Thursday, 18 June 2015

shades of

the remains of Saturday's indigo vat

it didn't rain
could have been warmer
still a garden of blue at the end of the day

today the vat has revived itself
it's hot, hot, out there
so I can give this a couple more dips

it doesn't look too exciting does it?!!!

I bought about ten pieces of Khadi cloth from a small shop in Wagwam
to the surprise of everyone    why would I want so many dusters?
Khadi cloth is hand spun cotton which is then hand woven
the cloth is really chunky and gorgeous, and yes it took the dye well

I only brought a couple of pieces home with me, the rest are in a
cupboard at Samshu's house, waiting their fate either as dusters or.......

found in my Chinese steamer, dried acanthus flowers

finished    my therapy quilt,  Dentil

Dentil n. architecture

one of a series of rectangular blocks projecting like teeth 
from a moulding or beneath a cornice 

Ha, ha.   The dentist is my new 'best friend'  
in between appointments hand stitching was very comforting, and now it's done

one or two appointments to go
I feel another quilt coming on

Monday, 8 June 2015

fun in the sun

This last week the sun has been shining, there has been a little rain to make the garden grow, and an occasional day without the chilling wind from the northeast!

The first of three indigo workshops takes place on Saturday, fingers crossed that the weather stays fine      in warmer climes at least you can be sure for at least nine months it's always a perfect temperature for an indigo vat.

All this reminded me of our visit to Arkola to see our block printing friends.  My camera battery died, step in the professional, Mr. R, with a spare camera.   Marvellous.

a vegetable stall on the left  on the right bullock carrying felled tree(s)

I looked left - stop the car!

an old indigo vat

sign of many years usage  the building behind is being renovated
I suspect this wonderful vat will soon disappear

meanwhile, next door

a lovely lady at her treadle sewing machine
the cupboard behind is piled up with quilts

through the centre of the village block printed fabric is drying in the sun

at our printer friends the indigo vats are ready to go

dyed cloth being resisted - that's difficult!
bandani of course

a group photo, taken by Mr. R obviously,
I'm looking happy especially after a little retail therapy followed
by chai and a delicious cake

If you are interested in one of the indigo workshops, contact me

finally, a photo that nearly got away
it's from our nine hour train trip from Bhuj to Palanpur
as mentioned in my post (26.02.15) there was never a dull moment

everyone was so friendly and very inquisitive
the seating is just one up from wooden seats 

I think this was taken very early in the morning as I am
still well wrapped up - we started our journey at 6.30am
the benches hold four people, in theory, though usually eight
are accommodated    for the family party there is always the 
luggage racks to stretch out on, never mind all the bags
and baggage

Good idea to sit on a single seat?   Forward thinking!   

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Kimmeridge Bay Dorset

Yesterday started quite early, around 6.30am.   Very unusually we were awoken with a cuckoo calling in the oak tree outside our bedroom window.   I have neither seen or heard a cuckoo for years so it was rather special.

The weather looked promising so I took myself off to Kimmeridge, arriving way before any holiday makers had had their breakfasts!

On with the walking boots.   The sun was warm and, with no wind, my coat stayed in the  the car, which is a first for this year.

Kimmeridge can look rather forbidding on a dull day.  It's part of the Jurrasic coast, a delight for fossil hunters, though the cliffs of the crescent bay are grey with large ochre slabs of sandstone between layers of shale which is prone to crumble.  Markings from tiny ammonites can be found on small pieces of shale and larger ones on bolders.

this beauty is about the size of a dinner plate

Anthony Gormley was commission to make five new pieces of work for the Landmark Trust to celebrate it's 50th birthday.    Four stand on compass points around the British coastline, and one at a central point in Warwickshire.

If you look between the edge of the cliff and the boat you might just see a vertical mark!

Clavell Tower is a 19th century folly, originally standing at the very top edge of the cliff. The
Landmark Trust dismantled it brick by brick rebuilding it a safer distance from the edge!   Author P.D.James loved this area and her book The Black Tower was inspired by Clavell Tower.   So you too could stay there and take in the views of the Dorset coastline  across to Portland and it's lighthouse to the west.   Might cost a penny or two!

so, here he is, facing south
 a bit 'blocky' close up I have to say

perhaps a little lonely?

behind, Kimmeridge Bay with glimpses of the 
white chalk hills of Worbarrow Bay   

I walked along the bay and sat awhile watching the tide going out, soon to reveal the hundreds of rock pools - lots of little children all ready and waiting with their nets and buckets.    

On top of the cliff I enjoyed laying in the grass alongside a bank of sea cabbage and cow parsley, listening to the birds and watching the clouds.

on the way back to the car park I only just noticed this fire engine
covered by a hedge on the side and top
not only stitchers have ufos' obviously!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

It's May - really?

Time flies, and today I thought it was next week .  I missed the appointment with my hairdresser this afternoon.   Another one made for Friday thank goodness.   I vaguely thought it was well due for a cut!

