Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A Delivery and A Finish

While grieving that the wonderful Roger Federer has been beaten at Wimbledon I have had two highlights today, firstly, my copy of the V&A quilt book arrived and secondly, I finished a quilt.

The book accompanying the V&A exhibition, "Quilts 1700 - 2010, Hidden Histories, Untold Stories" was written by Sue Prichard who curated the exhibition and I have been waiting excitedly for my copy to arrive.  Today was the day.  I obviously haven't had time to read very much but I am impressed with the quality of the images in the book.

About a third of the book is a catalogue for the exhibition, with good notes accompanying each quilt image.  I am appreciating the value of having the book and being able to study the quilts in detail.  I spotted the steam train in this 1842-52 hanging by James Williams of Wrexham, Wales when I saw the quilt in "real life" but I have seen so much more while looking at it this afternoon.
The catalogue is arranged in the same way as the exhibition; The Domestic Landscape, Private Thoughts, Public Debates, Virtue and Virtuosity, Making a Living, Meeting the Past.  

There are also some wonderful close-up images to enjoy, such as this one of the back of a 19th Century paper-pieced quilt, isn't it a delight?
The first part of the book is made up of essays and features that are intended to "challenge the assumption that stitching is simply 'women's work'."  These are arranged chronologically, beginning with the 18th Century and are also fully illustrated.  I like this photograph of the Hayling Island WI making quilts for Denman College which appears in Dorothy Osler's feature on British quilt-making in the first half of the 20th Century.
The book is not an academic history of quilting but rather, as it says on the back cover, "A celebration of more than 300 years of British quilts and patchwork" and I think it would make a good addition to any quilter's library. 

I am having a little celebration of my own as the dinosaur quilt which has been causing me so much trouble is finished.  I have had to do a lot of negative sewing on this quilt but I think my grandson, Wills, who is six in July, will be very pleased with it.  Don't tell him, it's a surprise (I'm sure he doesn't read my blog).
Just peeping out behind the top right hand corner of the quilt you can see my wonderful rose which has taken over an apple tree.  Here it is in its full glory, it's the Rambling Rector rose and is exquisite.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Fun and Sun

Okay so England are out of the World Cup but I've had a great weekend, and that sunshine, wow, 30C today.

It started with a trip down to the bach in Norfolk and the purchase of a new sewing machine from Steve in King's Lynn!  "Just" a basic one, but she's lovely, a Janome 2200XT and she even has turquoise dials to match the bach - that's where she's going to live so that I don't keep hauling my main machine backwards and forwards.  She needs a name of course, all ideas appreciated, something associated with the sea would be nice.

  • Added 8th July:  Thanks for all your suggestions, I have christened my little Janome, Muriel \m(u)-riel\, Muriel, is pronounced MYUR-ee-el. It is of Irish and Gaelic origin, and its meaning is "sparkling, shining sea". First used in the Middle Ages.

On Saturday we had more fun than I could cope with.  Al and I took the bus - so no driving and no parking and great views of the coast - to Cromer which is a gorgeous, traditional coastal town.  It even has a pier and look at those gorgeous lines.
There are lots of small streets to explore like this one, Jetty Street, with a teasing view of the sea, looking wonderfully blue in the sunshine.
Back in Mundesley after a lunch of fresh crab sandwiches it was time for the village fayre.  Some people had been working very hard to organise a fun event to raise money for the local youngsters and the sun continued to shine so a great time was had by all.  There were the usual stalls and games, truck rides, a climbing wall, belly dancing, gymnastics displays...English village life at its best.  Al even let me take his photograph!

After a lazy couple of hours with the newspapers (Al) and my book (Philippa Gregory's The White Queen which I highly recommend, it's very well researched historical fiction) it was time for a barbeque on our chalet site (ours is a bach as we're NZ addicts, everybody else has a chalet!)
The idea of the barbeque was to get chalet owners to know each other, a sort of bonding session
and again a lot of people had been working very hard as all we had to provide was meat and wine, there were tables of salads and the most yummy desserts.
I don't drink alcohol so I have nothing to blame but I did something I have never done before and will never, ever, do again - karaoke!  The bonding went a bit far when one lady encouraged six of us to form a Norfolk version of Abba, don't ever mention "Dancing Queen" to me if you know what's good for you!  It was terrifying, that song is sooooo long!
I needed a little fabric fix to get over it so after a wonderful Sunday lunch in our favourite cafe, Lilia's in Mundesley, we stopped at Sew Creative on the way home for a few FQs for a quilt I'm making for my daughter, Sara, yet to be shared on this blog.
Thank you for all your lovely comments on my post about the V&A Quilts 1700-2010 Exhibition.  I'm still waiting for my copy of the book to arrive and then I'll post again.
I hope you all had a lovely weekend and that the football wasn't too disappointing - the second week of Wimbledon is coming up and the sun is shining!

