Far too long

Suddenly it’s the start of autumn and lots of seasonal changes – where did the summer go? – and what happened to all the blog posts that swirled through my head and never made it as far as the laptop keyboard?  I  really cannot believe the length of time since my last post – memo to self, must do much better and pay more attention.  

Way back in early August I had a wonderful trip to deepest Wales to visit my good friend Jen Jones and teach at the Quilt Centre in Lampeter.  It was very satisfying to teach alongside the stunning exhibition of Welsh Paisley quilts – the class was one I won’t be able to repeat but everyone enjoyed being a quilt archaeologist revealing the innards of a vintage Welsh quilt and looking at the structure and design typical of the Welsh tradition.   Here are some of the intrepid archaeologists hard at work and a glimpse of what they uncovered – we were very lucky and found an almost complete, but very worn, Welsh flannel quilt used as a batting – I’ll post more pictures and information another time.

The Quilt Centre is a wonderful destination venue with a shop selling all sorts of irresistable goodies and a mouth-watering deli and coffee shop next door, and the well-stocked Calico Kate quilt shop (8 rooms stuffed full of fabric) only a few paces away.   It’s less well known that there is the perfect quilters’ retreat available to rent close to Jen’s cottage shop in Llanybydder – sleeps 6, self-catering, beautifully furnished and appointed – several of us are already making plans  to return with quilting friends for a few days of peaceful stitching.


Arriving home with a head full of Welsh quilts and happy memories it was only a few days before we set off for Wales again – this time to the annual summer exhibition at the Minerva Gallery in Llanidloes. This is an event which goes from strength to strength and never disappoints – and there’s great local produce and food to take home too!  This year’s exhibit of traditional quilts was from the extensive collection of Jennifer Barlow  – here’s just the tiniest detail of my favourite

From the depths of Wales to the wide open spaces of the NEC in Birmingham for Festival of Quilts – a real novelty this year as I was not demonstrating/trading so it was an opportunity to see the show as most people see it.  Very strange feeling, the first big UK quilt show I’ve been to purely as a visitor for more than 20 years, very different!   The first copies of our new Chris & Barbara  book Right from the Start had been flown in, arriving just in time for the opening of the show. 

Next stop was Southport Quilters – old and new friends to meet, with an afternoon talk followed by the Fast Quilts from Fat Quarters class the next day. 

My wonderful hostess took me to Formby Point to walk on the beach among the evocative figures of the Antony Gormley installation, something I had wanted to do for several years, but never got around to.  The weather and light were absolutely perfect and we walked until it was nearly dark – altogether an amazing experience.

From the delights of coastal Lancashire to the Suffolk/Norfolk borders to visit Diss Quilters and Ferrers Quilters – two hand quilting classes and an evening talk on The Tentmakers of Cairo.  More friends, new and old, a quilt shop (Sew & So’s in Bungay ), good food and lots of fun.  Again, outstanding hostesses for both overnight stops – it makes the life of a travelling quilt teacher really easy at times.

And back on the home front it’s pretty busy.  Himself is deep in chutney and jam-making and  other seasonal pursuits.  Alongside my mother’s 90th birthday celebrations I’m finishing samples and worksheets for Chris & Barbara day and evening classes, planning hand sewing classes for our local quilt shop, Pollyanna Patchwork,  and trying to get several other new projects moving along.  I’m up to date with this month’s instructions for the Stay At Home Robin

but need to send pictures to Kate, and then do some serious catching up on blog reading to see what everyone has been up to.  And I absolutely have to book my plane ticket to Houston.  Having missed both Quilt Market and Quilt Festival  last year, I’m really looking forward to this trip at the end of October – it will be great to catch up with lots of friends and all the latest in quilting.

12 thoughts on “Far too long”

  1. Lovely to hear all your quilty news, Barbara- but what made me smile were your several comments about ‘food, glorious food’ !!

  2. What a wonderful post and what a busy time you have had. I would absolutely have loved to have been a quilt archaeologist in Wales. Peter and I had to good fortune to visit Jen Jones’ gallery in Lampeter last September and found it to be a wonderful experience and we also went to her cottage shop near by. We had previously met Jen Jones in 2005 when she had an exhibition at the Patchwork Meeting in Alsace and we found her talk very inspiring and thus began our love of Welsh quilts. Take care.

  3. Gosh, my head is in a whirl just reading about your adventures. No wonder you haven’t had chance to switch the computer on. What a great pity I didn’t bump into you at FOQ. The Quilt retreat sounds like a great place to unwind with friends. What more could a girl want – quilts, shop and yummy food. Can I come next time?
    Love Shirley.

  4. Oh, what a fun workshop, Barbara! I am still in the process of deconstructing a 1909 quilt that has an older quilt inside whose fabrics I think date about 1850s-1870s. I started blogging about it a couple of months ago but had to set it aside for the summer too. You can see it at karenquilt.blogspot.com on my Quilt History Reports blog. Jan Jones cottage would be a wonderful place to hold a retreat!

  5. It seems like your feet have barely touched the ground. The workshop must have been fascinating. The cottage looks like a wonderful place for a retreat. All you have to do now is to take a deep breath and get ready for Houston (oh, plus all your other classes of course)

  6. Barbara – I was wondering if you could please share you bunting pattern (or at least bunting template cutting out instructions)that you used for your daughter’s wedding bunting? I’m about to embark on a bunting project and would appreciate the wisdom of others.

    Hope all is well in Snowy Staffs. Belinda

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