Summer time

Lots of my friends know how hard the last few months have been for me. I feel like I have been up and down the country and half way around the world, never really being able to concentrate or really enjoy the fantastic opportunities I have been given.

My mother finally passed away and I know she was proud of the way we have all dealt with the situation.

Not a career change but flower arranging was one of my jobs

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So now I have a massive amount of catching up to do. But first I want to share some photos of just how beautiful Northumberland is when the sun shines.

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I always drive past the angel of the north so this week took some more photos

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Some beautiful sunsets

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Beautiful places and good times had, at a sad event.

Lovely photo

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Now I need to get ready for Festival of Quilts. Finger crossed it will all go ok. I have never been so badly prepared – I’ve a lot of stitching and lacking of kits to do this week.

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Although I think I would rather be getting on with some new ideas I have

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Israel again

 

Teaching abroad is always challenging. Have I remembered everything? It can seem difficult as the terms used and methods are always different, there are new places, new people etc and living out of a suitcase is not easy.

All my teaching in Israel went well and I could show you photos of students holding up quilts but I’m never keen on seeing these type of photos.

Here are some general pictures of life in Israel

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Note the gun, but normal guys, normal lifeIMG_6616

 

I did enjoy meeting Yael – the Madeira Israel sales rep ( who had a broken wrist as well- hers looked a bit cleaner than mine)

She gave me some of the Decora 12 to try – I am very impressed with the thread and I shall be using more of it in the future. When I have some time to do some decent samples I will post some images

Check it out – use a top stitch needle and you shouldn’t have too much trouble but don’t put in in the bobbin.

I have stayed with my friend Shoshi several times, I love staying with her for many reasons one reason being that she lives so close to the sea in Bat Yam. I love walking along the beach in the early morning and at sun set.

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On Saturday we were invited to join a grafitti tour of the Florentine area of Tel Aviv. Effie gave us an entertaining tour – he was such a knowledgeable guide.

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We even managed a trip to the cinema to see “You before Me” – Don’t go without a hankie

The next few days I stayed with Leeanne who has become another dear friend. We did lots of lovely things in Jaffa like photograph doors, and go “wow” at something that nobody other than a serious textile artist would see.

I have lots of photos!

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We had some good street food, wandered into the shops, chatted, visited Sedona market, went to the arts and crafts market, bought fabric, and had a few days of looking at things that I love. We did squeeze in a little culture by going to to Diaspera Jewish museum,

There was a quote in the Jewish museum that I really liked

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but didn’t go into the Design Museum, as the exhibition I wanted to see was not on yet, the outside is spectacular.

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I have visited Jerusalem several times and still get a tingle when I see the Dome of the Rock.

IMG_7661I love wandering the souq, bought a few pieces of textiles and visited the Palestinian Heritage Museum. I also went to see some good friends who live there.

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I have always been interested in ethnic textiles, and was invited to go to Beer Sheva where I met up with Melissa and Judy. We visited Lakiya to see the embroidery and the weaving. It is such an inspiring place to visit, the women are paid for their stitching which gives them independence. It reminded me so much of the Indian cooperatives that I have been involved with. The one thing that struck me that was so different was that the Bedouin men can have several wives, which must make life even harder for the women. The project really showed how embroidery can have such a positive role to play in the lives of women.

Look at the shapes of the concrete memorial structure we visited and the photo of national bird the Hoopee

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My final day was spent in Ramla, a place that many said was not worth visiting, but I found it such an interesting place thanks to Moshe, our friend and knowledgeable guide who showed us round.

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I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to go to Israel again, do lots of teaching, see some amazing places, meet some talented quilters, spend time with  friends, make new friends (who I hope I will see again), and enjoy the fabulous food and sunshine.

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Perhaps, if you are a nervous traveller you might not enjoy Israel, but I had a brilliant time.

Thanks to all the ladies who gave me such a good time.

 

I have hundreds of photos but posting and sharing them will have to wait

 

 

Israel

Its been a few weeks since I wrote a blog post.

Its been, on the one hand a difficult few weeks but on the other a fabulous few weeks.I have had very little time to catch up – my time has been filled almost every minute of the day.

My wrist is still in plaster but I, hopefully, don’t have many more days to go until the pot is removed. I am hoping that it has healed well. No doubt I will be impatient and expect it to be back to normal straight away. I will work hard at the physio to get it working properly so that i can go back to doing my exercise classes asap.