Sashiko Tutorial

I have been promising a Sashiko Tutorial for a while and today this popped into my email inbox from About Furoshiki


Beginning July 14, 2010

NEW:  We are beginning an online project to teach sashiko stitching. This is an absolute beginners tutorial, but will be enjoyable for any skill level.  We will walk you through making an 11 x 17 inch sashiko stitched project called dragonfly over diamond waves.  The tutorial is free.  The starting date is July 14, 2010.  The tutorial will be delivered through our Sashiko Stitchers newsletter and will include step by step how to, along with interesting history and tidbits about sashiko.  Register by signing up for our newsletter at or by emailing me

Rather than me reinventing the wheel and writing a tutorial I thought it would be a lovely idea if we all followed this one together, it's a gorgeous sashiko design for summer.  We have a couple of weeks to get fabric and threads together and don't have to work at the same pace.  If you like the idea, sign up below and add the button (right) to your blog.  Who's in?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Long Day - Long Post

Well, today's the longest day (in the Northern Hemisphere, I think my friends in the south are in for a long night) and I have a feeling this might be my longest post.  Hang in there though, it's all good.

I'm back home now and recovering from my weekend away and my trip to London.  I'm shattered!  It's so much noisier than I recall, so much bombarding the senses and I'm afraid I'm no longer young enough to find it all exhilarating, just tiring.  I did have a great time though.
We had a family trip to the V&A, Mummy and my sister, Jane, and I travelled on the train with my beloved, Alan, and then we met up with my son, David in the restaurant at the V&A.  Wow, those rooms are something else, I had to take a photograph:
The cafe/restaurant is in the Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms. The rooms were the first museum restaurant in the world and were created to showcase modern design, craftsmanship and manufacturing.  Around the wall of the main Gamble room is a quotation from Ecclesiastes 3,
"And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour"
- we know that because David "googled" it on his iphone and impressed us all!

Sustained with tea and cakes we split into two groups - girls to the Quilts 1700 - 2010 exhibition, boys to silver, miniatures and jewellery (and they failed to return with any free samples).  We used the iphones on loan with the commentary on the exhibition which cost £3.50 each.  The "app" can be downloaded, the details are at the end of this post.  I was a little disappointed with this commentary as it was only for 22 of the quilts on display.  It included lots of information and close-up images of the quilts but we had to swap backwards and forwards between iphone/headset and reading information boards.  Mummy soon gave up on hers but I have a photo of her using  it which impressed the grandchildren!  However, I think if you were unable to visit the exhibition the "app" would be a good buy at £2.39.
I have another little moan and then it's all good.  I was irritated with how crowded the exhibition was.  We had purchased timed tickets in advance (as advised on the V&A website) but people were still able to, and were, paying "on the door" and going in immediately.  As the exhibition was busy I feel these people should have been asked to wait or given a timed ticket for a quieter period in the day.  Anyway, that's my whinge.

On to the Quilts!

A pre-exhibition visit to the toilets led us past the Design Studio and, after a second look to confirm what I thought I'd seen I called Jane over.
"OOOH, that's Kaffe!"
We remained calm and continued on our way to the Ladies' Room!  Kaffe Fassett was running a workshop with Liza Prior Lucy on "Colour in Design":
Learn the secrets behind Kaffe's design process by developing your own personal colour palette to use with his Snowball pattern.  In this master class, Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy take you step by step through selecting fabric, cutting and arranging pieces, and final edits.  There are no right or wrong answers, just a multitude of possibilities.  Participants must bring all materials specified on supply list.  A copy of Kaffe Fassett's book V&A Quilts is recommended.  £82, £66 concessions

On to the Quilts!

I was impressed with the way in which the quilts were displayed.  Some were wall mounted, others displayed as if they were in a bed.  Some were protected by a glass screen, others not, and, although it was not permitted to touch of course, it was possible to get relatively close to most of the quilts and examine the details of the fabric and stitching.  I was particularly impressed with the way one quilt was shown with windows in the wall behind it enabling us to see into the back of the quilt.

