Wet, windy and very cold would best describe Saturday. I did have a colourful day though!
Warm and cosy, the Indian Stitchery workshop box was opened and the workshop samples of mirror work refreshed. Lovely colours and sparkling mirrors. Just right for a grey day.
Today it is still freezing cold, but the sun is shining. After lunch I might just wrap myself up and do a little light gardening. Well, that's the plan! On the other hand stitching might we a warmer task!
It seems to have been a very long month. It was so cold and so grey. Living in the south we had only a flutter of snow and one or two really frosty days, but then there was the rain. The garden is a soggy mess, and we live on top of a hill! Still, flowers are emerging and the birds think that Spring is on the way. Hurrah!
Workshop boxes were tidied. Indian Stitchery was the first one. It's amazing what gathers when you are not looking! A piece of embroidery from Gujarat surfaced with a bit which looks like it had been chopped off. It's a mystery - now transformed into a needle case.
"Bloomin Spring" a little Journal Quilt made a couple of years back.
It's sometimes crazy, annoying but always enjoyable - a good sense of humour is essential
Good companions - Keith and our dear friend Samshu surveying the lake for fishing opportunities.
We have been travelling togther for the last ten years or so, going to the most amazing places, well off the tourist map.
Off road and stuck in sand but with the help of local farmers who managed to get us to firmer ground.
6.30 am on a chilly November morning, and we were lucky to find a female leopard with her three young cubs. A glorious sight which more than made up for the early start.
The roads have improved over the years we have been travelling. The motorways are good, though the driving leaves a lot to be desired. An average trip usually takes around six hours, with stops for chai, bird watching and food at a Dhaba (a road side restaurant for lorry drivers, and the food is delicious and freshly cooked.)
My top tip here is the iPad and Podcasts. Imagine driving through the countryside listening to the every day story of country folks - The Archers. Another tip is take some stitching for quieter moments when they come along.
I have had a busy time updating my website - not before time I have to say. The hamburger banners have gone! I have added four different packs of my dye painted threads and when the weather improves they will be more! It's too cold to consider dyeing at the moment.
Next week I will be posting details of my workshops for 2018
in my last post we were preparing our trip to Rajasthan. We flew out to Mumbai on the last day of November and returned just two days before before Christmas. Perfect. Missed all the crazy shopping and cooking.
First on the Indian shopping list was a visit to our friends in Arkola.
stacks of printing blocks
one of three gorgeous indigo vats
it's always a treat to visit - printed and dyed cloth yardage drying in the sun - great piles of indigo cloth being washed, and then there is the 'shop'. I focused on just purchasing metres of plain calico, so soft, ready for shibori dyeing when the sun comes out and the weather is warmer. I think I might have to wait a while!
A visit to our friend Iilyas in Udaipur. A master dryer and colourist, he can match anything I needed to order more printing blocks from him. Whilst we were enjoying chai an Indian lady came into the shop to buy a dupatta (or two) she couldn't make up her mind. Piles of scarves covered the floor - yummy colours, and yes, she did buy four!
Enough for one day! Wishing you all a fabulous 2018
This time of year it's all about putting the garden to bed. The tender plants placed in their warm(ish) shelter until Spring. Pruning, cutting back and weeding. And then, there are the leaves! We are surrounded by trees and some are huge! It has been a kind autumn, not too much rain to soak the fallen leaves turning them into a soggy mess. Almost enjoyable, like a child again, kicking and throwing them into the air.
But what to do with the bags and bags of them? Well, we do have a Back of Beyond (Bob) area to dump/compost them, which takes years. Patience is 'a good thing' I believe.
No more workshops until Spring 2018 so another clear out and tidy up in my studio, much needed I have to say. From a muddle to tidy and organised. The room feels 'lighter'
My emporium stock organised, the thread packs sleep in a nice basket and the very last of the fabric dyed in the 2017 Indigo vat has been sold and is, as I write ,flying across the pond to Florida.
This means one thing - it is time for us to fly in the other direction! India visas to hand we will head east in a couple of weeks.
Ah, Udaipur. It will be good to meet up with our many friends there; relax for a few days, and then go off on our travels through Rajasthan - there might be a little shopping involved!
A couple of days ago I received a comment on my blog from Anusha suggesting my writing and content is good and I should carry on. I have no idea who Anusha is, but she gave me pause for thought.
I have noticed that the blogs I follow seem to have fewer posts these days. Perhaps, like me, Instagram is the preferred option - every picture tells a story (and you can add words too!)
What do you think - comments please!!!!
Meanwhile I have been enjoying summer. Lots of group workshops in the West country. The last one near Padstow, Cornwall. I love these away days! Summer Workshops at home, and outings with my little emporium.
a wonderful week in Greece stopping off at the Cornith Canal on our way to Kalamata
Skoutari,with it's almost empty beach and fab taverna
dyed threads - colours inspired by the sand and sea
Summer Storm A hot and sticky July day, and eventually a thunder storm. I felt unsettled,, so much so I felt the need to tidy up a box of fabrics! A selection of 'hot' fabric scraps were gathered. Over the days/weeks they were transformed into a patchwork cushion; heavily stitched with my dyed threads. It's gorgeous, even if I say so myself!
Indigo workshops - wonderful days
the last indigo vat of the season
Stocking up my dyed threads, as ever! Themed packs are available on the web shop.
Thank you for visiting, and do let me know your thoughts!
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.