Wednesday, August 17

More of Birmingham

More pics to share from our trip! How about this? Raid your granny's sewingbox and put the old stuff into a quilt!

Or do you fancy a more modern approach?
more traditional?
You can also just paint/stamp on a piece of cloth and quilt around those shapes..
This one was great too:)
Quilting sure is no longer a houshold chore but real textile art, although the old style "you can snuggle under"ones remain my favourites.

On sunday we just walked through town, saw the canals....

Interesting shops (no thank you, I'll stick to a pair of converse All stars)

...untill it was time to head home again!
Ofcourse I brought some stuff home :) Not too much though, after all it had to fit in a suitcase that already had some extra (new) clothes and a batting...
 quilting templates DD and I can share
 Fabrics!
and some souvenir pins. We also got C a "fabricaholics anonymous" pin and to our surprise she came along with DD's boyfriend and DH to pick us up from the airport. Nice!; we could spill our stories immediately while the men stood in line for coffee:)

If all works out and I can go to Quiltmarket in Houston next year or so, I'll come back totally, raving mad. My head still's buzzing with sounds and images from Birmingham, so how will it be after such an event as Houston? More than this old head can take I fear *lol*'

Tuesday, August 16

Birmingham!

Half of me still in French mode, Quilting DD and |I hopped on a plane to Birmingham last wednesday. Not knowing what to expect from the Festival of Quilts nor from the town. Reports of riots were in the news just before we left.
Turned out that Birmingham is not a very pretty city, but it ís a shopper's heaven. So that's what we did the first day adding some things to our wardrobes :)
Some shops were barricaded with plywood panels and you could see windows being smashed by looters. Lots of policemen on the streets and shops closed early and the atmosphere was a bit tensed.
The hotel was situated just outside the centre in the midst of lots of bars, pubs and clubs.

 There are pretty spots in town but ofcourse we didn't photograph the ugly officebuildings..
After a good nights sleep we headed to the exhibition halls. OMG what an explosion of sounds, quilters, crowds and  shouting (tickets here ladies! get you guide here! cash only this line ladies! etc)
The hall didn't look so big at first, but how wrong we were! It took us 3 days to see all the quilts and visit all the shops. We really were overwhelmed.
This is the quilter's café, at least part of it...

It's impossible to recall quilter's names,not even with the exhibition guide (only text there, no pics) but I'll show you some of the quilts we saw. On Quilting DD's blog there are more.
 One that was completely knitted!
 Polly must love her quilt :)
 A winner
 Made, well painted, entirely from tiny pieces of fabric
Japanese artwork..
We also saw celebs like Kaffe Fasset, Marti Michell. I recognized Lisa Liam from her Uhandbag blog and more .
I was very impressed with the tentmakers of Cairo. What craftmanship, such beautiful quilts

 More in a next post; blogger starts complaining about an overload of pics :) There so much more to share!!

Tuesday, August 9

Tour ends in...

From Chartes, which has the famous cathedral with glass stained windows everywhere
...to Orléans with Joan of Arc all over the place
 ...our Tour the France ended where it should end: In Paris!
 Paris was hot, sunny, buzzing, crowded and fantastic! I got sunburned and came home with a blister from walking from the Eiffeltower to the Arc and back again.
I loved the Kadinsky fountain!
I won't bore you with more French pics(and I have loads more *lol*); next post will be English!! My bag is packed and ready: tomorrow morning Quilting DD and I, will fly to Birmingham to the Festival of Quilts. I'm excited (ánd a tiny bit nervous..) but I'm sure we'll have a great trip. I'll take pics and tell you all about our British adventures when we get back :)

Saturday, August 6

Let's talk some more French:)

 It kept on raining while we followed the Loire, so we decided to head south towards another river, the Dordogne. Sunflower country!

 Our campsite on castlegrounds..
 Medieval little towns everywhere..

ánd the area where the people lived 17.000 years ago!! Lots of caves with original pre-historic wall paintings. I visited Lascaux, one of the most famous. Actually the replica of Lascaux cave. The original was closed in '63. Visitors caused mold and fungus on the drawings. But....impressive still!

 Next campsite!Is that a castle :)
And the small town where we got stuck. After 2 flat tires, the radiator broke. We were on hold for 6 days, waiting for car parts and repair :(
The Dordogne was beautiful, the castle campsite perfect, but after six days of waiting and again lots of rain (and no means of any transport!) we were NOT as happy as in the beginning!!
On the other hand: it was raining back home too and the view from my own house is by far nothing like this.

Thursday, August 4

Tour de France 1

This was my home for over 3 weeks :) There IS a life after motorbike-holidays and we talked about buying a small campervan ("when we get old"....) for years. We rented this one to learn if traveling like this is something we wanted.

Plan was to tour France and first stop we planned were the D-Day beaches. Visiting a cemetary isn't very "holiday-like" but both DH and I were really impressed and touched at the US buriel site near Omaha-beach


On to happier things! We passed and visited Mont St Michel, an abbey on a rock during low tide. High tide means the sea is all around (including the camper parking space)
After that we met the river Loire. This means castles, castles and...CASTLES!!



 No wonder Perrault got the inspiration for his "sleeping beauty" story in this area! (no, dear readers, sleeping beauty is not written by mr. Walt Disney *lol*)
The last one is Chambord, a royal castle. I have never seen anything like it. This is a picture on/of the roof

Between the castles we came across lots of medieval villages and ofcourse we stayed at a campsite on castlegrounds.
Don't think this post can handle more pics, so more tomorrow:)

Wednesday, August 3

Checking in...

..to tell you that I'm back home after touring through France for over 3 weeks.
Yep, we did our own Tour de France, not by motorbike this time, but with a tiny campervan.
We had lots of rain, car troubles, flat tires and a lot more.
First things first and that's doin' laundry, groceryshopping and uploading pictures to my laptop. I'll be back soon with some story's , pictures and quiltprogress :)!