I felt there was a good variety of quilts on display, and several by men, both recent and historic.  There was also a good range of techniques and I have to admit to a rush of glee at observing less than perfect seam matches and stitching on some, not necessarily the most utilitarian either.

A lot of research has been carried out into the histories behind the older quilts on display and some were shown with related artefacts including a diary, paintings and sewing tools.  I coveted the most delicate and exquisite needlecase and a beautiful etui.

The quilt that spoke to me most was the one sewn by the Girl Guides in Changi prison for their beloved leader, Elizabeth Ennis.  It was pieced from hexagons of fabric scavenged from wherever they could and many pieces were of insufficient size to include a seam allowance.  The quilt was stained, grubby with the sweat of young girls sewing in hot and appalling conditions, and in a very poor condition but I feel its survival at all is remarkable.  An article about the Changi quilt was published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper on 1st June and can be read here:  The secrets of the Changi Girl Guide quilt.
This photo of Olga Henderson, who was one of the Girl Guides who sewed the quilt, is taken from the Daily Telegraph article:
Olga Henderson with the Changi quilt at the V&A exhibition in London 
Photo: JAMES

Coming up to the present, another quilt I found promoting an emotional response was that created by the prisoners in Wandsworth Prison in south London, organised by the charity Fine Cell Work.  The appliqued and embroidered quilt was filled with comments on life, from the flippant, "I didn't do it, Guv" to a deeply moving, "I can't take any more".

I was as interested in the modern quilts as the old and enjoyed observing that actually there isn't much new in our favoured craft.  Quilts that looked modern turned out to be over 200 years old, another that was modern was created using very traditional methods.  The range of fabric used in the quilts was most delicious and included silks, wools and some wonderful embroidery and it was interesting to learn how they were acquired.  Yes, they really cut up the curtains!  They also had to wait for the peddlar to bring ribbons and fabrics instead of popping out to the LQS!  I am looking forward to receiving my copy of  curator, Sue Prichard's,
"Quilts 1700 - 2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories", the catalogue of the exhibition (which I'm afraid I have ordered from Amazon to save £12.25 and not have to carry it home on the train with me).  The book contains many photographs of the quilts in the exhibition and the personal and social histories attached to them and I enjoyed a peek at a copy in the V&A bookshop.

Although I decided the book was too heavy to carry home I did manage to stagger back with a little fabric!  The V&A has commissioned a range of limited edition prints to tie-in with the exhibition (how they understand us quilters and our weaknesses) and I was tempted by a few designs.  Interestingly, Jane chose a very similar range of fabrics for herself and so we have decided not to discuss how we are going to use them but to wait and see what we each create.

The Quilts 1700 -2010 exhibition ends on 4 July but I would urge you to visit if you possibly can, it was well worth the effort of getting to London and the three hours we spent looking around.  Failing that I think the book will be a wonderful resource.

I was also immensely impressed with the V&A itself (I haven't been there for many years and had forgotten) and am already planning a return visit, I particularly want to visit the Toshiba Gallery of Japan.  The Victoria and Albert Museum building is wonderful and the displays stunning.

David even managed to find another quilt for us, this linen quilt shows episodes in the life of Tristran, nephew of King Mark of Cornwall and dates from 1360.

And that wasn't the end of the quilty fun.

On Sunday Jane and her family invited us over for a barbeque (which we elected to eat indoors, oh the vagaries of the English weather...) and showed me how she is progressing with her Very Hungry Caterpillar wallhanging for her classroom.  I am very impressed.  She is stitching the whole quilt by hand, it is her first piece of patchwork and quilting and those tumbling blocks are beautifully pieced and very evenly stitched.
All in all a very successful weekend, thank you for reading to the end, I enjoyed sharing it with you.  Here's the info about the app:

