it's certainly a hot one here
May whizzed by. We took advantage when the weather was kind to go walikng in the
countryside, and long the Dorset coastal path. Kimmeridge on a beautiful day,
checking out the rockpools with Ben, Wild flowers, including orchids, a joy to see.
There were lots of summer visitors arriving from France (birds, not humans!),
I took a few workshops - with groups and at home. Then there was the annual
spring clean of my studio including a good clear out. That was a good job done!
May has mostly been about gardening. Cleaning up the flower borders, Preparing
our little veg patch.
Two weeks ago and now the runner beans are half way up the poles.
It seems to me that plants and flowers are really early this year.
and then there was sunshine and lashings of hail
Ah, a little bit of textile stuff going on at last. Pole wrapping shibori. Dyed and over dyed, thinking of the
Aegean Sea. There are other pieces in/on the pipeline, gathering dyed/printed fabric for a special quilt.
Possibly inspired with thoughts of flying off to Kalamata next week.
Of course, right now it is perfect weather for indigo dyeing, and I haven't got time!!!! If you are anyway
close to Broadstone, Dorset I am holding an Indigo workshop on 1 July.
Walford Mill, Wimborne will br hosting a Summer Garden Party on Saturday 24th June between 6-9 pm.
I will be there doing a demo on shibori. For more details go
It seems like a long time since I last blogged. Our Indian adventure was crazy, brilliant, but more of that in another post, including some wedding pictures!
I've recovered from an injured foot and a bug caught somewhere between Udaipur and home and am busy sorting out forthcoming workshops; dyeing up lots of yarn for the thread basket; enjoying the warmth of the sun and the garden is calling for a jolly good tidy up.
There are many projects I have in mind, but not yet!
Dust Sheet - a Journal Quilt made two years ago
background rusted fabric, left over hexagons with papers, roughly quilted,
splattered and painted with acrylic paint and gesso
referencing the fate of old quilts in garages/sheds
There is an unfinished small hexagon quilt, which is where the left over hexagons came from.
It appears then vanishes again. I found it searching for something else.
c.1990 when the internet was but a baby; patchwork shops were few and far between
and I was a beginner. Strawberry Fayre would, on receipt of two 1st class stamps, send
samples of tiny sprigged fabric, mainly from USA.
My templates were made from the paper list of goodies and Country Living Magazine.
The sample squares were small and just covered the 2cm templates.
section of hexagon quilt top from the back,some paper templates still in situ,
love the texture of the fabric that had been folded over templates
I've wandered down several paths since I made this little quilt top. It should be finished.
The question is how. Traditional? Paint it? Print over it?
The quilt top and I will have several conversations over the coming weeks.
This afternoon the dye pots were out. The thread basket needs topping up ready for West Country Embroiderers Dorset Day in March.
It was gorgeous in the conservatory. The sun was shining and it was actually warm.
Lots of lovely coloured threads now wrapped up and batching under a radiator.
We are off on our travels soon - we have been invited to an Indian Wedding, how exciting is that!
I do have some homework. The beginnings of a small kantha, lot's of stitching to do on this one
as a sampler for a Summer Workshop
No blogging on the go, but you can follow me on Instagram!
Well, not quite Spring yet, though the morning was warm and for once in a long time the conservatory didn't feel like the inside of a fridge.
A grand tidy up of cupboards and shelves. Gathering workshop equipment that should have been put away in the shed after workshops finished last autumn.
Throwing away assorted rubbish which somehow sneaked in. Reevaluating the amount of containers and pots - did I really need them? Probably not!
everything in its place, all neat and tidy ready to go
I'll wait until March before I get the dye pots out, when it is warmer
meanwhile there is plenty of ideas in my head to work on in my warm studio
One more day to go in January - hurrah! It has been such a miserable and cold month, but good
for snuggling up and stitching.
It was one of those days when you can't quite get down to anything in particular, until I decided to sort out my Journal Quilts box, and it needed doing!
I joined the Contemporary Quilters Guild journal challenge in 2008, you can see the first year on my website, and carried on until 2013 when life became a bit complicated.
A lovely selection of little quilts, slightly different sizes each year, but no larger than 12 x12". I kept a record with details of subject, design, techniques and materials used. That was a nice way to while away the morning with a cup of coffee!
Some of the quilts have been out and about at quilting show all over the country - very exciting.
snow print 2012
a rubbing taken from the sole of my walking boots
free machine embroidery
The challenge is open for this year, and I am tempted. I have three weeks to make up my mind!
We started and ended our journey in beautiful Udaipur. A few days to relax, catch up with friends,
enjoy the town and surrounding countryside.
