I might have a long term plan to cut back on various committments but it certainly hasn't started this week. On Wednesday it was our last meeting of Spectrum. I suppose it was a fairly relaxed day but a little odd in that any mention of the fact that this was our last meeting was mostly avoided... a bit of an elephant in the room really! The saving grace was that one of our members, Gill had a rather special birthday which provided a distraction, and obviously there was a cake... I can't let a birthday pass without baking a cake. Although I do think I should have let the opportunity to eat chocolate dipped strawberries for breakfast pass me by!
Gradually everyone left and made their way home and I got in the car to drive all the way to Bristol, where I was giving a talk to The Bristol Quilters. I arrived in good time and thought I was doing well navigating my way through the Bristol streets at rush hour, without the benefit of a satnav... I have never got around to getting one. Then I realised I had made a wrong turn. I stopped, consulted my map and was working out where to go next when my phone rang and it was Jacob with a minor drama... Me: "I'm lost in Bristol, stopped on a busy road, I've got 20 minutes to find this hall... sorry can't deal with this right now!" A couple of U-turns later, I arrived at what I thought was the venue but the hall had a completely different name. I asked someone who didn't know... had a wander down the street and finally returned to spot several ladies of a certain age arriving at the hall. I had arrived!
Jacob's problem had resolved, at least for the time being and I unpacked the contents of my car ready for my talk.
I talk about the various things that inspire my work and alway bring along my "wig of cakes". At the point where I asked if there was anyone in the room who would like to model it for me, all 70+ women in the audience fell silent! So there was only one thing for it... and of course the moment it was on my head someone whipped out a camera!
I stayed with their chairman and the next morning followed her to a different venue where I was to be teaching a workshop... except we managed to lose each other on the way. And this time I didn't know where I was going so couldn't even look it up on the map. I took a guess at a junction and there was a hilarious moment when we passed each other going in opposite directions. Stephanie made some wild hand gestures that I took to mean I should turn around which I did, by which time she had disappearred again. She'd meant for me to stay put while she turned round because I was actually headed the right way. Eventually when I found her phone number on a scrap of paper at the bottom of my bag we were reunited and we got to the venue in plenty of time where I had a lovely day teaching ten ladies how to create newspaper backgrounds on fabric and then adding applique to the surface.
These are just a few of their finished pieces.
Most tried to tie in their newspaper headlines with their appliqued images and as ever the variety and skill was a delight.
It was a lovely workshop and I managed to find my way out of Bristol and back home without too much incident. And having had such a fun time I wondered whether my decision to cut back on my teaching has been a bit hasty... although a three hour journey home on motorways followed by all the unpacking of bags confirmed I've made the right decision.
* I owe the title of this blog post to my friend Anna who came up with it as I was recounting these stories to her this afternoon. We got together to be photographed for the local rag to advertise our forthcoming Open Studios. If you live in or near Cambridgeshire, full details can be found here: