Summertime in Europe

I have just arrived back in Australia after my travels to the UK, France and Switzerland for three weeks. What a wonderful time it was! In the UK I was able to visit my family in Oxford and then journey up to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts.

On the way to Birmingham we went to stay in the town of Wells in Somerset, at a place called Beryl B & B run by lovely Holly and her daughter. You can have a look at their website Beryl B & B. It is a beautiful building built in the mid-1800s set in rambling gardens. Our room overlooked green pastures dotted with sheep. What a picture! I loved the wholecloth quilt that was on our bed.

While in Salisbury at an antique shop I was shown an intricate and very pretty piece of embroidery work on fine linen using what I think was variegated thread.

At the Festival of the Quilts in Birmingham  I was able to catch up with Susan Briscoe and meet Glyn who you can see in the photograph at her beautiful Japanese textiles stand. I was very impressed by the quilts on display. I was so pleased to find this quilt by Judy Hooworth an Australian quilter I have always admired. Rainy Day Dora Creek 10. I taught with her some years ago in Coffs Harbour at Be Creative by the Sea.




Judy Hooworth









I was also able to see a very sweet version of the Yoko Saito Mystery Quilt.

Following this we flew to Geneva to visit family where we were fortunate enough to have timed our visit with the Geneva Festival and an amazing fireworks display. We then travelled to the town of Arc-et-Senans in France to stay with family and teach a workshop on sashiko and kogin.

I had never visited the Franche-Comte region before but it is very beautiful with delicious food and very friendly people. It is quite rural with large areas of forest which makes for excellent walking and mountain bike riding. In the region there are also historic UNESCO listed sites including the Citadelle in Besançon and the Royale Saline in Arc-et-Senans (across the road from where I was teaching!)

On the day we arrived we were very fortunate to be able to go to a festival in a nearby forest demonstrating old industries of the region such as embroidery, weaving, wine-making, ceramics, traditional music and black-smithing. There are a few festivals like this around the region and they are popular events. It was wonderful to be in the middle of a forest and to hear historic songs of the region.

We went to a historic village named Chåteau-Chalon where we were able to see an old school classroom as it would have looked in earlier times. Aren’t the gingham smocks so sweet?

I had a wonderful time teaching sashiko and kogin to a very friendly group at La Galerie du Carré Claude-Nicolas in Arc-et-Senans. There are some great photos of the day at the gallery’s page Sashiko & Kogin Workshop at La Galerie. The weather was glorious and so we were able to sit outside in the courtyard for the duration of the workshop. I think that everyone had a great time and were pleased with their projects.

After only five days in France (much too short but had to get back to work) it was time to return to Geneva for a bit more time with family and then back to Australia. I have been back for a week now and settling back into the cool weather and busily preparing for the next show.

Until next time,



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