We strolled through the almost empty town which was rather pleasant, not good for the small shop keepers though. Usually the narrow lanes are packed with tourists and traffic.
basket making in the market
just love these shops I have a collection of smaller items
what I would really like would be one big tin trunk (or two)
beautiful architecture and windows
Lake Palace Hotel looking gorgeous in the sunset
the view from Lake Pichola Hotel - Ganguar Ghat at night
little diya lights floating on the lake
Rajasthan is as big a France, or so I have been told! Certainly from main city to the next it takes about five hours allowing for leg stretching and chai drinking stops.
The roads are good, three lane highways most of the way. You do have to make allowances for the occasional lorry or car driving the wrong way, not to mention shepherds with their flocks of sheep, goats and cows. But this is India after all.
It can be tedious after a while, especially if you are in the back seat. I found a solution - Podcasts.
I have about four to choose from. Can you imagine listening to The Archers, an everyday story of country folk? Surreal!
Travelling through the country side and small villages is wonderful, so a few images to share.
driving through a small village we were stuck in a traffic jam
lorries, tractors, cars, motorbikes, sheep, goats and people - my view from the car window
the village cobbler mending the farmer's tradition jutties (shoes)
ladies preparing cloth for dyeing - bhandani (circles)
a little girl playing outside her house
village warrior shrine
details of a door
I hope you enjoyed the little picture show
Outside the sun is shining, although the wind is very cold. Tomorrow snow is forecast.
Our central heating has broken down twice since Christmas. All is well now.
Keep warm where ever you are.
We last visited Bikaner ten years ago, travelling by train from Jodphur. On the final part of the journey it seemed as if the train was gliding along on the desert sand. A few small villages amongst the sand dunes.
This time a five hour drive with the usual stops to stretch the legs and drink cups of chai. Just outside Bikaner there was great excitement from my men. Hundreds of vultures.
just hanging around
The quest for eagles and vultures was looking good. After a good nights sleep and breakfast we headed out towards the National Research Centre on Camels, who knew?!!! Ahhh........so many camels and babies and there is even a museum.
Suffice to say we didn't stop long but drove the short distance to the 'perfume garden' aka the carcus dump. Yuck. However there were so many different eagles and vultures it was astonishing. Keith and Samshu were besides themselves with excitement Perfumed hanky to nose it was just bearable! Having said that seeing the birds flying and soaring in the sky made up for the smell.
That's my best photo above. If you want to see magnificent photos you can check out Keiths website - see link.
So, big tick let's move on to some textile things!
a wall painting advertising a womens' cooperative
how lovely, they are all busy stitching quilts
`A revisit to the Prachina Cultural Museum was a must. Curated by the Princess it is stuffed full with exquisite Rajasthani costumes, jewellery and textiles. Everything is under glass to a bit difficult to take photos. However, above details of two silk skirts, heavily embroidered and just gorgeous.
Wandering around the old city you will find ladies preparing cloth for dyeing and see the results laid out to dry over walls and bushes.
Silkscreen printing is a big cottage industry - dupattas (large scarves/shawls) and saries. These are often laid out on big stretches of sand/earth to dry. A colourful sight indeed.
On our last night in Bikaner the air was full of very loud (but cool) music and amazing fireworks.
With enough rupees for petrol we set off on our first long trip to Bikaner, on the edge of the Thar Dessert and not so far from the Pakistan. The quest - eagles and vultures, but first we have to get there.
First destination Rankapur, driving through the beautiful Aravalli Hills, up then down driving on roads damaged in the monsoon and still be be repaired. Hairpin bends to take your breath away even though we know this road well. We stopped often to enjoy the view, bird watching and, of course, the naughty monkeys waiting for tasty offerings.
Just the two at this stop, normally they are in very large troups. Note, should you be travelling this way,
do not open the car window!
We tried booking in at a friends hotel (still being completed). It was full. Not surprising really after all it is the Indian Wedding Season.
We found a simple lodge in beautiful surroundings. Everything was a bit run down and being renovated.
The room was basic and clean. Samshu cooked supper, declicious, and we ate out under the stars. All
was peaceful apart from a few jungly noises during the night.
first light the geyser for a hot shower having gathered
paper, sticks, dry leaves and twigs
It was fabulous. We watched the dawn come up over the lake, took breakfast, vegetable parathas,
and I used up the last of my 'old money' to pay the bill,with just enough left to pay for a chai stop.
On to Pushkar, another five hours on the road. We stayed in another friends haveli, The Chand Hotel. Fortunately they took bank cards. Another evening under the stars and enjoying supper around the firepit in very good company.
the two cooks
Breakfast, a walk down the lane before going into Pushkar to a) try and find cash
and b) buy petrol. No cash and no petrol. Non Indian credit cards not accepted.
Ha! Ha! We had just enough of both to get to Bikaner.
another Indian bathroom option!