I have been away for almost 2 weeks as I was invited by the Israeli Quilt Guild to teach at their Summer Workshop, to give a talk and to do some additional teaching.

I was also invited to carry out some research and I wanted to see a bit more of the country  to gain some inspiration for more quilts.

This is the fourth time i have been to Israel. It is a country with massive political issues and most quilters live with a little bit of a fear for their safety. The weather is fabulous (that’s if you like it hot and sunny every day – up to 37 degrees) the food amazing (humous tahini, fresh vegetables, delicious salads etc, etc, and the countryside spectacular.

I keep returning as it is the people I return to visit. They are very hospitable, kind and fun quilters.I have made some very special friends. I always have lots of invitations and return home with so many good memories.

So where do I start….

I will write several posts as I was taken to many fabulous places and have lots of photos.

 

My flight arrived late and I went up towards Haifa to stay with Elsy . It was so good to have the chance to be able to sit on a balcony in the late evening and have a glass of wine.

The next day Elsy took me to Akko to the Citidal, the Mosque, the folk museum and the Hamman.

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We then went to see Eytan George Hurwitz a guy who had an embroidery exhibition in the town. He was a wonderfully eccentric guy who had been seriously injured in an accident and taken up embroidery. He casually mentioned he had been to Halifax. I asked why? He said that’s where his mother was born, so when I explained that was where I lived we then spent some time chatting about Yorkshire.

 

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Elsy then took me to right to the far north of Israel to see some caves.

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Beautiful!

The next day we visited Caesarea in the morning and in the afternoon I set off to Tiberias as I wanted to go to see the Sea of Gallilee and to go to Safed to see the artists colony. I booked myself into the hostel, had a wander round the small town of Tiberias- described in my guide book as neglected, yes it is a bit tacky but I really liked it and had some delicious hummus and a glass of wine sat in a small restaurant . It was boiling hot!

Safed is a small town with a large orthodox Jewish population and many artists. I wished i had had more time to spend there, it was good to see some very inspiring art work for sale and good to be able to speak to the artists

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More to come another day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly update

On Saturday we walked the famous Morecambe Bay walk. It was a very grey day and rained most of the walk. I wrapped my cast in cling film, to try to stop it from getting wet and we set off.

There were 600 people walking from Arnside to Kent’s Bank, all being led by Cedric.  It is an area I know well, and know that it is miles to drive round the estuary but only 10 minutes on the train

http://www.morecambe.co.uk/walk.html

It was a fabulous experience and the fact that it was so grey and wet did not spoil the fun and I love the photos I took. Even my husband commented that they would make a good starting point for a new Journal Quilt.

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With a busy July ahead of me I decided to get ahead with my Journal Quilts and made next month’s quilt this month. Something I never do, but I thought it would be good for some teaching I am doing this week.

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This will be offered as a one day course at the Quilt Cabin. Have a look at the website

http://www.thequiltcabin.co.uk

Dates Wednesday 27th July, Saturday 15th October

With a left arm in plaster, yesterday was a challenge teaching 3 left handed students how to do some complicated hand stitches – raised chain band. It was all done with a lot of laughter and some frustration!

Thanks Lynne for the delicious button biscuits

 

 

I, along with Sheena Norquay and Hilary Gooding have been invited to have an exhibition of our work following our trip to South Africa at Cowslip Studios in Cornwall. I am trying to do a few more pieces for it and have a “Green” piece to do for International Threads Group so have made this piece inspired by a visit to the Durban Botanical Gardens. It was quick to make and I am really pleased with it.

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This next photo is for Dorothy. Look what came in the post today!

Its a piece of Avoca blanket,bought from Fab Works in Dewsbury, so now I have a throw – all I have to do is fringe the edges.

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Dealing with social media can sometimes feel hard – everyone seems to be having amazing holidays, going to fantastic places, doing incredible pieces of work. My broken wrist is not stopping me from doing much (apart from driving, cycling and body combat classes) but there are a few things that are quite difficult to do one handed. Fortunately I have use of my fingers so can type.