A couple of Summer workshops taken, another one this Saturday

During quieter moments the scrap indigo quilt stitched. 

messing about with the gelli plate in a free form manner
very satisfying

stitch stitch

replenishing my stock of threads
just when I thought I had enough they fly

dye pots still at the ready to dye more gorgeous colours

there are a few packs of Jewel, Aqua and Sorbet available on the website

stitch stitch

then there is the garden to enjoy now that the weather is warming up
the green gym beckons     
up and down to the compost bins   pruning and weeding
sowing and planting  

life is good

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A weekend in Suffolk

I've been a little quiet of late simply because there was much dyeing of thread and felt;  gathering of quilts and workshop materials.   Stocking up of the Emporium.    A couple of workshops locally, and then off to Suffolk.

I had been invited to give a talk on Saturday and a workshop on Sunday at the Quilters' Guild Regional Day.  The other guest quilter was Alicia Merrett, so I was in good company.
It was a great weekend.  The meeting took place in Lavenham, a famous wool town with old beamed houses, not much of a straight line in any of them.  All, of course, painted in Suffolk pink, cream, blue and ochre to name but a few colours.  Alicia and I managed a walk through the village at the end of the day.  

We stayed in Long Melford, and it is indeed long, over two miles in fact!    More beamed house in stunning colours, and peeps over the brick wall as we passed Melford Hall.

The whole weekend was fab.   Very well organised by Helen Vivian and her team of helpers, a big thank you.  There was lots of cake, which has to be a good thing!  Quilters are lovely!

My talk was well received, and I certainly enjoyed Alicia's talk.   She took us through the various journeys which lead up to her present day work.   Fascinating.

I had fifteen ladies for my workshop on Indian Stitchery.  No pictures, too busy working.

I was especially pleased to be invited to Suffolk, I was brought up in Aldeburgh.  It felt good to be back under Big Skies and the country side where Spring was breaking out; wild flowers, bright green leaves on trees and hedges and many fields turned bright yellow with mustard flowers.

I managed a little side trip when I arrived on Friday afternoon.   I discovered that two of my relatives lived in Woolpit  both mentioned in the 1841 Census,  Maurice Moore was born in 1786 and William Last born 1841.   William was a watchmaker and gunsmith.   I found his house!  How amazing!   It's right next door to The Bull Inn, perfect for a little refreshment at the end of the day!

I shall have to return later this summer to do a little more investigation, and revisit Lavenham and Long Melford.

So, all is now packed away.   It's warm outside.  I feel the need to put on my gardening hat!

some pictures of Woolpit    it is possible to walk from the church through The Street
in under ten minutes   it is a very small but beautiful village

1. typical houses     2. the village sign- is the village named after wolves?  The Green Children are legendary and many a story has been bases around them   3. Plaster decoration, herringbone brickwork on the side of a house   4.  the Museum


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Out of March Hibernation

March certainly roared in like a lion but there was no sign of it going out like a lamb.

Yesterday we went to the beach with Mr. Ben.   The sun was shining, which was nice.    To say the wind was blustery is somewhat of an understatement.  

we were sandblasted with nowhere to hide
the sea was an amazing colour when the sun came out
grey, blue and green

we walked along the beach, with the wind behind us, looking for interesting things
then had to face the sandstorm to get back to the car 
refreshing and invigorating   bring on softer and warmer days, please

I did manage a deal of dyeing threads and fabric, not in the conservatory though, far to cold.   Rain and grey skies did not diminish bright colours, plenty of inspiration around me.

I took a workshop with the lovely ladies of the South Somerset Embroidery Guild.   The journey through Dorset and Somerset was lovely, the sun peeking through big fluffy clouds and little peaks of green showing on the hedges and trees.  Indian Stitchery the name of the workshop, accompanied by plenty of colourful textiles.  It was a good day all round.

The garden needs a great deal of attention since it's been either too cold, wet or windy.   Perhaps this weekend, but I don't think so!

I had lunch with my friend Jean and we called into Walford Mill to see Cleo Mussis' exhibition Spring Boody.    Fabulous mosiacs made from broken crockery - you just have to see Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit, plus son.   They just made me laugh and feel very happy.

A clean out of boxes of fabric yielded three full bin bags.   You know all those little scraps, fabric that's been hanging around for years and years and is still not talking to me.  

I did gather scraps of indigo and block printed fabric to put together a quilt.


hand stitching - time for contemplation as I slowly stitch and watch the cloth start to ripple

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

heading back to Udaipur

but first the GIB

the Indian bird book ID for size is very large  
in the background two Nilgi who are also very large -  big antelopes

a rural scene on the outskirts of Udaipur   quilts out for an airing   hard to believe that
only a few miles the urban sprawl begins  

and what did I stitch?

a little experiment using printing blocks to mark the patterns
fond memories of snatched moments here and there and lazy mornings at Sena