Catching up

My life has been non stop for the last few weeks – friends, family, work, quilts, feeling unwell, highs and lows. I love what i do but there are times when maybe I would be better with a 9 to 5 job. The support from my friends and students has been over overwhelming and I am so grateful to them all for helping me through this difficult time.

I don’t get to read many peoples blogs but I do read that of Pam Hollands as she writes so well about the life of an International teacher and textile artist. I feel I have worked so hard to get to this stage, now I am there I have a few things stopping me form enjoying it fully. I am no where near Pam’s levels of expertese, but am (maybe) not too far behind her with having such a busy teaching schedule. She was in my thoughts this week as I met up at Beaujolais with some friends of hers from Mexico – Edwardo and Lourdes (I hope I have the spelling correct).


Today i am in a small village in the Alps staying with Caroline Higgs and it is raining. I have time to reflect on the last few weeks.




We went for a walk and found a small gallery open in the village where they had an amazing collection of African artifacts






A fews weeks ago I went to the Whitworth in Manchester, I wanted to go to see the new extension but also to see the Tibor Reich exhibition.

“This retrospective celebrates the centenary of Tibor Reich, a pioneering post-war textile designer, who brought modernity into British textiles.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1916, Reich studied architecture and textiles in Vienna before moving to Britain in 1937. In 1946 he set up Tibor Ltd, introducing bright new colours and textures into the drab interiors of post-war Britain.

The firm rapidly gained an international reputation working on commissions for the Festival of Britain, Expo ‘58 and Concorde.

The exhibition explores the ideas behind his innovative textiles, photography, ceramics and drawings.”

Here are  some of my photos




Exhibitions are exhausting and being in an air conditioned room from 9.00am until late in the evening does not suit me, and being stuck in one spot all day is even worse.

However they are great fun – and I meet so many lovely people. The opportunity to display 17m of my quilts at Beaujolais was a privelage and I had so many French women saying  “superb” “tres jolis” “unique” etc.

It is important to exhibit my work, in order to receive some feedback to help me decide which direction for us to go next, and I find this very useful. I had my entire collection of Interchange Applique and Jumper Quilts on show. It makes 2 complete collections and I have now almost finished the last one in the series. I sold all my Interchange Applique books, all my Nordic Journeys in Stitch books and all my jumper cards.

Here are just a few of the quilts I liked. I dont tend to take many photos of other peoples quilts as I am often just too busy.









Now I need to start work on a different series

Prague Patchwork meeting.

I was invited to do some teaching as part of Voyage Group and was able to have a small exhibition.

I don’t think I took any pictures of my display but here are some of the Voyage quilts.


It really made a fabulous display and we all felt really proud of the work, and to be part of the group.

The first day was so so busy – I can’t believe how many photographs of my work were taken. I sold out of all my Nordic, Journeys and Dual Journeys on day 1 and only had a few copies of the interchange one for the rest of the show.

Saturday was busy but not as busy as Friday, Sunday was very quiet but it gave me a chance to see a little of the show and it was also the day when I did my teaching.

I love being at the International shows as I have made so many International friends.

It was good to spend some time with Jean and Colin, Elaine and Peter and Annie.

We had some good food, lots of wine, a river cruise, and dinner in a roof top restaurant.

After the show we decided to have a few days in the Czech Republic and return home from Bratislava.

I have been to Prague several times and I wanted to see a bit more of the country to carry out some research into the traditional costumes of the area

We arrived a day before the show and visited the Ethnographic museum in Prague, The Mucha museum and the Museum of Asian art. Unfortunately the Decorative arts museum was closed.

Following the show, with lots of changing our mind and cancelling and rebooking Hotels Annie and set off for a few days of textiles research.

I really want to, one day, to write a book inspired by Eastern European costumes.

I took some fabulous photos but am having great difficulty downloading the photos so have abandoned it – sorry

We took a train to Brno, put all my quilts in a left luggage locker and had a wander around, took a few photos etc.

Then on to Bratislava. I’ve been there a couple of times so had a clear idea of where we should go. There are so many fabulous craft shops we bought some original blue printed fabric and several books all about Slovakian costume

The next morning we got to train early to meet up with Jean from the Austrian Quilt Guild (perhaps the only contemporary quilter in the Guild?)

She took us to Tostmann’s where you can buy Durnhl fabric and a full costume. I just love the fabric (not sure I want to wear one but I do love the colours)

The shop is full of lovely artefacts, fabric and outfits.

On to the Leopold for Annie to see some Klimt, I loved some of the Shiele houses but I do find some of his other work a bit disturbing.

I have loved the work of Hudderwasser for many many years – maybe even 30 years so don’t need any excuse to visit the Haus again.

Walking there I walked past a second hand shop and I just had to buy 2 Dirnhl aprons and 2 scarves purely for the fabric. I hope to be able to use the fabric in my new Journal quilts.

The following morning we took a metro to the Hudderwasser recycling plant and then the train back to Bratislava to Stupava where we had an appointment to see a collection of traditional costumes

We were so looking forward to this visit to a small town about 10 km out of Bratislava, we had made a special arrangement to go to the museum  it was by – invitation only. The bus was due to take 30 mins, I hour later we arrived to a desolate village, and walked for 45 mins through a huge housing estate – it was hot, and I was carrying loads of my quilts in my rucksack.  We eventually found the building – huge metal gates stopped us from getting in – they were locked.

So much for our appointment.

We had no choice other than to make the journey back into Bratislava.

I bought several very heavy beautiful books featuring Slovakian costume – not the same as seeing it but they are nice books and very heavy.

We wondered around Bratislava again seeing more things that we waned to buy.

So my Irish friends said Ryanair has gone fluffy – well not in Bratislava they haven’t and I  had forgotten that I only selected  15 kg as I thought I would sell lots more kits than I did, plus the fact I had all my quilts with me. So I had to pay excess baggage

The next 1 hour was stressful – would I be able to get 15kg of books through in hand luggage plus a bag of kits, my handbag and with coat pockets full of wooden printing blocks, rollers etc I did it! But I won’t do it again – it’s too stressful!




2 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. …… and breathe! Your vivid descriptions and photographs that I so enjoy, give a wonderful flavour of a whirlwind life of family and friends, designing, making, teaching, travelling, researching, sourcing and so much more.

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