August 2019

Just over the hill from Brighton is Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. I feel quite lucky to have this so near and try to visit most of the exhibitions. The latest one was right up my street. Called Women’s Work, it focuses on craftswomen who ran their own businesses between the two world wars. With a variety of mediums and makers it meant there was much to look at - the work included printed textiles, silverware and ceramics and weaving

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Festival of Quilts - Part 2 competition quilts and shopping

Before I talk about any competition quilts it need to start with a little soapbox moment. Festival of Quilts is a huge show, and it is the work from everyday quilters, whether they have all day and two huge spare rooms at home to sew, or just a corner of the sofa on a Sunday afternoon, that really make it an event. It can be quite nervewracking entering a quilt, something I have to confess I haven’t done since 2010 (I think years seem to roll by these days). So to everyone who evertered a quilt, thank you.

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Festival of Quilts 2019 - Part 1, the galleries

After a busy couple of months I was on the fence about going this year. I have been every year since, ooh maybe 2006/7 and had last year off and it went fine. I thought I would get a huge fear of missing out but it was alright mooching at home looking at others’ highlights on Instagram. In case you do not know FoQ, it is the largest UK quilt show and happens annually in the summer over four days at the NEC in Birmingham. It features a huge range of work, has ample shopping opportunites and workshops and lectures. It can swing from overwhelming, to inspiring to expensive (oh, the shopping area if you struggle with self-control). So this year, about two weeks before the show I decided I was going to try and lift my quilt mojo which has been a bit off lately, and arranged to meet my friend Wendy there who has recenltly relocated from Brighton to Sheffield.

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July 2019

In my textile work I carried on with my history/story work. Things have been quite busy so I have not been able to dive into it, but chipped away. One of the strands comes from a photo album I recently aquired. I have no idea who the people are, but they look like a close knit family and most of the photos were taken in Brighton, with dates added. The image below is from the mid 1920s, and taken on Brighton Beach. The parasol crops up in a few of the pics and I love this one. Staged, but a world (and nearly a century) away from the Instagram style shots that we all do today.

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June 2019

The month of June is always about the solstice, and this year was an apt one to get out and feel the sun come up and shine enegry and positivity into my soul - and in more humble terms it is always good to mark the mid-point of the year. We went up to Devil’s Dyke at 4.30am, ready to see the first rays of the sun come up. It always surprises me how light it is (reminds me sunrise is not the time when it starts to get light) and how cold it is. Makes you feel closer to nature as you can feel the power of the sun warming up the earth.

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2019 so far...

So, the monthly posting fell by the wayside in 2019, in fact any non-essential work went on the back burner due to the ‘big project’. At times, the scale of it all plus a bit of ill health and family issues overwhelmed me but am nearly through it and now have a pause. It has been wonderful to get out on proper walks again and to start thinking about new work without the pressure of tight deadlines - in the dark days of too much to do in not enough time I feared I was going off quilting. I wonder if cookbook writers get the same thing, and toward the end of their books eating a frozen pizza and KFC as they are a bit over cooking from scratch and overthinking flavour combinations.

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December 2018

Long ago I stopped the New Year resolution thing. The lull between Christmas and New Year gives some time for reflection and thoughts of living better, whether this is healthier or changing habits. As soon as January gets into full swing things get busy and plans fall by the wayside, which then can leave you feeling a bit of a failure. So these days I don’t make any. However, a chat with an old friend has made me look at this a different way. She recalled when we were in our late teens we decided to do something new each month, rather than stopping something. At the time we decided to try a new bar each month, I cannot remember it well so I don’t think we intentially kept it up, but reckon we probably did try a new bar each month.

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Autumn 2018 Tile Course

My eight week course at Hove Library came to an end just before Christmas so I took the opportunity to take photos of some of the work to share. It was a mixed group of ten beginner to experienced quilters, and you will see there is a huge range of styles and colours used in the quilts. To recap, the tile quilt is made of blocks inspired by tiled paths seen in Hove (and a few in Brighton). At each session as well as the block design we talk about the history of the road and/or area.

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The mythical fabric shop and a vintage day at the seaside

At the end of October we went on a day trip to Hastings. The idea was mine as I wanted to nip into a fantastic vintage fabric shop I visited last year, but with a day off school and work three of us ended up going for an old-fashioned family day-out by the seaside. I love the vintage seaside. When I wa sat sixth form college I worked in a rock shop on Brighton seafront for a couple of summers and I do love it all; fish and chips on the beach, a 99 ice cream, some 2p machines and some buildings with bit of Victorian/Edwardian faded glamour. If you can chuck in a pier as well I am most happy.

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