Since arriving back from South Africa, everything seems to have been non stop. I arrived back on the Tuesday afternoon and then left the next day for Munich. We (my husband came with me) went to visit my German friend and Quilter Uta Lenk and her husband Michael.


So it was a little bit of quilting talk and lots of this


it is a beautiful part of Germany and the weather was fabulous




Uta thought Mark might like to visit a shop near her home, and she was right. Here are just a few of the photos I took there


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I have started to read up a bit more about the Shwe Shwe fabric I bought in South Africa, the designs originated from fabric brought from Germany Austria and Hungary, so it great to see similar fabric in the shops in Bavaria made into the national costume of the Dirnhl

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We then went on to do some walking in the mountains near Salzburg

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We had a morning in Salzburg

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And then on to see Barbara Lange, where we met up again with Uta and had a very productive International threads Committee meeting.

Barbara showed me how to make a dirnhl


I returned on the Tuesday and then left on the Wednesday to drive to Northampton to teach on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Bramble Patch.

We had 3 good days – thanks to some good fun (especially Pam, Sarah and Susan who came all 3 days) and talented students.

Here are just some pictures of their work


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Sorry some of the photos have uploaded sideways.

And here is one of the early Morning Swim pieces of work


Back at home for a couple of days and I have taught at the Quilt Cabin for 2 days. It has been good to teach felt making and another Early Morning Swim class.

My couple of days at home have been spent visiting the Graphic designers and my new book has finally gone to press so it will be ready for the Festival of Quilts – Phew! so will my new Indian Ladies Kits

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and the Jumper kits, plus 1000 cards!

My head is bursting with ideas for new pieces of work, and being in a hotel in Weeden Bec came me a chance to start sketching for a couple of new pieces. I did some drawings in Bavaria to start.

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I have a piece of work to do as part of a South African Challenge, and started some sampling

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and here are some drawings and some sampling for a piece of work that is due to go to Prague in April


It has been an exhausting few weeks, after Festival of Quilts I have a quiet few weeks and time to tidy my studio – there are kits, samples, half finished quilts, piles of fabric all over the floor – it is such a mess!


Cape Town

We arrived into Cape Town with thick cloud on table Mountain but woke up on Saturday morning to clear skies and a lovely breakfast at Guest House




With bright skies I went out to take some more photos of the coloured houses

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Rayna and I decided we would get a train along the coast, we were advised that it might be dangerous but it wasn’t and my only complaint was that the windows could have been cleaner so i could see out of the window better

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Our first stop was Kalk Bay

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We made a couple of purchases – more in another post of the delightful Michel

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And then borded the train again from St James to Simonstown to Boulders Beach to see the penguins

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Maybe these images will become a new Journal Quilt

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The next day – more photos of Table Mountain

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And then goodbye to Rayna



I then went on to see the Shre shre (not the right spelling) exhibition and do a bit of shopping

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before meeting up with Pam Stallebrass who lives near Cape Town and will be having a stand at Festival of Quilts next month



Pam took me to the botanical gardens in Cape Town to see the giant protea plants

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then on to another harbour

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and then on to the airport for the long flight home.

So I have loads more ideas for more quilts but no time to make them as I need to get my new book finished for Festival of Quilts, and the new kits.


South Africa

Last week I taught at South African Guild’s Creative Energy Conference near Durban. There is so much that I could write about it, and so many photos.

It was set in a boys school out towards the mountains





Where do I start……I met some fabulous students and some of them did some beautiful work




As you can see from the number of panels made here the classes were large – no some of them were huge – teaching upwards of 30 students in a class, on my own, was a challenge. This is not really something I really want to do again!

I taught a disable young girl who used her foot pedal with her hand – she managed to make a couple of wired flowers in the class




The school is one of the top schools in South Africa and I did enjoy walking around the grounds- there were some very inspirational quotes up around the school, and some beautiful flowers.

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I listened to a talk by an expert on the Schwe Schwe fabric from South Africa and of course bought loads of fabric.



We did have a lot of fun in the evenings, with Rayna, Hilary, Sheena, Brandon and Kaffe!



After the conference we visited the Hillcrest Aids centre – they are doing amazing things working with local communities and helping aids victims (more to write another day) where, amongst other things i bought 50 beaded traveller beaded dolls to sell and will send the profit to them.

Here is a painted one, that was one the wall of the centre



Following the festival we stayed on the outskirts of Durban and had a fabulous time shopping and visiting some of the Durban attractions.



Here is us causing chaos in the fabric shop

I took masses of photos at the botanical garden in Durban

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A visit to the Nelson Mandela Memorial was inspirational and an incredible piece of art work



and a visit to Ardmore afterwards was somewhere i could have spent hours

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We went in to the traditional African Fabric shop in the centre of Durban to buy the proper 3 cats fabric

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I guess the highlight of all the places we visited in Durban has to be the Phansi Museum

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We finished our day with a meal by the beach and a visit to see Odette Tolksdorf – i just love her quilts, and her house is really beautiful – full of African artifacts

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Rayna and I then took a plane to Cape Town, where we now have, for the first time Wifi!!!

The weather is damp which is a shame and this is the view of table mountain from our beautiful guest house



The weather may not be good but the shops are, and look what I have been out photographing



Last night we went for some food – I don’t really enjoy eating meat but in the traditional African restaurant we had to try some local food. Don’t think I will eat it again – Springbok, Ostrich and Kudu



I hope today to be able to go and visit the penguins but as the weather is not brilliant they may not be there!

So many experience, some new best friends, and more inspiration for more quilts.

Now I need another 24 hours in every day!