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Friday, 17 October 2014

Remembering September

This September we had what is called an "Indian Summer" - warm, sunny, clear air, enchanting feeling.  Among other things I walked on the Bishop's Gardens and took lots of photos.  Yesterday I posted about the Angel Wing sculptures - today I will remember the beautiful effects of sun, water and plants.

Bee on red flower

Reflections of red flowers

 Brown duck in the pond

Droplets from early dew

Falling water from the wells

Beautiful large leaves

But now it is October and it is cool and rainy! 

Good night!  


Angel Wings

This summer there was an exhibition of 'angel wings' in the grounds of the Bishop's Palace in Wells.  They looked gorgeous in the sun.  You could take a photograph in front or behind them and look like an angel... but unfortunately you could never fly off, as the wings are made of very heavy glass and metal, giving them a stained glass look.

Large wings

White wings

Butterfly wings

I'm an angel!

Good night and sweet dreams! Wish the angels sprinkle gold fairy dust over your eyelids!


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Through Our Hands magazine, Issue 2

I woke up this morning to find the Through Our Hands magazine, Issue 2, in my Inbox.  I made myself a cup of tea and spent the next hour in bed reading the magazine on my iPad.  It is superb!

This is the link: TOH Magazine, Issue 2

Enjoy reading it!



Through Our Hands
Issue 2
Out Now!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Festival of Quilts and after

I had a wonderful time at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham last week.  My exhibition, 'Mapping the Imagination' looked wonderful and it was a great success. I met lots of old and new friends, acquaintances, made new quilter friends, and did a lot of teaching, too.  What I managed to see of the rest of the galleries and quilt categories, was of a very high standard, some really quite stunning.

My new book of the same title - 'Mapping the Imagination' - part catalogue, part review of my map quilts, part mini-workshop on the basics of making pieced map quilts - sold like hot cakes.  Numbers are getting low now!  I may have to do a reprint!

The book can be bought online, and paid via PayPal, from the Through Our Hands website online shop.  Click here if you want to go and have a look!

Here are some pictures of my gallery at the Festival:

These are my new big quilts, 'Coming into Land' and "Blue Harbour'.  The small one is the second map quilt I ever made, 'Mapping Earth', which has never been shown at Festival because it does not fit their minimum size of 1 metre on at least one side.

On the left is my quilt 'Yorke 1611', made as a commission for the Quilters' Guild, for the celebrations of the 800th Anniversary of the city or York receiving its charter from King John.  It now belongs to the Quilt Museum in York, and they very kindly lend it to me for the gallery, as again it has never been shown outside York.

This is aview of the four quilts of my series on Climate Change, shown through the four elements. and represented by 'before' and 'after' stages.  From left to right, Water (floods and sea levels rising), Fire (unseasonal early bush and woodland fires), Earth (receding ice sheets, exposing big chunks of earth, and melting freshwater into the ocean), and Air (air pollution in cities).

On the outside wall, on the right, two small pieces in white and black:  'Road to Utopia' and 'Lost Railways'.

Thanks for reading!  Have a nice weekend!


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Mapping the Imagination - exhibition and book

It's been a long time since I posted in this blog.  I have been very busy, and these are the results of my 'busyness':

1.  I am having a solo exhibition gallery at the Festival of Quilts, at the NEC Birmingham, next week, from 7th to 10th August.  You can find my gallery, "Mapping the Imagination" in location B31.  Come and visit!

2.  I have been putting together a book/catalogue of my map quilts, which includes my new quilts made for this exhibition, plus a selection of previous quilts made in the last few years.  As a bonus, the book contains a chapter explaining step-by-step the basics of pieced map-making.

3.  I am also the Curator of the Wide Horizons IV exhibition (for members of SAQA's European and Middle East region), which will open at the European Patchwork Meeting (Carrefour du Patchwork), at Ste Marie aux Mines, Alsace, 18th - 21st September.

The book will be available at my gallery at the Festival of Quilts, and can also be ordered from the online shop of Through Our Hands: Click here to go to the site

Here is a taster of the cover of the book:

Hope to meet lots of you at the Festival next week!


