A cultural weekend

With not a brilliant weather forecast we have decided to have a very cultural weekend. So we headed off to Liverpool to see go to the Walker Art Gallery, The World Museum and I really wanted to see the Matisse exhibition at the Tate Liverpool. The latter was a small and rather disappointing exhibition but we really enjoyed our visit to the other 2 galleries.

I had no idea we had such a fantastic Ethnographic Exhibition so reasonably close to home – less than 60 miles and 1 hours drive

There was so much to see and I have only included a few photos here. I must go back another time

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There was an exhibition of African print


The Walker Gallery is only next door and has ancient art to modern art.

Free entry!




It was these that I loved


My son knew all about the Razzle Dazzel ships in the first world war



We walked on to the Tate got caught in the rain to have a look at the Matisse and the gallery of Modern Art


The sun came out


I noticed the colourful boat and have since found out that it was a commission.


and that Peter Blake was commissioned to design a Razzle Dazzle Boat

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This is not my photo!

More info below

Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Tate Liverpool have commissioned one of the major figures of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake, to dazzle a Mersey Ferry in partnership with Merseytravel and National Museums Liverpool.

Sir Peter’s design entitled Everybody Razzle Dazzle covers the Mersey Ferry Snowdrop with a distinctive pattern in monochrome and colour, transforming the vessel into a moving artwork as it continues its service. This is the third in the series of Dazzle Ship commissions and the first to be a working vessel.

Unlike other forms of camouflage, dazzle camouflage works not by concealing but by baffling the eye, making it difficult to estimate a target’s range, speed and direction. Realised in monochrome and colour, each ship’s dazzle pattern was unique in order to avoid making classes of ships instantly recognisable to enemy U-boats and aircraft.

Another good day – hope you enjoy the pictures and the fascinating story of the Razzle Dazzle boats







My daughter, who lives in London is back home in Yorkshire for the Easter weekend wanted to go to see the Kaws exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. She said she didn’t think I would like his work. We set off early as the weather forcast was not good and heavy rain was expected.

I was amazed and impressed with the sculptures



I loved his graphics. These could easily be quilts


The building always looks stunning


We went on to see the Bill Viola videos. They are shown in very dark rooms and some are a bit creepy


We then went on to the Hepworth in Wakefield to look at the photos of Martin Parr that he took of the Wakefield Rhubarb Triangle. They were impressive but I enjoyed some of his other pictures better – he captured life in the 80’s brilliantly. Here are just a couple that I took from his and another photographic exhibition


Pity about the glare of the lights on my photo

Taken from outside the buildingIMG_4305

A piece from another exhibitionIMG_4299

A good day out and we managed to miss the rain.

All the exhibitions are free but there is a charge for car parking

Lots of Emails

I have had a few lovely emails in the last couple of days and I just wanted to share them.

Hi Gillian,

Just back from a visit to Midsomer and I must say the exhibition is brilliant, I was delighted you had told us at the New Year Lunch and that we made the effort to go.  Your quilts were so exciting and Sheena’s were so different but the two styles together are a delight.  So many thanks again.

Another email that was passed to me

Thank you for a such enjoyable day on Tuesday. Gillian had some excellent ideas, which she was kind enough to share with us  and  she explained her ‘quilt technique’ really well. I do like the fact that you could use her ‘method’ on large or small pieces and I think her ‘Scandi’ quilts are really impressive

And another

Thank you, I feel that I have learned a huge amount from your teaching, it’s wonderful to feel more confident about being creative

I am teaching a weekend class, teaching my Interchange Applique technique with Stitch Retreats towards the end of September.

The venue looks fabulous – Hothorpe Hall, Theddingworth, LE17 6QX which is set in lovely grounds and our workroom will be the Foxton Suite.  www.hothorpe.co.uk


I have spent this evening working out the plan for my exhibition at QuiltExpo in France. 17m – thats enormous! All my Interchange Applique and Jumper Quilts will be able to be shown all together. Very exciting!

The same quilts will be at the West Country Quilt and Textile Show in Bristol in November



I love learning a new craft skill, this week I am making lampshades trying to perfect them to make them look better.

I made this one using some fabric I have had for ages


I made a sample of embroidery a few months ago, I was teaching how to do something similar at the weekend so thought this might look good on a lampshade



I stitched another one the correct size using black thread. There were a few things I needed to consider when making it but it seems to have worked. Not sure about the black thread.

I think it might make a good workshop?


