My DH knows me so well! He said he couldn't resist this card for my birthday yesterday :)) (I hasten to add I do manage a reasonable state of cleanliness, enough not to poison us!). He also bought me a 'proper' card too. In fact I had a stack of lovely cards from family and friends and so many wonderful good wishes from all my wonderful cyber friends, many of whom I haven't even met irl. In case I haven't said it on Facebook, thank you all for the birthday wishes I have received. It wasn't even a big birthday but it felt very special.
So, as many of you know, I went off to York with my friend for the day. Our main aim was to visit the Quilt Museum (again) to view their current exhibition. Both exhibitions were impressive and left Ann and I reeling with sensation and inspiration. I hadn't expected to be so moved by the quilts from the 'Sewing in Wartime' exhibition. In fact I was brought to tears by a quilt made in support of our young men serving in 1982 in the Falklands. While the quilt was moving in itself, with its use of flashes from the Welsh Guards regiment, many of whom were lost in the sinking of the Sir Galahad, what moved me more was the fact that the maker had raffled it for charity and her husband had then bought it back for her from the winner. My husband is just such a man. Who knew that an exhibition could stir such emotion?
The atmosphere in the Museum was buzzing yesterday and there were many visitors. The staff and volunteers were particularly welcoming and eager to chat to us about the exhibits or just about how far we had come. We spoke to one lady who had come from Portsmouth and another who had come up from Sandwich in Kent to view the exhibition. In addition we met Marilyn Lovett, the new president of the Quilters Guild and she very generously helped my friend with a design dilemma she has for a cot quilt.
Regrettably photographs are not allowed at the Quilt Museum but if you click here Mags Ramsey, who had a stunning quilt in Magie Relph's 'Under African Skies' exhibition, has an image of part of the room including her own wonderful piece 'Tunisian Door'. Click here too for Magie Relph's own views of her exhibition. Mags has also written more about the work that went into her quilt here. Do click on her image to enlarge it as she has used some really interesting fabrics. In real life the colours are vibrant and the turquoises are luminous. The 'Under African Skies' exhibition includes work by Magie Relph inspired by her many visits to Africa and also work from artist friends of hers which have also been inspired and influenced by Africa and its stunning colours.
Talking of stunning colours I couldn't resist these beautiful pieces of African Wax Cloth, many of which come from Ghana. My DH has already earmarked them for a waistcoat! I've told him I might make the cloth up and someone else can make the waistcoat. Dressmaker I am not! Of course, if he uses the fabric I will have to visit Magie's stall at the Festival of Quilts, won't I? I may have to buy some African strip cloth too having seen Liz Hewitt's piece from the STRIP:joint exhibit included in 'Under African Skies'.
On the subject of African fabrics, by coincidence my Mum's neighbour has friends in The Gambia and has spent quite a lot of time over there. He has brought back several items of clothing and was wearing a loose top and trouser outfit when we arrived. Of course we got talking about fabrics and eventually he came out with an old top from The Gambia which he gave me.
The embroidery is beautiful and I love the simple patterning. The garment is showing signs of wear but that makes it easier to use the fabric so I am now looking for inspiration to help me decide how to use it. I've jokingly asked him to leave his collection to me :) Cheeky!
Back to our day out, I decided to take out Annual Membership of the Quilt Museum as it is really cheap and it means I can go free at any time and as the exhibitions change 4 times a year it will save me lots of money. Trouble is I will probably spend plenty in the shop too! Well, you have to support the Guild if you belong don't you? One good reason for joining the Guild that I hadn't really considered was the resource value of the documents and books held at the Museum especially for anyone studying textiles and quilting. I have certainly gained a lot by my own membership and by joining the Contemporary Quilt Group within the Guild. If you're thinking of joining there's a link at the top of my right hand side bar.
We had lunch in a repurposed church hall just a few minutes walk from the Museum, mostly because it was so close by and it was cheap!
Later in the day we passed street entertainers
before getting tempted in Betty's.
Isn't this window display sweet? The fishes and crabs are all edible biscuits or cakes. We would have liked to have had a sit-down tea which is a very special event at Betty's but time was against us so Ann just bought some goodies to eat on the train home.
The fancies were delicious and the Tarte au Citron has managed to survive until today, but not for much longer!
You can tell Ann is also a fabric fanatic as she wrapped my present in a gorgeous piece of batik and tied it with a lovely red ribbon. (Oops forgot to photograph the pretty birdie brooch inside).
My lovely DH bought me this fantastic book about Kurt Jackson, my favourite modern artist.
I love his vibrant paintings and his drawings say so much with just a few lines. The book has only been published this month and is available at Lemon Street Gallery in Truro who showcase Kurt's work.
When I got home my stepson was waiting to share a chinese meal and a friend called round during the evening. So, all in all a 'Grand Day Out' and a very enjoyable birthday.