Tuesday, April 21, 2009

African Fabrics in the Adelaide Hills

As part of my preparations for the Adelaide Retreat, I checked the list of shops that Sharron Shimbell maintains on our SCQuilters web site. There is one for South Australia and each of the other states in Australia, as well as information about shops in New Zealand and other places.

So, I printed out the list and was reading through it on the plane when I came across Cape Coast Textiles. Hmmm, African fabrics. That might be interesting. And, on Saturday, Michelle, Sally and I set out on a bit of a fabric shopping adventure. It could be good ... it good be bad. Wouldn't know until we got there.

We drove through Adelaide and up into the Adelaide Hills, winding through the back roads to Lia's. We parked about half-way up the drive and walked up the hill to the shed out the back. Looked like a typical Aussie shed, nothing flash. We didn't realise that we were hiking up to African Fabric Nirvana.

There were a half dozen tables around the room and they were covered in the most amazing selection of African fabrics you could imagine. It was spectacular! Let the shopping begin!

The fabrics as Cape Coast Textiles were all 100% cottons, except for a sari piece or two, which were silk. They can be used for patchwork, clothing or home furnishings. While they have some sizing in them at the shop, they wash up beautifully and have a lovely hand.

As an added bonus, some of the cotton base fabric has a damask-like texture woven in which isn't obvious until you pick up the piece and move it in the light. And, with one wall of the shed all windows, there is enough light to see the colours and textures while the trees surrounding the shed mean that the fabrics don't get sun damaged.

Each length of fabric is marked with the price, which ranges from $22 to $28 per metre.

Here are some pictures of what I bought. First, the oranges ...

... some great greens/reds ...

... some rather impressive turquoise and purples ...

... and some greens/blues.

Michelle bought me this as a reward for great restraint and self control and not going into the Fat Quarter Draw at the Retreat.

And these are some fat quarters for my DSIL Jan, but don't tell her. I want them to be a surprise.
Lia is a delight and very knowledgeable about the fabrics, in some cases even knowing who made them and the details of how they are made. And she really enjoyed watching us fossick through the treasures.

If you want to go shopping at Cape Coast Textiles, there are some important details you should know:
  • Cash only. Lia doesn't take credit cards, so save yourself the embarrassment of searching through every nook and cranny of your wallet and purse looking for hidden cash and go to the ATM on the way
  • Call ahead. Lia has a real job so you will need to contact her first to arrange a time to stop by. Lia's phone number is (08) 8339 7770 and her mobile is 0410 170 701
  • Minimum cut: 1 metre. The fabrics are in varying lengths (up to 8 metres) and Lia is happy to cut them for you.
The moral of our shopping tale? Always check the SCQuilters shop list before travelling anywhere.

And my personal thanks to Sharron Shimbell for keeping up the SCQuilters shop list. Without her tireless efforts, I would have a lot more cash in my pocket but my stash (and my soul) would so much the poorer.


norma said...

Maggie, they are sensational. I have taken note of your comments and will have cash on me when we ever get there. Norma

Janine Matthews said...

I see we doubled up on a couple of the fabrics - just shows what good taste we have