong West to Lakes entrance, was a long, slow, arduous trip. On return, I immediately had the radiator replaced, as we were driving to Adelaide 2 weeks later (on an even hotter weekend as it happens).
Remembering all of this, I made sure that I checked both my radiator and oil before heading off. I drove straight through – all 2 and 1/2 hours – arriving in Rosedale at around 11.30am. First stop – coffee. Or rather, an iced coffee. Now recently I have had iced coffee from a number of different cafes. And they had all been terrible. So I was a bit nervous about ordering one at the Birch and Perch Cafe. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! It was just the BEST iced coffee I have had in a long time! I would go back to visit Lily Lane if only to have the iced coffee at Birch and Perch!.
Lily Lane is located in a lovely old storefront. There is a lot of history in that store. It has seen quite a lot since it was built, at one time being the local courthouse, as well as a Masonic Lodge at some stage. Now it is a patchwork shop. And oh boy, was there a lot of fabric in there. Immediately on entering, there were some lovely bolts of fabric just to my left. And as soon as I saw the fabric, a plan entered my head. Now I always do shop hops with a design in mind and really try to stick to it, but I could not walk past the fabric and bought some meterage to make something for someone special. I can’t say what – the recipient may read my blog! I also purchased several other pieces of fabric – Tilda fabric – for my Winding Ways project.
After Lily Lane I got back in the car and headed into Traralgon. The next shop on my list was Maggie Robertson Designs. Let me tell you. If you are looking for this shop, do not rely on good old Tom Tom, or even Google Maps. They are useless. It took me more than 1/2 an hour to find the shop! In the end I had to rely on my iPhone Maps app! Yeah, you know the one – the one that has had major bad reviews. Yeah, it was the only one that got me there.
I finally pulled up in front of the beautiful old house that Maggie Robertson Designs lives in. The front 3 rooms are filled with an amazing assortment of fabrics. There are also a number of books, and of course, the gorgeous Cottage Garden Threads. After much thought, I purchased a Blackberry Designs Plum Sweet Layer Cake, with absolutely no idea of what I was going to use it for (remember the plan I always have for my purchases?). I also bought a sweet thread holder and some more Canna Lily thread from Cottage Garden Threads.
Phew. And it was back in the car again, heading on to Yarragon. Of course, along the way I made a brief stop at the patchwork shop in Trafalgar, A Little Patch of Country. This shop was not officially on the Winding Ways Tour. While in there, I found the Barbara Brackman book “Civil War Sampler”. And immediately thought of that layer cake I bought in Traralgon! So it came home with me too.
After this short pitstop, I continued on to Yarragon, where I had lunch at the same cafe as I did last time – sorry I did not get its name. I then went in to Candleberry Country, home to Australia’s largest collection of Tilda, and came out with some more Tilda Fabrics and another pattern. I really did not intend to pick up anything else. Really. I didn’t. But it was so sweet. And it begged me to take it home with me, so I did!
My final stop for the day was at Sewing Connection in Pakenham. I really do like this shop. It has so many wonderful fabrics. But by now, I was starting to feel really tired, and the fabrics weren’t talking to me, not like they have on previous Winding Ways visits. Eventually I decided to add to my Tilda collection, and bought some more fabrics. I also found THE perfect Cottage Garden Thread to be used in the stitcheries that I will be doing for this project.
By the time I got home, I was absolutely exhausted. But boy did I have a wonderful day. And it really is possible to do it in one day.