Monday, 12 May 2014

Through Our Hands magazine

Through Our Hands has published its first online magazine! And it's FREE! It is a super publication, achieved by the hard work of Laura Kemshall and Annabel Rainbow. I feature in it! Do have a look - you can even pass the pages like a real magazine!  Read your copy here:

Saturday, 26 April 2014

My orchids again

As I said in a previous post, this has been an amazing year for my orchids;  practically all of them flowered at the same time, and had dozens of flowers each.  In fact they are mostly still in flower.

But the special treat has been the flowering of my miniature orchid - for want of a better name - which I bought in Wells market about four years ago.  It had one spindly flower then, and once that one went, it  has not flowered again - until this year.  Now it has six flowers, on two stems - and several more buds.  They are really small, each flower is barely bigger than an inch.

You have to be patient with orchids - don't throw the plant away unless it has completely dried out.  This miniature orchid plant has been very healthy throughout the fallow four years, growing beautiful, small, glossy green leaves.  So I knew one day it would flower again!

Another orchid that only flowers occasionally - probably every two years - is a another relatively small one, although not as small as the miniature one.  The plant is small, with thin, long, light green leaves, but the flower is quite a big bigger than the mini one.  It has two colours, a variegated hot pink, and an amazing dark wine colour, velvety and soft looking.  It has two flowers only, on the one stem.

I don't know what their names, species, or whatever, are - I only know that they are not Phaleonopsis, which is the type of orchid that is commonly sold in supermarkets, because they are easy to look after and they flower at least a couple of times a year.  Don't get me wrong - they are beautiful - and I have several of those.  But the ones that are different really appeal to me.  Not easy to find - I have promised myself that one day I will go to a specialist orchid nursery and buy some unusual ones - those that need a lot of nurturing to actually flower! 

And this is my favourite photo of the wine-red orchid:

Good night!


Thursday, 17 April 2014


Last week I spent four days in Portsmouth attending the AGM of The Quilters' Guild of Great Britain.  I taught my new workshop on "Creating Work in Series", which was a success, and gave my new digital presentation on "Colour, Shakespeare and Maps".  I attended the Gala Dinner which was great fun, met a number of old and new friends, stayed in a very comfortable hotel, and had some delicious meals.

I also visited one of Portsmouth's attractions - Gunwharf Quays, with its tall Spinnaker Tower, in the shape of a sail.

There was a bit of blue sky then, but in general it was a grey day.  Portsmouth is, or was, a naval city and port, so there is a lot to see along the coast - from just watching the boats go past, to visiting the Mary Rose Museum (which unfortunately we never got round to....)

Below is a view of part of Portsmouth harbour from the top of the Spinnaker Tower.  The glass in the viewing platforms is somehow tinted, to protect visitors from the sun - but that day there was no sun, it was grey and overcast - so the photos from up there turned out rather green.  Nothing I could do about it....  I could Photoshop them onto blue I suppose, but I decided to leave them as they are - it's the colour both me and my camera were seeing from the top.

Closer-up, you can see lots of different small boats 'parked' in the harbour.

There are naval ships and sailing boats.

The stellae left by the motorised boats make nice patterns.

From high above, people look like ants.

You can zoom into the people eating in the cafe below.

On the viewing platform there is an area of glass from where you look below down the tower - strange feeling, like walking on air.

You have to take your shoes off to walk on the glass. Quite a drop!

When we got down, neither the sea nor the sky looked as green as from up on the tower!

Gunwharf Quays are also a big shopping centre - but I didn't take photos of the shops! nor bought anything.  But we did have a nice lunch in Jamie's Italian restaurant.

Good night!


Friday, 4 April 2014

Views of Sitges

Here are some other views of Sitges.

Bagpipe player on the beach, late afternoon.

Strange branch on the way to the Marina.

The white church (daytime).

The blue church (night-time).

Eating out in the evening.

Red reflections.

Good night!


Thursday, 3 April 2014

My exhibition in Sitges

And here are some pictures of my exhibition, taken when it was just set up.

And here is one when visitors were in.

Good night!