Quilts 1700–2010 App
This unique App, made for the V&A, takes you on a journey through three centuries of quilt making in Britain. It presents 22 works from the much-anticipated Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition on display at the V&A in Spring 2010.
Weaving audio commentaries, video clips and original interviews with stunning photography of quilts old and new, the App reveals the stories, fabrics and techniques involved in making the quilts on display. Listen to V&A curators, quilting experts and textile artists, including Grayson Perry, who share their insights, while zooming into high-resolution images for a detailed, stitch-by-stitch look at selected works.
The V&A has thrown open its archives to reveal historic textiles rarely or never before seen. Featured works include the ‘Rajah Quilt’, made by women convicts while being transported to present day Tasmania aboard HMS Rajah, ‘Patchwork with Garden of Eden’ by nineteenth-century quilter Ann West, as well as contemporary pieces such as the ‘Right to Life’ by Grayson Perry and ‘To Meet My Past’ by Tracey Emin.
This App also celebrates the work of those whose names have been forgotten, but whose colourful and creative stories now survive through their quilts. It presents the stories – along with patterns and pieces of cotton and silk, and you can discover how experts have pieced together histories from clues hidden in the layers of fabric.
Quilts 1700–2010 - three centuries of beautiful objects of delight, intrigue and inspiration.
The Quilts 1700–2010 App is a Pentimento application created by Antenna Audio for the V&A.
The exhibition is supported by the Friends of the V&A, with further support from Coats Crafts and the Coats Foundation Trust.
Priced at £2.39 the App is available to purchase from the iTunes Store.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Friday Night Sew-In: Saturday Morning Report, June

A very quick report before I dash off to catch a train and see the Quilts 1700 - 2010 Exhibition at the VandA, my ticket is for 11 a.m.

I had a productive Friday Night Sew-In even though some of it was actually a Sew-Out.

1.  My quilting on the surprise quilt for July is now all unpicked and I'm ready to have another go.

2.  I cut a pile of 5" squares for a wavy four-patch quilt that will feature in a tutorial very soon.

3.  I shortened a maxi summer dress by 4" (I'm obviously less maxi than some girls - in a vertical direction anyway).  This was a nightmare, the lining is stretchy and the outer layer is flimsy chiffon, but it's done.  Bring on the summer sunshine!

4.  I ate some very delicious chocolate from Venezuela.

I hope you all had a wonderful sew-in, I'll be back soon with a report on Quilts 1700 - 2010.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Blogger Bearing Gifts

Wow, I am so fortunate to be receiving a wonderful kimono from Jenni, we just have to work out the swap details but do pop over to her post and see what will be coming my way soon.

Friday Night Sew-In and Exhibitions to Enjoy

Tomorrow is FNSI time.  Hooray, hooray.  This month we all need to go to Bobbi's as Heidi is moving.
I think I'll be doing a lot of negative sewing after a tension "issue" with my machine
but I'm hoping to do something positive too, probably some cutting - preparing for my wavy four-patch tutorial.  I'll also be meeting up with my sister and seeing how she's getting on with her tumbling blocks.  Please come back on Saturday to find out what I got up to.

Oh no, I won't be able to post on Saturday as I'm going to the Victoria and Albert Museum in the big city for their Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition.  I'll post about both when I get home from the adventure.
I've heard mixed reports about the Quilt Exhibition so I'm looking forward to forming my own opinions.  It's well worth a trip to the website even if you can't get to London for the exhibition.  There's a free pattern from Amy Butler to download and, be still my beating heart, limited edition FABRIC to purchase.  I know I won't be able to take photographs at Quilts 1700 -2010 but there is a comprehensive exhibition catalogue available, more on that when I've seen it.

And while I'm writing about exhibitions I've just read in this month's Patchwork and Quilting Magazine that there will be an exhibition of Magie Relph's story (see my previous few posts), "Under African Skies", telling how she has been sourcing African fabrics for the past ten years.  This exhibition is at the Quilt Museum in York from 10th July - 16th October, see the museum website for full opening details.

Don't forget to go to Bobbi's and join in the Friday Night Sew-In - click on the FNSI button on the right above my blog archive.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

And The Winner Is...

A very big  THANK YOU  to all of you who entered my giveaway for the recycled African beads from The African Fabric Shop.  I have really enjoyed reading all your lovely comments and your ideas for the beads and wish I could have more winners.
However, there can only be one winner and the lucky person is the one who wrote:

Boy, what would I do with such lovely beads?
First: love them and stare at them for a long time.
Second: put them in a place were I can see them all day long (this for some time)
Third: think, think, think and think again about were to use them. Difficult they are so beautiful and I can't chose and don't want to make a mistake were to use them.
But most likely I will use them in my BOM Under the sea. They have a brilliant sea-colour. And I definately would find a spot on that quilt were they would blink and I can enjoy them longer.
Wow, I forgot to mention that I am a follower already and that I am going to spread the word about your thrilling give-away. 

