Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A Grand Day Out and Cake

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.


Anonymous said...

Glad you had such a wonderful birthday Julie: your DH sounds exceptional!

Your post had so much in it to interest; I've never been to the quilt museum though I have heard a lot about it. Maggie's quilt looks fabulous from afar, and like you, I love the blue/turquoise colours.

I have never come across your favourite painter, but the book cover looks stunning. So vibrant and loose. I'll google him in a mo when I've finished this comment.

Love Annabel x

Elizabeth said...

HAppy HAppy Birthday dear Julie!!! You certainly had a fabulous day and saw some amazing quilts. Thank you for the links- i am off to get lost in fabrics from Africa!!! I ahve recently found a group that is creating glorious fabrics- in Ghana- all run by women and selling their fabrics at quilt shows here in the states. I succumbed at the last quilt show and I ahve a lovely collection started. This sia group started by women to support women and is worth a look if yo have a chance- BAA BAA BLANKETS- google will lead you!!!

Again Happy Birthday my friend and happy creating!!!!
Bitrthday Hugs!!!

ju-north said...

What a wonderful time you had! I wish I lived near enough to go to these places! Everything seems so interesting!

Heather said...

A belated Happy Birthday Julie - glad you had such a lovely day. I love the card and think quite a few of us could warrant one of those! The Sewing in Wartime exhibition must have been a treat and the ex-church hall looks a lovely restful place for a sit and a snack. Love those little fancy cakes and tart. The Kurt Jackson book has just gone on my wish list, I love his work too.

Cameron said...

Julie, You are indeed a kindred spirit. You make me hungry for travel, cake, museums, adventure,... I love the lace.
I bought 7 dresses at an auction which I have posted on my blog. Tell me what you think. Hugs.

Jan said...

Hi Julie ,what a great entry ,full of the most exciting things to see and erm buy !! The cakes looked very tasty ,I wish you a very happy belated Birthday ,and many happy returns of the day , Jan xx

sharon young said...

Happy birthday, sounds like it was a great and your DH really does know you well, lovely presie and card.

MargaretR said...

Many happy returns Julie. What a great day you've had. I think I need that book as well :)

Ro Bruhn said...

Happy belated Birthday Julie, sounds like you had a lovely time. The fabrics look fabulous so colourful. I love the shop window too. Thanks for the info on Lindsfarne too, I thought something must have happened.

Heloise said...

Happy Birthday. Seems that you had a wonderful day. I too like Kurt Jackson's paintings. I have been to one of his exhibitions, it was quite a few years ago. Enjoy the book.

Emma said...

Happy Birthday! Hope I wrote that on my postcard to you (I would have if I'd known!)

You certainly packed a load of things in & those cakes looked fab. Love Kurt J too; I think it was he they followed on one of those programs about the Royal Academy & I couldn't believe he didn't get chosen!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Thank you for visiting my humble blog today...your day and the description of your birthday was simply awesome. I am going to try to get a copy of this landscape painter's looks very enticing. Happy Birthday sweet friend. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Dot said...

Belated happy birthday Julie! Hope you had a very special day.
Love, love your post today. So much to look at and admire.
And that fabric has me drooling over the keyboard - it would make a snazzy waistcoat!
Dot xx

Bea said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUOUOUOUOuooooooooooooooooooooo

Sung in my best voice. :)Bea

daisy said...

Happy Birthday, you spent such a wonderful day.What a colorful exhibition.What you introduced make long for Africa.I also admire that church and building.
I wish i can attend your quilt museum.

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Gina said...

That sounds like a perfect birthday Julie. Pleased you had such a lovely day.

pam said...

So good to hear you had a lovely Birthday, being spoilt and that the day out was wonderful to. The African fabrics look superb and would make a lovely waistcoat I think he deserves one!!! The exhibition of wartime quilts sounded great - I must endeavour to get to York again sometime.

Diana said...

So glad you had such a lovely day, Julie, it sounds perfect in every way! Wishing you many (belated, sorry) happy returns!

sandra wyman said...

It sounds like a dream of a birthday - all that and Bettys too! Glad you had such a good day. Love from Sandra (who has two packages waiting for collection and another to go special delivery later when I've stitched down the binding and done the sleeve - but no sweat as it's only small!)

maggi said...

Belated happy birthday Julie. What a wonderful gift from Ghana. I really must make the effort to get up to York, glad you are finding your Guild membership worthwhile.

magsramsay said...

Happy belated Birthday - sounds like you had a wonderful day
Thank you for all the lovely comments about my quilt, it was a joy to work with such gorgeous fabrics ( Magie sent me some on a sale or return basis - not many got sent back!)

JP said...

so glad you had a great birthday

Linda said...

I'm glad to see you had such a wonderful birthday Julie.... many happy returns:-) Great blog post and photos - and as for those pretty little cakes.......almost too good to eat (I said 'almost'!!!)

Angela said...

It was a grand day out, sounds lovely.You clearly had a busy but fun day. Happy Birthday even if it is late.

KindredSpirit said...

I lived in York for a while, Betty's is just sooooo tempting!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Hello Julie

I've just joined your "followers" as we are both doing Caroles class and I want to learn as much as I can from as many people as I can!!!

I'm new to all this... as I retired in April and now I'm starting MY life!!

Please come and visit me and I'll get out my prettiest teacups and make YOU very welcome!!


Connie said...

Belated Happy Birthday Julie.
Lovely to find your Blog - I'll follow all the interesting links you have, many thanks for sharing them, Connie.


Oh deary me! I am so so sorry that I missed your special day Julie. I am so glad you had a very happy birthday and I absolutely approve of your DH's pressie to you. The book is fantastic. May I add belated birthday wishes to the heap of love you have already received xoxoxoxo

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...


Fenwitters said...

I worked in York Betty's as a student at the uni, c1990. How i hated the uniform! And one teeny cake would cost more than my hourly yummy though. I love the sound of the exhibition. i find the old quilts very moving too.

Fenwitters said...

I worked in York Betty's as a student at the uni, c1990. How i hated the uniform! And one teeny cake would cost more than my hourly yummy though. I love the sound of the exhibition. i find the old quilts very moving too.

silverpebble said...

Oh a very belated happy birthday Julie! It looks as though you had a fabulous time - those dear little cakes an biscuits in Betty's!