Sunday, 27 May 2018

BLOG 397

Blog 397
I have returned mentally refreshed and physically fit after our week’s break in Poland. I don’t know about you and your holidays, but we seem to pack an awful lot into ours and cover a lot of ground. (I swear I am 2” shorter after all the pavement pounding!) We have walked around the sights of Krakow amongst the thousands of other tourists who were there doing the same thing. It was heaving with humanity and the good weather made it all the more enjoyable. There were lots of things to see and to enjoy including the Wawel Castle, Krakow Cathedral, the Market Square and the Cloth Hall, Baroque and Romanesque facades and river walks along the Vistula.
The quilt show turned out to be an evening event on Saturday night, with a buffet supper and wine. It was a happy occasion celebrating the diligence of the teacher (Julie) and the creativity of her students and I was delighted to be part of it. After a formal welcome and introduction, of which I understood not a word, the garden gate quilters were invited on stage and given a peony (such a luscious and extravagant bloom!). Julie and I were presented with a bunch of peonies each and I also received fabric flowers (tulips) as a lasting reminder of the event. I was thrilled! Here are some pictures of the event and garden gate quilts.

                General view

               Spectators 1

             Spectators 2

            1 Gate A

             2 Gate A

           3 Gate A

            1 Gate B

             2 Gate B

                3 Gate B

            Original design

               In progress 1

             In progress 2

                 Fabric flowers
We then hired a car and drove to the ski town of Zakopane, settling into our hotel before visiting a nephew and his family. (It does help to have inside information about a place when you are a tourist and we greatly appreciated the advice given to us in both Kracow and Zakopane!) After a couple of days exploring, we came back via Auschwitz and Birkenau. The tour with an English speaking guide lasted about 4 hours and nothing but nothing was left unsaid. Our feelings were very raw and it was a grim and often uncomfortable visit through very recent European history. I shall never forget it. As this is a quilting log, I will just post one relevant picture with the hope that these quilts warmed and comforted those who were fortunate enough to own them.

               Auschwitz quilts


Sunday, 13 May 2018

BLOG 396

Blog 396
This week I have sold and handed over one of my Contemporary Welsh quilts. You may remember that I made a second one (slightly different) because I wanted to keep one for myself. I wanted to keep one mainly for reference and but also because it was my first attempt at working in this style, so perhaps there was a bit of sentiment behind it too! The colours are not represented too well in the picture as they are much more intense and vibrant! Still, I have managed to let go of a favoured quilt!

                 Contemporary Welsh

Another quilt I am planning to sell will be the scrap quilt I am making for Gresford. This has been the main concentration of my endeavours this week and I am pleased to say that it will be finished. All 7 rows of 5 blocks have been constructed and here are the rows hanging vertically (instead of sideways) because my design wall isn’t big enough!
              Scrap quilt

Next Thursday we are flying out to Poland! This is an unplanned break and therefore a big and eagerly awaited surprise. I have been invited to attend a quilt exhibition called ‘Through the garden gate’ which is a tribute to my signature work and which is also the title of a book I wrote on the subject many years ago. The teacher (Julie, formerly of Higgledy Piggledy) of the classes asked permission to teach the workshop she had attended with me at Higham Hall and I gladly gave her permission. It’s flattering that people want to emulate my work and a great courtesy for them to seek permission; many don’t. As a result there will be many garden gate quilts included in the exhibition for me to see and enjoy as well as an enthusiastic bunch of quilters for me to meet. I can’t wait to see what they have made and I will report on it when I next blog in a couple of weeks’ time. I am also looking forward to exploring Krakow and Zakopane, meeting old friends and visiting a nephew and his family. Below are the pictures that tempted me to go.
           Garden gate A


                Garden gate B

                      Landscape image

              Landscape in progress







Monday, 7 May 2018

BLOG 395

Blog 395


I’m a bit late posting my blog this week; just blame it on the fabulous weather over the Bank Holiday weekend. What with socialising, family birthdays, barbecues and gardening I have not got a lot to show really apart from a repetition of the scrap quilt which is my main focus. I have managed to join together 2 rows consisting of 5 blocks each, and started 2 others. Still a way to go but it should be finished by Gresford.  


When I was at Suzette’s last week, I spent most of the day making this sunflower picture in stitch. I soaked a bit of calico with water and dropped some silk paint onto it, leaving it to flow through the material and dry off. I then cut a piece of iron-on pelmet Vilene to the size I wanted and pressed the calico on onto it, folding and sticking the edges to the back with thin strips of fusible. This gave a taut foundation for me to work on with copious stitch, but I was very disappointed to see that it had pulled and creased. Back to the drawing board!

                  Embroidered picture 

As I have been out in the sunshine gardening most of the WE, I am going to post some pictures of it to show you where I get my inspiration. It is full of colour most seasons and I work hard to keep it well stocked and tidy. Notice that I don’t name the plants, I only see colour!

            Pale peach 

              Acid green/orange 


               Yellow with green 

              Burgundy and green 





Even the fish were near the surface in the heat of the day. And the frogs were impossible to count, much like the tadpoles!


Whenever I have the grandchildren, it is always an excuse to do a bit of art/craft. As we were outside, I gave the each of them a root from the leeks which I had used to make soup. I just said it looked like hair and left them to it. This is what they created, I think there was a bit of copying going on but I love the results! Aw bless.
             Garden art 1
                Garden art 2