Wednesday, 30 September 2009

New start

After a hectic summer of workshops, time to catch up with
paperwork and a general tidy up, ready to start again. Now
it's my time to play, catch up with Journal Quilts, dye velvet
for scarves, and get down for The Rawling Family
exhibition in January 2010.

I posted this piece of shibori a couple of weeks ago, and it
immediately said Autumn Leaves, so here it is again,
this time as a Journal Quilt. That's a start!


Now back to the drawing board and dyepots

Sunday, 27 September 2009

At last - indigo

Up early to prepare for the end of term workshop.
As the September mist clothed the garden I made
up Procion dyes ready to go. By the time students
arrived the sun was out and it was deliciously
warm. Obviously an Indigo Day.

The washing line

A bit of batik

Not quite blue

Sunlight through blue

And those Procion Dyes? Untouched - however that saves
me a job today. I am off to a birthday party as guest
'entertainer'. As a birthday treat it's a Tie dye party.
with a birthday cake at the end. A nice sort of day.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Trip to the shops

On Sunday we found ourselves, en route to visit Will
and Juliet, making a slight diversion to Southall,
which has a large Indian community. Bad timing,
we forgot it was Eid, - traffic jams were the order
of the day. Then we noticed signs for a carnival
parade that afternoon, We hit the supermarket
to stock up on spices, Indian breads, paneer.
plus assorted 'off list' items. A side order of
Samosas - the smell of spice making us feel
hungry, and a selection of Indian sweets.

Vegetables of all shapes and colours.
We don't have these in our local shops!

No time to wander round the fabric and sari shops, or wait for
the carnival procession,we had to battle our way back to the M25,
with the distinct feeling that we might be late for lunch. Meanwhile,
the cinema was showing the latest Bollywood offering.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

At the end of the day

The penultimate workshop in the conservatory. All shisha
and silk shining in the sun. Indian stitch techniques -
mirror work, banjara and kantha and lots of colour.

Next week it is shibori, Procion dyes and maybe at last
another indigo vat since the weather is pretty good.
Come October with the prospect of lashing rain,
soggy fallen leaves and dark evenings it will not
be a good place for workshops.

A few quilts I made earlier

I love this one. Made out of early pieces of dyed fabric
when I was using my son's room while he was away
at University. With impending return for vacation I
pieced the top from the fabrics stored in a box, before
handing the room back. Now the room is mine, all
mine. It is closely hand stitched, and over time has
been washed, giving it a antique look.

Made from raw edged block prints. The hand stitch saw tooth
edged took longer that piecing the top. This is fading
in a very pleasant way!

A winter slow cloth - fabric dyed the previous summer.
Pieced and hand quilted, with bound shisha. In a
moment of madness I decided to stitch triangles
along the seam lines.

Samples of various Indian stitch techniques.

All tidied up now - time for a glass of red.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Testing, testing

...... a new camera. My old Cannon is a bit temperamental, I think
the heat and dust in India got to it, or perhaps, like me it's
needs another trip. I have itchy feet. At this time of year
I usually fly off, like the swallows, to warmer lands.

A lovely September day, with a fresh breeze. The garden
has changed it's summer colours to autumnal. This morning
the conservatory had a good clean up, windows washed,
what a difference that makes. Spiders returned outside.

Signs of autumn. The little fig tree has several yellow leaves,
plus seven figs. No chance of them ripening this year.

Autumn leaves shibori

Friday, 11 September 2009

Here and there

A close up of a Sea Eagles wing and breast.
We found this magnificent bird dozing in
the sun (in his big enclosure) at The
Bison Farm - bison were in evidence on the
hills in the distance. Both unuusal sights
in Dorset. The gift shop is full of (Red)
Indian artifacts - bows and arrows, full
headdresses, bags of medicinal herbs,
plus Aboriginal artwork (?)

The real reason for the visit was to catch
up with Bev on the first day of The Nomads
Tent exhibition. Treasures from the East.
Very tempted with the rugs, too expensive,
but succumbed to three Indian mirrors
with painted frames.
Cushions from Central Asia

Objects from the India, Turkey, Vietnam to
mention but a few countries

End of summer garden, a riotous growth of flowers.

Tea and cake at Compton Abbas, watching Tiger Moth
planes flying over head. Now to find the hammer
and nails.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Today is my birthday, interesting numbers, and a strange
sort of day.

Two years ago Keith and I were joined by our sons - Will on the left,
pilot with British Airways, and Nic on the right, artist (see Paper
. Cinema link). It's a bit dark, taken at sunset from the Maharaja
of Udiapur's jetty, waiting for the boat to take up to the Lake
Palace Hotel for a birthday dinner. Wonderful.

This year Will managed to fit in a visit between flights to Philladelphia
and New York (tonight). Nic is fresh back from a month in Portugal
with The Paper Cinema, and then a month at the Edinburgh Festival.

Last night we had a barbecue - jumpers needed, at least it didn't rain.
We have individual barbecue buckets (veg and non-veg) which
proved very good when moved in between seats to take the chill
of the air. Reminded me of a February evening in Istanbul and
charcoal burners were placed by our seats to keep us warm.

Today was a quiet day. To gloomy and windy for a walk along
the Purbeck coast, but later when the sun came out we took a
stroll along Poole Quay, and then back home for a glass of
wine on the balcony under a rainbow.

Monday, 7 September 2009

The Grand Old Duke of York he had 10,000 men
He marched them up to the top of the hill and
He marched them down again.

When they were up they were up, and when they
were down they were down, but when they were
half way up, they were neither up or down.....
or so the nursery rhyme goes.

York Castle - possibly not the hill involved.

A long journey from Dorset, over five hours. We visited
the Quilt Museum with the new exhibition of turkey red
(madder) quilts. Old and gorgeous. The 19th century
wadded and quilted petticoats could have been the
choice of clothing for the day. Cold, grey skies with
a hint of rain. Not ideal conditions for taking photographs,
although opportunities were there whilst wandering through
the fabulous jumble of houses and shops, ranging in
age from 13th century to the present day. Too busy popping
into retail establishments for a browse and a little warm up.
Guess I will have to return. Certainly worth another visit.

A night in students rooms at the University - comfortable
but somewhat spartan (perhaps I do not need to do that
degree, and I should hasten to add no students involved,
they are still on vacation), on to The Great Northern
Quilt Show. At the exposed show ground it could have been
November. All desperate for breakfast, and really pleased
when the doors opened at 10.00 am. Food!

The Great in the title could have been changed to Small,
however, plenty of quilts to admire, retail opportunities
and friends to meet up with. Then the long drive home.

A quiet slow cloth day today I think. Cosy.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Just doing

Trying to find the surface. Catching up with paper work.
I think it breeds.

A dyeing session, this time threads. Hmm,,, yummy colours.

Preparing slide show, looks good.

A drive through deepest Dorset in stormy weather to give talk,
and slide presentation.The computer and projector not talking.

First meeting with my friends after the summer break. Excellent.
Show and tell,coffee and cake, lots to talk about. We all brought
a dish of food for lunch. That was a good day.

Tomorrow a weekend away with the girls to York - a visit to the
Quilt Museum andGallery, then the Great Northern Quilt Show
in Harrogate, Fun.

And... in quiet moments the slow cloth, is well, slow. Nice to find
the odd moment to add a stitch or three, and just loose myself
in contemplation.