It is nice to get a couple of emails I received this week. Thank you. It is emails like these that really keep me enthused

“I must tell you how much I enjoyed your lecture and slides and am thrilled to see so many of the pictures in your books I have…It was great to meet you again and thank you so much for all the inspiration”

“On behalf of the our branch I would like to say a huge thank you for a great couple of days. Particularly impressive with all that you managed with one good arm!

I hope that you had a safe and trouble free journey home and managed to get on the train before the heavens opened. 

Everyone has been amazed by your energy and enthusiasm for your work and travels and we wish you well with all future projects.

Lovely to meet you”

 

Worcester and Shropshire

Ive just returned from teaching in Shropshire and Worcester, A challenging experience carrying a very heavy suitcase and a rucksac on public transport, it’s bad enough doing it with 2 working arms, but with one in a pink cast its an interesting and exhausting experience. I’m pleased to report that there are a lot of very helpful people out there.

To do 3 train journeys I had this number of tickets, I guess if you change trains as many times as I had to that’s what you get.

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I stayed with Lesley in Whitchurch and had a wander round the small town. I loved the doors and thanks to Linda I have been researching the photography work of a Portuguese artist

http://www.andrevicentegoncalves.com

http://andrevicentegoncalves.com/blog/2015/06/03/windows-of-the-world

I took a few photos of the doors in Whitchurch and the black and white houses and collaged them on my phone using Pic Collage App

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Yorkshire looked beautiful in the sunshine last week

 

and I have been photographing more doors

 

I am hoping my game instructions are progressing well at the Graphic Designers and they will be ready for Festival of Quilts. One of the ladies Veronica at Worcester yesterday showed me her sketch book from her travels in India and showed me the drawings she did of the same game (different name) in the museum in Mysore

They are beautiful drawings – I feel rather envious as these days I just don’t seem to have any time to sit and draw.

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I have made another Journal Quilt using again some of my images of Aberdeen and Cullen

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Threads

A big box arrived for me today – a parcel from Italy. My new threads for teaching this summer in Israel. Aurifil are very good to me and have provided me with lots of Mako 12 thread.

Aren’t they just yummy. Now I just need to use them to make some samples

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I have more good news. My Scandinavian Jumpers Quilt has been selected for The Mancuso Shows in the States so it will go to the following venues in 2016/ 2017

Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza (Greater Philadelphia Area)

QuiltFest Oasis Palm Springs (Palm Springs, California)

Pacific International Quilt Festival (San Francisco Bay Area)

World Quilt Florida in Orlando, Florida

I finished one more of my Voyage Quilts, although hand stitching the binding on is proving to be a bit of a problem, as the way my wrist has been set does not allow my hand to twist to hand sew and threading a needle is difficult.

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The Quilter magazine arrived today and it has a review of my new book

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I had better get in on my website – just in case I have any orders.

Also in the post today was a piece of work that has been returned to me. I have been asked to write an article for Stitch magazine on how to make this and similar ones i made a couple of years ago.

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Teaching at Festival of Quilts

This year i have been offered loads of teaching, Some of the classes are full , whilst one of the classes has very few on it. It’s strange, as I think it is the one that I will show how to make my Jumper Quilts. I can’t understand why that one is not filling up. Maybe I just need to do some gentle publicity.

 

 

 

 

Whoops

This year I have skied, climbed mountains, cycled and done lots of high energy exercise classes, all very enjoyable and had no problems etc

On Sunday my daughter and I  went for a gentle 3 mile walk on the beach walking from Seahouses to Beadnell and I slipped on the seaweed, I put my hand out and banged it hard on the rock, I carried on to Beadnell. On Sunday evening and Monday it was painful but I went for another walk, and continued on as normal but took some paracetamol. All my family said it was probably just sprained. My physio son said maybe it was broken, but probably not.

I met up with a friend last night who said she thought it looked like it was broken, so Mark took me to A and E last night. I came out with a rather large cast on it, although they have said they will put a very light weight pink one on this week.

So no cycling, swimming, or any exercise classes for 6 weeks, thankfully i can still walk.

I have spent some time this morning checking trains etc and I can still get to all my teaching – I actually quite like train journeys and with a light weight pot I don’t think it is going to be too difficult. I can still draw, paint, use a pair of scissors, my computer, camera and sewing machine.

And thank you to all those people who say rest – don’t really think i want to watch TV. Maybe I might get some admin done