Saturday, September 02, 2006


Summer's nearly over

A lot has happened since I last wrote so, I must try to remember everything in the right order.

The wonderful heatwave of July gave way to a very wet and not so summery August which was lit up for me by the visits of Carin Saga from Tokyo and Sue Beardsworth from New Zealand and believe it or not, they both arrived in Norfolk during the same week. Carin always spends a week in a pretty rented cottage in Norwich so we have time to catch up and visit a few places before she goes down to London for a few days and then back to Japan via her family home in Sweden. Sue was just over visiting friends and family and brought photos of her new home in New Zealand and tales of her quilting projects. She had made a quilt from the fabric given to her by her friends in Botswana, just before she left two years ago, and the finished item was photographed for an article written for NZ Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Having seen the beginnings of this quilt on her last visit, I was delighted to see the article.

The week ended with Sue Goodman, Carin and myself making our annual pilgrimage to the NEC in Birmingham for this year's Festival of Quilts. This year it was even larger than before and I must admit that I found the distance we had to walk to cover all the ground was very punishing with only limited time to spare. There were some amazing quilts and even more spectacular exhibits (Lilian Hedley amongst them) but not enough time to look at everything in detail. I must admit I was disappointed with the small exhibition of the finalists of Quilt 2006 but I am never quite sure about the contemporary and innovative group of the quilt world and need more education to see in them what the judges see. Sue and I went on one of the organised outings on a river barge from Stratford upon Avon on the Saturday evening and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner in delightful company. After a very late night, it was difficult for us to get up, breakfast and get to the exhibition centre in time for our first stewarding stint of the day. This we did manage and I had two hours of patrolling the Small Innovative Quilts which did a lot to improve my education of such no end, only to be interupted twice by an erroneous security announcement to clear the building. The rest of the day sped past and with an obligatory trip to the trade stands Carin and I went off to collect our quilts at the end of the day. This is always a difficult time for the organisers and quilters alike. Everyone is tired as is the team of volunteers who work like trojans to get everything back to their rightful owners but it does take time and tempers sometimes fray. However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those ladies who volunteer to both hang the quilts and return them to their rightful owners at the end of the show. They do a wonderful job and in my opinion, do not get the full praise they deserve.

I have just returned from the most delightful Festival of Quilting and Flowers held at St. Edmund's Church, West Caister. It had been organised by some of my ex-students who kindly invited me to go. Pam Trippett and I set off on another grey day and as we made our way towards the east coast it got even gloomier. However, having found this delightful, tiny venue, our day brightened considerably upon entering two marquees filled with beautiful quilts, wallhangings and cushions. It was so nice to meet up with everyone again and to see what they have been up to during the past year. Well, what a productive bunch of quilters! I was still disappointed to note that Linda Futter had not finished the wonderful quilt she started with me some years ago but she has made a solemn promise to finish it in time to show it at Malvern next year. However, in the interim she had managed to make three full size bed quilts (which she has had professionally quilted) and magnificent they were. Having spent a couple of hours looking, talking and eating in the marquees, we then progressed into the tiny Church. It was like a fairy grotto decked out in the most magnificent floral displays. Everywhere you looked, a display had been designed especially for that spot and some even with a sewing theme. There were some more cushions and fantastic embroideries to see and all in all, I must say that I enjoyed our day out no end and I wasn't left with sore feet and blisters as I had done pacing the concrete floor of the NEC. Thank you to all who were involved in making such a lovely show.

Dates for your diary; 16th and 17th September see the Costume and Textile Fair take place at Wolterton Hall from 10.30a.m. to 5.00p.m. Always an interesting place to visit.

We now have the early autumn to look forward to and for us, a trip to Spain to celebrate 40 years of marriage. Oh, how the time has flown! The years have sped past, many things have changed, friends made and some moved on to areas new and some lost and gone forever but, one thing is for certain, I was sewing 40 years ago and still am now. Roll on the next 40 years!

Best wishes to you all,


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