I finished another of my pieces for Voyage. I will probably try to get the next 2 finished fairly soon, whilst i am still working on a Portugal theme



Here are some pictures of my work on show at Midsomer Quilting in Chilcompton near Bath and here are some of Sheena’s


I was too busy chatting to take any more photos, in the couple of hours I was there there were 55 visitors!

Thanks Chris, Briggita, and Dee for putting it all up

It’s on until mid April

Please check the times if you intend to visit

I have been working on a new piece of work

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Lots more work to do on it!

I have ordered 50 lampshade kits – so watch this space for more lampshades



Crafty retreat /holiday in France

I want to do a bit of advertising for a residential I have been asked to teach at in France.

It sounds like it will be a great week. I was teaching just one day of this course last week and have had some great feedback today from the students who attended.

Here is some of the advertising info

This year I will be teaching an inset appliqué residential retreat in rural France from May 20th until May 27th 2016. We will focus on the techniques used in my Nordic Journeys in Stitch book and my new Interchange Applique book, working on the techniques of counterchange and repeat patterning. By the end of the week you will have produced a beautiful wall hanging/quilt and your inspiration may be taken from the local porcelain factories, the immediate surroundings or clothing. For more information about the retreat visit craftyretreats.com

The days are planned out as follows:

Day 1

Arrive today. Meet and greet supper with wine to get your creative juices flowing! I will display sample quilts and discuss how I made them.

Day 2

Design work.

Working in a sketch book with papers and glue.

Fitting shapes into squares/rectangles.

Repeat patterning of the shapes.


Working with cotton fabric and transfer adhesive.

Counterchange appliqué sample using cotton fabric.

Day 3

This is an outing day to the local Vide Greniers and Brocantes.

Day 4

Inset appliqué sample using wool felt.

Developing design ideas to make a larger piece.

Cutting multiple images.

Sampling the “jumper quilt” blocks.

Automatic patterning using the sewing machine.

Developing free machine skills.

Day 5

Quilt making – Wool felt or Cotton (students to decide).

Dying using acid dyes.

Further development of free machine skills.

Day 6

This is an outing day to the Tapestry Museums at Aubusson.

Look for ideas and inspiration here, take photos and make notes and drawings. Look for colours and textures and imagery from the tapestries.

Day 7

Finishing and binding your wall hangings/quilts.

Day 8

Today we will say our goodbyes and ‘tie up any loose ends’. Most flights are later in the afternoon so the studio will be open for you to use all morning followed by lunch before you leave. 

I collected lots of copies of my new book on my way to Olympia – we will be doing some of the techniques shown in my book on the course in France.

I need to put my book on my shop of my website but in the mean time they are available for £10 plus £2 postage and packing – just send me an email


Today I have been doing some admin and finishing a couple of quilts.

Here is the first of my Voyage Quilts, the title was Treasures and I am going to make my 4 A2 quilts based on Porto (UNESCO World Heritage site)


and here is my March JQ


Whilst at Olympia I bought a lampshade kit and tonight made a lampshade




I haven’t posted for a few days as I have been busy teaching and away from home.

Agreeing to do a trade show is important for people to be able to see my new work, and for me to sell my books, cards and kits but they are hard work.

I’ve been to the Spring Knitting and Stitch Show at Olympia in London. Just the thought of driving into Kensington seemed stressful and the huge cost of the stand put me in a panic, but now that I am back at home and can reflect it didn’t seem that bad, and was a very enjoyable show and week away.

It was really thanks to my helpers Fiona, Anne and Hilary (and Alison, Katie, Katy and Laura) that the event was so much fun. I also met lots of lovely people.

I cant post any pictures of them right now – for some unknown reason

Anne Williams (Editor of the Quilter) came to see me and tweeted this photo of me


Thankfully I sold lots of kits.

Following the show I had a good day teaching at Institches with Hazel Ryder in Yateley in Surrey, some time with my daughter in London, and visited a friend – who lives in a fabulous colourful house full of beautiful contemporary art work


Before I went to London I completed a Journal Quilt and am working on a new set of work based on Portugal and have been making sardine inspired pieces. Nothing contemporary but just some simple easy to make projects. (Do I ever want to get my work in Quilt Masters or do I enjoy travelling, teaching and coming with lots of different projects?)


These are the sardine tins that I have bought to insert some of my sardines


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My article appeared in this month’s quilter with a review of my Nordic Journeys book


On my way down to London i picked up copies of my Interchange Applique book and they sold well. They havent made it on to my website yet but they will eventually and if anyone wants one they are £10 with (I think – but I need to check £2 p and p ) – just email me

Here is a preview of one of the images of my exhibition that will open on Friday at Midsomer Quilting