Home again

I have spent 2 frantic days catching up with essential admin etc, and I am off again. This time it is all work – teaching in the South. I have achieved a lot in a couple of days.

Yesterday with the help from a student we assembled 200 new Indian Ladies Kits. The “Kyra” kit was the most popular so in my parcel from India was 200 new backgrounds, so they are now available in a rich yellow colour. The fabric is printed in India and the kit includes the pot, arms and legs fabric. I have to cut the bondaweb, include the instructions, stick the label on the front, fold and add the hand stitching thread. This all takes loads of time. They now just need adding to my shop.

400 new backgrounds arrived in yellow, pink/orange and a grey/brown colour. These are to be made into new kits that will be available soon. I am just waiting for the instructions to be designed by the graphic designers. They will be similar to the previous 3 ladies kit but much bigger – approx 25ins square. I made one of the panels yesterday to check my patterns work, and thankfully they do but I just need to add some hand stitching and photograph it.

I have so many fabulous photos from Sri Lanka and a few ideas for new quilts, but decided to just make a quick and easy JQ first. This is the June Quilt so I am a few days ahead.

It only took a short time to make – and now I want to make more based on the tuk tuk’s – In India in one town they are all the same colour – in Sri Lanka they are all different colours.

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So here is my fun piece

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I will eventually get round to adding some of my photos of our trip on to facebook etc. One of the highlights was going by train through the tea plantations. We made a visit to one of the factories so it was good yesterday to sit down and drink some tea from Sri Lanka

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the baking parchment and also add the hand stitching thread

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More Travels

When I decided to write a blog and tell the World exactly what I am up to all the time I realised that everyone knows when I am working hard and when I am on holiday etc.

I am so lucky to be able to travel extensively for my work, i go to some amazing places and meet some lovely people, but in between I have to be very organised and work really hard so that I can take the time off.

May has been so busy – I have boxes and boxes of teaching materials that have not been put away and my studio is in chaos.
I have masses of emails to answer whilst i am away, so maybe you would like to picture where I am writing this from.

It is dark and I can hear the crashing of the waves of the sea, in between the beat of some awful Asian music. There are insects crawling all over my screen. I am hot and sweaty even though it is 10pm.

I am in Sri Lanka, with my daughter and son. We are back packing for 10 days. My son is travelling the World and we have come to meet up with him, and have spent a week travelling across Sri Lanka – we are now on the East Coast and enjoying a few days of sun sea and sand.
We are staying in very basic accommodation and travelling by public transport etc.

It is rare for me to take a holiday and it not be for Textile research but I knew there would not be any spectacular textiles for me to see here, but hoped I would get some inspiration for making some new quilts.
I have lots of ideas and some fabulous photos.

My holiday is almost at an end.

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New work and a little holiday

This week as always I seem to have been very busy. I wanted to finish a couple of quilts before I had a little holiday, and have taught a few classes at the Quilt Cabin in Hebden Bridge.

I finished my May Journal Quilt – this one is inspired by Sonia Delaunay. I have been experimenting with felt inlay techniques and it is all hand stitched.

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I finished another of my counterchange flower quilts and have started on a large “pots” quilt inspired by the pots in the Utensil Museum in Ahmedabad in India.

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Making up new kits can take hours of time just checking the correct sizes of fabric etc. I dyed some of the fabric that arrived from India and started stitching it – just to check it all works. Lots more sampling needed.

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I’ve just returned from a few days cycling in Belgium with some friends. So in 3 days we cycled 300kms with one very very windy day and another day with fabulous sunshine.

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After a day of cycling so far into a head wind we stopped for bananas and cake.

Cycling along is just such a fabulous way to see a country and you can see some unusual sights off the usual tourist trails.

We cycled past a bird singing competition. The people in a long line and recording the bird song – the bird in the box that sings the most is the winner.

Most bizarre!

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Here are just a few pictures of Bruges, Ghent and Ypres

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Not much stitching!

Not much stitching happening at the moment. For all those that thought being a textile artist was all about stitching – it’s not.

The emails take up lots of time, but this week I have done quite a bit of teaching. I have spent time collecting all the images together for my new book, designed  a new kit, redrawn the patterns, assembled together some other kits and teaching samples, phoned loads of suppliers to get some prices for stencils for my jumper kits and a load of other jobs that don’t sound very worthwhile.

And I don’t think I have done any stitching or printing.

We have had some fun as the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race came past our house and we have had another party – not as big as last year but just some time with some lovely good friends and lots of good food and drink.

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All my non textile friends know what I do for a living, but I’m not sure that they really understand what that means, so today I gave them a tour of my studio that unfortunately looked a terrible mess.

I think ( I know) they were surprised at what is involved – not the quilts, but the kits, the patterns, the equipment etc.

Tired tonight….and I wonder if it is all worth it but tomorrow morning I am sure I will feel proud of all that happens in my studio.