Thursday 25 April 2013

Along the Jurassic Coast

It was rather foggy yesterday (Wednesday), not the best conditions for a scenic drive along the coast with Hilary towards Bridport but we enjoyed it immensely  anyway. We headed first to see exhibition of Kate Dowty's work on display at Eype - I enjoyed seeing her quilts at FoQ last year but being in the surroundings that inspired them gives a whole new  dimension .  The steep banks of the lanes were covered in primroses and celandines
We then headed to Burton Bradstock where we had lovely locally caught seafood at the Hive Beach Cafe.
Ian battled valiantly with the largest crab he's ever tackled.
After lunch we walked a little  way along Hive Beach to see the spectacular cliffs ( the risk of rock falls is too great to venture  far, especially after the tragic accident there last year.)


While I did a little sketching(top), Ian and Hilary constructed an ammonite from stones to add to the  many beach art constructions ( had to get in a very uncomfortable position to peer through this arch!) 

And as a final treat, a boat with wonderful peeling paint!

Sunny Portland

 Woke up on our first day at Ferrybridge Cottages to brilliant sunshine so with fog forecast for later in the week, made the most of the opportunity to explore Portland. We walked over the causeway, visiting the Chesil Beach centre on the Fleet which opened last year - now beginning to be populated by sculptures along the board walk. The thrift was just beginning to come into flower.
 After an excellent lunch at the Cove Inn we caught a bus to Southwell and walked down to Portland Bill passing the ancient strip field systems - it looks like some fields are still being cultivated in a similar way
The air was full of the sound of birds and as we neared the Bird Observatory, lots of people with serious binoculars ( mine are rather basis) I'm not that knowledgeable but I think I saw blackcaps and chiff-chaffs.

After coffee and cake at the Lobster Pot Cafe , we headed back along the coast path, taking lots of photos of the beach huts , waves and stopping so I could do a couple of watercolours of the quarry cranes 

We walked around 5 miles in total and Ian rather caught the sun - we weren't expecting such lovely weather.

Monday 22 April 2013

March and April Journal Quilts

Finished my indigo journal quilts for March and April   in sufficient time to take them  for display at excellent CQ meeting with interesting talk  from Sue Stone, lots of bookwraps to covet and meeting up with so many friends.

Morandi Workshop - Poetic Still Lifes

On  Friday, met up with Margaret for  workshop at Estorick Collection in North London, based around the current exhibition of Morandi etchings and watercolours.  The tutor Thomasina had brought along an eclectic mix of objects to augment whatever we'd brought with us . Who knew you could get excited by a detergent bottle painted white!
I chose a wonderful duck-egg blue jug and a white painted bottle to go with my pewter vase ( which I've used before in various exercises) .
We were encouraged to do a number of quick sketches , using different materials and moving the objects around. I didn't spend too long on my  ink drawing before switching to  watercolours!

Every time I do a class , I enjoy it so much  I resolve to keep drawing but somehow life gets in the way. Off to Weymouth again shortly so determined to do some more sketching.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

QGBI AGM Nottingham - Buckets of fun!

I thoroughly enjoyed the QGBI Conference in Nottingham,  it felt I'd been away much longer than  3 days. A busy schedule: an all day class with Uta Lenk; a half day workshop with Laura Wasilowski;  the business of the AGM ( rather gloomy forecast  with the Quilt Museum under threat of closure yet again but launch of updated website), an afternoon on the CQ stand surrounded by mountains of book wraps and an excellent Gala Dinner. I even won  the  table raffle for the centrepiece - this bucket filled with all kinds of goodies.   

We were on the Jubilee Campus of University of Nottingham - fantastic architecture and lovely surroundings  with comfortable accommodation and it was great to have everything together on one site. Catering was  overpriced and a bit chaotic at times - only 1 coffee machine in action at breakfast for 400!!  but it was ok for a weekend.

I left the house at 5.30am in order  to get up to Nottingham in time for Uta's class but  very worthwhile. She took us through the processes of how she makes her wonderful quilts  concentrating on how she designs and makes templates. Lots of useful tips like putting a grid on the back!
We practised with an A3 sized (or bigger!) sample which demonstrated various techniques. I struggled a bit with the borrowed Bernina (finding out later that it had been set to zero stitch length which is why it ran on the spot!). Later we concentrated on our own designs, blowing them up large using an OHP projector.
Uta also uses a computer and 'beamer' (digital projector). I'm thinking more seriously of getting one if it has other uses than just giving talks, especially as just received some royalties from 'Growing Hardy Orchids'.
Excellent talk by Anja Townrow on Friday evening and after AGM on Saturday morning, time for  abit of retail therapy  at Art Van Go - usually at FoQ you can't get anywhere near the stand so it was lovely to have a more relaxed chat with Kevin. Coats were giving away threads to try and I was also able to stock up with some 'Soft Touch' in grey - my thread of choice for piecing.
The Gala Dinner was very enjoyable - good company and food  and an after dinner talk by the 'Chicago School of Fusing '( Frieda Anderson and Laura Wasilowski ) which was both instructive and hilarious.
On Sunday morning I had a workshop with Laura. We were given a generous amount of fused hand dyed fabric to play with and an excellent worksheet of tips . She had lots of samples at different stages to demonstrate techniques (like below) .  I  had to leave early for the train but learnt a huge amount in a short period of time, and it was great fun!
Than back home by train and off to Kendal the following day for a work meeting - not quite  such an early start but a long day and unfortunately they'd sold out of sourdough at the Artisan  baker at Oxenholme station! It's been a week of meetings -off to the WWT Wetland Centre this afternoon - but at least it's local and  it's  sunny!

Monday 1 April 2013

Bookwraps and QGBI AGM prep

 The last couple of days have mainly been spent sorting out my stuff for QGBI AGM in Nottingham next weekend. I've a busy few days at work this week  and a meeting in Kendal next Monday and as I'm catching the 6. 55 am train (!) to Nottingham on Friday for Uta Lenk Workshop  I need to make sure I'm pretty well packed by the end of today. There will be a collection point for Bookwraps  so I also wanted to  finish off  a few extras  I've made to hand over.
 Besides the ones I've already  shown, I made one from leftovers from  Abigail's 'Lego ' quilt  and a couple from a red  and white painted samples.

 I'm not sure I could part with the one I made from a hand quilted batik daisy   but having made   a couple of sketchbook covers (A5 and A6 ) for myself from offcuts of several projects, I'm prepared to let it go!

Thanks for all the interesting suggestions about what to call 'My World is Green' quilt entry. I ended up finding all kinds of quotes to do with doors  and settled on  ' Every Wall is  a Door' by Ralph Waldo Emerson which neatly summed up some of the discussions we had on retreat about obstacles being opportunities rather  than problems.