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I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Lavender and Black Hawick Quilt

Yes, another Hawick quilt, this time one from Hawick itself. This quilt was bought in an antique shop in the town many years ago.

This quilt is very similar to other quilts, with the same wooden templates being used, although in a different arrangement.

The centre is a daisey (gowan) surrounded by a circle of the spikey heart motif

The strangely stumpy thistle is present too. Also seen are the scale fillers and the yinyan motif.

Black seems an unusual colour for a quilt but the Quilters Guild collection has one in black and pink.

The reverse. The lavender side is faded, so much have been the side that was used most.

These quilts were made as church fund raisers and there is an interesting article about them in Quilt Studies. As group quilts, they are not especially well made, the stitches are rather large as are the motifs. Still they are rather charming!

Friday, 13 September 2019

Trip to Norfolk - July 2019

In July, we went to Norfolk for a weekend stay. We stayed in a shepherds hut at Melton Constable, near Holt. The location was very quiet and rural.

The Hut was nicely fitted out and was comfortable.

The owner keeps chickens and eggs were supplied. Of course, as Mike grew up on a poultry farm, he has an aversion to eggs! but they were nice to see...

You can see that the location was very pleasant. We checked in quickly, then raced off to nearby Holt so that we could attend their bellringing practice.

On Saturday, we walked along the coast from Sheringham to Cromer. It was much further than we expected! About 10 miles....At points you have to walk along roads as the cliff top path is not accessable.

The sun was out and it was a pleasant walk.

Cromer is one of the larger towns on the Norfolk coast and has a surviving pier.

Bagshot goats have been introduced to keep the scrub on the cliffs at bay, and these seem to be popular with the visitors.

Cromer Pier, with its RNLI life boat station.

Cromer church - there was a wedding and as the tower door was open, we went upstairs to have a look. We were kindly shown the belfry and the bells, and also helped to ring the bells for the wedding.
As we had walked so far, we took a bus back to Sheringham.

We were pleased to be able to visit the Sheringham train station for the Bittern Line steam trains.
We also went for a drink to the Gunton Arms, which has a collection of artworks. Its not often that you see a Damian Hurst in the ladies loo!

The friendly cat, Pumpkin, at the hut.

We also visited Blickling Hall on Sunday, which we enjoyed very much.

The highly decorated library ceiling...

Looks like a princess feather motif, doesn't it?

We also went to Wroxham on our way home and saw the Bure Valley steam trains.

This was the first time that I had booked anything through AirBnB. The hut and the owner Mary were very pleasant and I would be minded to use AirBnB again, especially as the money side is apparently better for the hosts. I was rather amused to see that not only you you as guest leave a review for the host, but the host leaves a review about you...whether you are recommended guests or not. Luckily we were nice people, clean and tidy...always nice to know...

Monday, 9 September 2019

Trip to York June 2019

Mike and I drove up to York in June, so that I could attend a Quilters Guild Meeting for Treasurers (I am the  Treasurer for the Traditional Quilt Group). We stayed in York for the Friday night, but as it was a race weekend and the prices were very high, we decamped to a motel outside of  York for Saturday night. While I had my meeting on Saturday, Mike was wandering around York with his cameras.

On Sunday, we parked the car (always a feat in York) and walked to the Minster.

We parked near the Quilters Guild in St Anthonys Hall and walked along the walls towards the Minster.

Of course, the object was to ring the Minster bells. The previous Dean fired all the bellringers and formed a new band - a great upset in the bellringing world - so Mike wanted to see whether the new band was more welcoming and what they were like.....they were a friendlier bunch.

These bells are some of the heaviest ringing bells in the country; Mike had a ring but as I had rung here many years ago with Durham University I sat out. We went to St Wilfreds across the road later, where I did have a ring...

Later we went to Castle Howard, a grand National Trust property and famous as the "Brideshead Revisited" venue. It was very crowded, as it was Fathers Day and there was a motor event going on.

A lovely fountain...

The main building...

The lunch was, unexpectedly, very reasonable in price and very tasty…

The Walled Gardens were full of beautiful flowers.

On the way home, we stopped at Stamford, which has several mediaeval churches, some now redundant. This one had beautiful angels in the roof.

Stamford was a major coaching stop in former times.

Some of the churches are very grand in size for such a modest town, an indication of its former wealth and importance.

The famous George Hotel, with its sign stretching over the road.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Japan April 2019

In April, Mike and I visited Japan, where my son Tom, his wife Reiko (Lily) and grandson George live in a suburb of Tokyo. This trip fulfilled a longstanding wish to visit Japan, as my older sister studied in Japan and was a translator for many years. As a child, our family in Princeton had many Japanese visitors and I had to eat a lot of Japanese food!

 Not confident in making the reservations myself, I arranged the trip via "Inside Japan" so that everything went very smoothly. Transfers, Japan Rail and IC card were prepaid, and meant that all was in place and worked very well.

We visited the family in Tokyo, then went to Nikko and of course Kyoto before returning to Tokyo. The ten days went in a flash!

We visited Hama-rikyu Gardens after meeting up with the family.

George was on good form!

The Asakusa Temple was near to our hotel in Asakusa.

We then took a bullet train and local train to Nikko - the famous bridge is right next to a busy road, but the large complex of temples and shrines are very peaceful.

One of the buildings at Nikko.

Beautiful walks from one area to the next.....

The mountains in this area still had snow on them, and a few cherry trees were still in blossom...

I had spotted on the map that it was possible to walk up the mountain to the Shiraito waterfalls, and this proved to be one of the memorable experiences of the trip - a walk through an 800 year old forest of cedar trees - some were considered sacred.

On to Kyoto via bullet train - we were only able to see a few of the sights here. This is the famous Fushimi Inari shrine - the crowds meant that it was difficult to get a photo without people in it, although it was less busy as one ascended the mountain.

Mike ringing a temple bell in Gion ....

Another walk - a train to Kurama, then walking up the hill to Kurama shrine and across to Kibune. Again, very memorable walk although there were many fallen trees from the typhoon the previous year.

We took the little train from Kibune back to Kurama and went to an onsen ( public bath) there - an experience!
A hot outdoor bath with a view of a cedar forest....

I can't say that we were too adventurous with food - but we did order something for a lunch snack not knowing what we would receive - here it is, hot red bean soup with dumplings...

We also ordered ramen from a little shop near the hotel in Kyoto. The tax/rates system must be very different in Japan, as there were hundreds of little shops and restaurants that would simply not be viable in England.

We took a bus to Ginkakuji temple (the Silver Pavilion). The garden is especially famous and is lovely.

It had been cloudy on the way down to Kyoto and Mt Fuji was hidden, but on the trip back to Tokyo, we were rewarded with views of Fujiama. Everyone rushed to take photos.

Our last day and the start of Golden Week (ten days of national holidays).... very busy. Luckily Tom had a bright yellow jacket and we were able to spot him and move slowly towards him. This is Meji Jingu, the Shinto shrine associated with the Imperial Palace. Also, the place where George had his naming ceremony...

A final meal with Tom - ordering was via Ipad.

Back to work now, but with some good memories of a lovely trip. It was good to see where Tom, Reiko and  George live. We'll have to wait and see whether they remain there or move on....