Near where I was staying at the Retreat Centre in Hillsborough, Auckland, was Onehunga Mall.  Since I started the MA, I found myself unable to do much quilting, which – those of you who know me well – is a passion of mine developed over the past five years or so.

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I decided to walk it.  I’m not sure I’d buy meat from someone who self-declares as mad! Although saying that, he/she might be very good with a cleaver.

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Onehunga Mall had a good range of shops, mainly discount stores and the occasional charity store.  I noticed that – throughout NZ and Australia – the Salvation Army stores where everywhere, with just a few SVP shops.  There was nothing I needed there, so on I walked, getting in my 10k steps!

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I had found out about Patchwork Passion online – here’s their website. I wrote to Robyn to check if she kept hexie paper pieces in stock (another blog about that coming soon) and she responded to me within the day.

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She had a lot of great stock, including a fantastic iron bedstead laid out with what I think was a BOM (block of the month) quilt kit.

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I had decided not to take any hand-quilting/paper piecing supplies with me on the trip, but found myself itching to create something in the downtime between writing sessions on the MA.  I didn’t always want to fill that time with watching TV (just sometimes!).

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I love all the room for the cutting table!  Giving me inspiration for creating a nice bench like that at my next home (if and when that happens!).

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Behind every bookshelf was another well-organised group of treats!  I needed some embroidery needles (check) and did I need cotton or polycotton for piecing hexies?  Robyn was on hand to advise that poly would hold better.

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I picked out a small range of fat quarters in French Lieutenant red, white and blue.  I’ve always wanted to do a red, white and blue quilt in muted colours, in the style of an Americana quilt (not a British/French nationalistic quilt, nor indeed American in that sense).

I also needed a small rotary cutter but Robyn had no small cutting mats. What to do?  Never fear, next thing, Robyn was rummaging through a cupboard at the back of her classroom, pulling out a well worn large mat which had cracked a little.  However, the corner was in perfect shape, not used at all, and she cut off a piece for me just the size I needed (and for nothing!).  What a star!

I’m unsure if my hexie quilt will end up being a quilt or a wallhanging, because I chose very small hexie papers, meaning it could take a lifetime to complete as a quilt.  My major concern is how to finish the edges on a hexie quilt.  More research needed on that one!

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of the lovely Robyn! If you’re in Auckland, pay her a visit!

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