Yes, it's you Bietje

Congratulations Birgitte, please email me your postal address and I'll get the beads to you - and we'd all love to see them on your Under the Sea if that's where you eventually decide to use them.

The following translation of this post is courtesy of especially for you Birgitte!

Dank u aan iedereen wie mijn weggevertje voor de gerecycleerde Afrikaanse parels inging. Ik heb werkelijk van genoten lezend al uw mooie commentaren en uw ideeën voor de parels en de wens ik meer winnaars kon hebben. Nochtans, kan er slechts één winnaar zijn en de gelukkige persoon is…. Bietje wie schreef Bovengenoemde Bietje… Jongen, wat zou ik met dergelijke mooie parels doen? Eerst: houd van hen en staar lange tijd bij hen. Tweede: zet hen in een plaats waren ik kan hen de hele dag zien (dit voor wat tijd) Derde: denk, denk, denk en denk opnieuw over hen te gebruiken waren. Moeilijk zijn zij zo mooi en I can' t koos en don' t wil een fout maken was hen te gebruiken. Maar most likely zal ik hen in mijn BOM onder het overzees gebruiken. Zij hebben een briljante overzees-kleur. En ik zou absoluut vinden een vlek op dat dekbed zij was zou knipperen en ik van hen kan langer genieten. Wow, vergat ik om te vermelden dat ik reeds een aanhanger ben en dat ik het woord over uw opwindend weggevertje ga uitspreiden. De gelukwensen Bietje, te versturen gelieve me met de elektronische post uw adres en I' ll krijg de parels aan u - en we' D al liefde om hen op uw Onder te zien het Overzees als that' s waar zij omhoog beëindigen.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Join the Slow Revolution

Since joining Rossie and taking the Process Pledge I've been thinking about something I read somewhere and would like to share, and I've finally found it.  Please don't think I'm  preaching by the way, I'm just sharing these thoughts and some lovely photos I took on the (top to bottom) Lincolnshire Coast, Norfolk Broads and West Coast of Scotland.
This was in an article in Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine last June (Vol 17 No 12, June 2009) about money saving ideas and written by Frances Mintrom.  
They might well be money saving ideas but, more importantly maybe, they may be sanity saving ideas!

"Join the slow revolution.  Instead of making fast quilts, concentrate on the process.  Take your time and enjoy the journey.  We are always rushing to our next event or destination - slow down and enjoy the trip.  Will the world fall apart if you don't make 25 or more quilts a year?  This doesn't mean you must hand sew everything, just take your time.  
Spend more time designing your quilt.  Think about trying a design that's a little more difficult that what you'd usually make.  This way you can expand your knowledge or concentrate on improving the quality of your workmanship.  
Select a larger variety of fabrics.  This means you can use all your small scraps.  It also makes it easier to add more fabrics if you run out of any one print.  
When you quilt, try to experiment with different quilting styles.  Do your quilts have as much stitching as show quilts?"
So, I'm joining the slow revolution, just as soon as I've got a dinosaur quilt finished for mid-July!!  

Japanese Cranes

My Visit to Japan - 6

I've just spent the weekend in Norfolk where I was delighted to read about the successful breeding of a pair of Japanese Cranes (or Red-Crowned Cranes).  You can read the whole story from the EDP (Eastern Daily Press) here:
Meet the rare birds with eggs the size of rugby balls - Norfolk News - EDP24
The Japanese crane is a symbol of good luck in Japan and a mystical creature.  We were delighted to have origami cranes on our pillows when we stayed in Tokyo recently.
There's an easy to follow How-to fold an origami crane here

There is an ancient Japanese legend that promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted their wish and strings of folded paper cranes are often seen on shrines and memorials such as this one Eternal flame of peace, Toshogu shrine, Tokyo (more about that in a later post).
I also saw strings of origami cranes in Singapore, on the altar at the Changi chapel, and they are recognised as a sign of the worldwide desire for peace.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a non-fiction children's book written by American author Eleanor Coerr and published in 1977.
The story is of a girl, Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing by the United States. She developed leukemia from the radiation and spent her time in a nursing home folding paper cranes in hope of making a thousand, which supposedly would have allowed her to make one wish, which was to live. However, she managed to fold 644 before she became too weak to fold any more, and died shortly after. Her friends and family helped finish her dream by folding the rest of the cranes which was buried with Sadako and build a statue of Sadako holding a giant golden paper crane in Hiroshima Peace Park after she died. Now every year on O Bon Day, which is a holiday in Japan to remember the fallen ones of the bombings, thousand of people leave paper cranes near the statue. On the statue is a plaque: "This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth."
The book has been translated to many languages and published in many places, to be used for peace education programs in primary schools.       (Taken from Wikipedia

