Out and about

– or what I did on my holidays!  Wet, windy weather & grey skies are so often the story of the average English summer.  This year was no exception but we still managed to tour round a satisfyingly large number of square miles in Suffolk and Norfolk – lots of medieval churches, stained glass, woodcarving along the way, wonderful decorative detail everywhere.

During rain breaks I doodled some ideas for quilting designs which I’m hoping will form a series of stencils and/or maybe a new pattern book – still in need of work, but the basics are there.  Which reminds me that I need to get my new stencil contract signed and despatched – Stensource (the previous company who produced my designs) is now a division of Quilting Creations International, and there is vital paperwork to be done!

I also managed to finish the accent cording on a class sample – not terribly exciting, but I’m pleased with the result.  For detail people, the fabric is the Echo Lame I’ve been using for years, and the thread is King Tut  #912 (one of the reasons I like King Tut thread is just to read the Egyptian- themed colour names on the display racks!).

And if the weather is rubbish you can always sit inside and play the guitar – the weather has been so bad that my playing has come on in leaps and bounds – although it’s fair to say that it wasn’t particularly good in the first place!  At least now it sounds as if I have a vague idea of what I’m doing.  I’m so good (haha!) that Himself has offered to pay for lessons, interpret that how you will.

Not the warmest of seasons to welcome visitors either – my good friend Lee Cleland travelled all the way from Australia and hardly saw the English summer.  Here’s a quick snap of her taken just minutes after her arrival at our picturesque local train station  and shows the only blue sky we had for (almost) her entire visit –

We opted to stay warm at home rather than venture out too much as we had LOTS to discuss and organise – originally we were making plans to work on one book together and now it seems that there could be a whole set of books together (well, ok, at least two).  (Background info: Lee and I first met in Denver when we were both teaching at Harriet Hargrave’s  Machine Quilting Celebration and we were on the same wavelength right away – she had written the hugely successful “Quilting makes the Quilt” at around the same time as I had written “Quilt It” – two complementary takes on the same topic of what to quilt where).  The kitchen table was witness to much excitement and writing of lists, measuring things, deciding things, taking reference photos, setting up Skype and Dropbox so we can work oceans apart – Lee got so carried away with all the technology that she bought an iPad to go with her new netbook and new camera!  Now both of us have plenty to keep us occupied over the coming months.  A significant understatement there  – I’m writing things, Lee is making things, it’s a fair division of labour!

Lee’s new camera was put to work almost straight away – I have to gather up reference photos and make plans for an invitational exhibit next May at the European Quilt Championships in the Netherlands.  This is all very exciting stuff (and sounds SO grand!) and there will be quite a bit of planning and preparation to do over the next couple of months.  I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say what will be in the exhibit but it’s safe to assume that items from a certain large cupboard will be involved…….. more details when the plans are further along.

And, as if all the above weren’t enough, I’m off to Houston in October and trying to find enough days to make a visit to Cairo (and The Street of the Tentmakers) before the end of the year.  Phew!

Back home again, in all the excitement I almost forgot to congratulate Andrea Stracke on her exquisite strippy quilt that was so admired at Festival of Quilts and I’m sure Andrea won’t mind me showing just a little bit here

High quality stitching indeed – well done Andrea!

That’s more or less it for the catch-up stuff, almost into real time now – happy stitching!

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5 thoughts on “Out and about

  1. Thank you so much for your nice comment about my quilt on your blog, Barbara! I am really pleased and honoured about the price I won at the FoQ – it really encourages me to enter my work again.
    Happy Quilting! Andrea in Germany

  2. Well Barbara what an exciting time you have been having and I am excited at those little doodles and can’t wait to get my hands on the patterns. Isn’t Stone Station a pretty building? I may come and join you one of these days. I love King Tut threads they come in such beautiful shades and are a pleasure to use.

  3. Barbara I am exhausted after reading all that you are currently involved with and future travels – much excitement for us all to follow. I hope the collaboration with Lee Cleland is a huge success. Take care.

  4. Hello Barbara! That’s funny – I’ve just come back from a whistle stop tour of Norfolk and Suffolk. Both counties that I don’t know all that well – we had a great time, the weather was reasonable, ie it didn’t rain as such, but was greyish, but at least it was warm! As you say, lots of beautiful churches and old market towns to explore! See you soon! Jacky x

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