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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.

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....

Monday, 20 May 2019

Blackthorpe Barns May 2019

Region 8 of the Quilters Guild had its Quilt show at Blackthorpe Barns, near Rougham, Suffolk over the early May Bank Holiday. The previous show at this venue had been a great success. But there is a very lot of work arranging such a show...thanks to all those who put in so much work.
I drove across on Sunday, to demonstrate hand applique with my Hawaiian top. I saw so many familiar faces!
I also had four of my quilts on display:

Piilani, one of my Hawaiian quilts, in purple and cream.

Spiral Quilt - a Crafty Quilter pattern. This was supposed to be an "easy" project over Christmas, to use up a Kona cotton jelly roll and some FOQ buys. Of course, it was not as simple as it looked, and needed a fair bit of precision. I changed the background colour (black in the original pattern) and I think that this looks better! I also did something I thought that I would never do, I took this to our local longarm quilter to be pantograph quilted. It is just too big to get under a domestic machine - and also it was finished!! Thank you Daisy May - I already have another very big top with her to be quilted.

An antique Welsh quilt - from the Cardigan area - this is the quilt that went to Australia and then came back.

A strippy in pink and white poplin, made as a marriage quilt, much more finely quilted than most strippies.

And this is the top that I was working on,  "Carnation" in light and dark pinks. The applique is finished now, but I have to complete hand quilting on my other red and white Hawaiian, if it is to be ready for the Festival of Quilts in August.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Romford Embroiderers

Last Saturday, I drove down the A12 towards London, to give a talk in Romford.
Luckily, the venue was very easy to find. The group has about 60 members, and there were a number of visitors to see the quilts. From the comments afterwards, the talk was enjoyed, with the pieced flowers and vegetables from Ruth McDowells patterns making a special impact. I am always happy to share my quilts!

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Woodbridge Tide Mill

From September 2018, I have had a new accounts job - administrator at Woodbridge Tide Mill.
This working mill is one of only two Grade 1 listed buildings in Woodbridge - the other is St Marys Church on the marketplace. It is one of only two working tide mills in Britain - the other is in Pembroke, Wales.

The Tide Mill is now a "living museum", with milling demonstrations taking place when the tides allow. The present mill pond is much smaller than the original - this was sold off separately and is now a boat marina. The new smaller mill pond only holds enough water to turn the mill wheel for about thirty minutes.

Flour is available in two grades - Strong, for bread making, and fine for cakes and pastry.
The flour is sold to visitors and also to local bakeries and supermarkets, all made with locally grown wheat.

The original machinery is still in use.

As administrator, I do the bookkeeping, pay expenses and wages, and also take minutes at management meetings. Its quite a change from my other bookkeeping jobs!

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Quilts at St Fagans

Some of the quilts that we saw during our visit to St Fagans..

Monday, 18 February 2019

BQSG meeting - Cardiff - St Fagans

At the end of October 2018, the British Quilt Study Group held its annual seminar at Cardiff, near to St Fagans National Museum of History.  
Our hotel was adequate! and the nearest to St Fagans open air museum.

Some Welsh quilts are on display, in a new display area which focuses on crafts, livelihoods and making a living.

The glass causes reflections....

These buildings have been relocated from other places in Wales - a water mill -

A farm house....
The weaving shed, with the great spinning wheel. We had an interesting talk to the weaver. dyeing is done in the summer only, so that the dyed cloth can dry in the sun. Weaving is done throughout the year.

The working mans institute...
The tailors shop...
Quilt in one of the older buildings...

A building relocated from the border with Herefordshire...

Interior of the above building....

A Unitarian church interior. The box pews were maintained by different families, hence the variations seen....

Gardens at St Fagans Castle, a grand house...

and the castle itself, a rather grand house that I did not have time to look around. I had to quickly walk back to the main building where we were having  display of quilts and other items from the collections. I have long wanted to go to St Fagans and the Museum of Wales, so I am glad that I at last had the oppertunity to go there with BQSG.