Sunday, 13 June 2010

A Lovely Weekend

This is my Nine Patch with a Wiggle all layered and pinned (not to the carpet I hope) and now I need inspiration for how I'm going to quilt it.
And this is an arty shot of the bracelet I made with those recycled glass beads from Magie Relph's African Fabric shop.
Oh and don't forget my little giveaway, you've got until Wednesday to enter.  Good luck.

I've had a lovely long weekend at my bach in Norfolk, doing a lot of stitching and a lot of relaxing too.  Here are a few photos that I took in the Norfolk countryside and finally two pictures of "my" lovely beach.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

On Safari in Norfolk 2 - Progress Report

This is a progress report on the Nine Patch with a Wiggle quilt that I started with Magie Relph last Friday as I have signed the process pledge. 
I've completed the sixteen blocks - not that I planned to have sixteen, I had half a metre of each fabric and I've used it all up so sixteen blocks it is! 
I've added wiggly sashing in black, joining four blocks together, and all was going well until the final two strips after my bedtime on Monday evening. I really should learn when to stop. 
So on Tuesday morning I unpicked those final two strips which didn't quite match up!  Working more carefully and slowly I re-did those two strips and then joined two sets of four blocks together and added the side borders.  The final piecing step is to join the two pieces with a full length strip of wiggly sashing.  I've put this off for today - I'm learning!

I've been considering how I'm going to quilt this project but haven't made any decisions yet.  What I have decided is that I'm going to use gold fabric for the binding, I like little bit of bling and I hope it will echo the gold on the Japanese fabric.
Don't forget my little African bead giveaway, I'm really enjoying reading all your lovely ideas for using the beads, thank you.

More Eye Candy

Three great posts on blogs today about a visit to Ziguzagu in Melbourne by LeeJacky and my lovely friend, Nat  and the shop, which specialises in Japanese goodies is on the web here - Ziguzagu

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sashiko Eye Candy

I have just found a blog, Sri Threads, with some wonderful examples of sashiko to enjoy.  Some of the images loaded a little slowly (or it might be me!) but they were well worth waiting for. I think I need to make a nice cup of tea and sit down with my laptop and go back into the blog archives to view such delights as a sashiko stitched noragi stitching over shibori  There are some very utilitarian examples - which is what sashiko was in the beginning after all - and some very intricate, decorative pieces of work, all a joy to behold and a source of infinite inspiration.

Oh my goodness, I've just been clicking around and found that Sri sells things!  Go and have a look at their website , as well as books and textiles to buy there is a wealth of background information on Japan and Japanese textiles.  Enjoy!  

Monday, 7 June 2010

Goodies from Africa and a Little Giveaway

A photo-filled post today of the lovely things I was tempted by from Magie Relph's African Fabric shop
at her workshop with Dayspringers on Friday.

Gorgeous indigo-dyed Shwe-Shwe fabrics (which are very stiff but after a gentle pre-wash will be soft and wonderful).

Handmade buttons and recycled glass beads - I think these look like seaglass and I'm going to string them together to wear as a bracelet.
I couldn't resist this fairly-traded Bolgatanga basket from one of the "weaving villages" near Bolgatanga in northern Ghana - well, I needed something to carry my fabrics and beads in.
Finally, these are recycled plastic beads, still on the sticks used to form them, aren't they lovely?
I have plans for the red and blue set but the blue and turquoise set could be yours.   
I'm having a little African giveaway!
To win this beautiful set of beads on a stick just leave me a comment telling me what you would use them for, whether a piece of jewellery or in a textile project, or just to admire...what would you do with them if they were your very own?  All my lovely followers get a free extra entry and if you blog about the giveaway and link back here I'll give you another entry too.
Don't forget to make sure I have some way of contacting you if you win, I'll pull the winner out of my Bolgatanga basket (and sorry the giveaway isn't one of those but my finances didn't run to it) on Wednesday 16th June so you've got some thinking time.