Category Archives: Life outside of stitching

Belgium and Holland

Had a lovely break recently in Belgium and Holland, taking in the International Quilt show in Maastricht. We took in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp, before heading to Maastricht for a few days. The weather was kind, which meant that we could do all of the sightseeing and walking that we had planned. We travelled by train, which was an excellent service, our only problem was that we missed one of our connections (our fault) – I would recommend this method of travel to anyone thinking of taking a European tour. The evenings in Ghent and Antwerp were cold, still and beautiful, as you can see below.

img_3386 img_3392 img_3425

Of course the quilt show in Maastricht was also one of the highlights of the trip. It was nice to catch up (if briefly) with some of the other members of the Fifteen group who were also there. As an international group it isn’t often that our members are in the same place at the same time. I’ll show you a small selection of some of my favourite quilts from the show, though of course there isn’t room to show many here.

img_3441 img_3445  img_3459 img_3449

I always come away from quilt shows feeling that I’m raring to go, full of enthusiasm and ideas, and ready to start on a big project. However, once I arrive back home and I’m faced with a blank ‘page’ I always feel daunted. If only that “show” feeling lasted a little longer!! Well, anyway, I’m now plodding along with a couple of small projects, and trying to finish my big hexie-quilt as a Christmas gift, so at least I’m doing something. Perhaps I’ll start a ‘serious’ piece in the New Year. We’ll see!




Maastricht catch up

I’m feeling that I have not been as dutiful in updating as I should have been. I have an excuse though – I’ve been away in Maastricht for the quilt expo held there, at which the 15×15 group had a stand, where we all contributed 8 quilts. Our display was really great, and it was surprising how different the quilts looked in ‘real life’, having only seen them previously on line. Many people stopped to take photos and to chat, and some even wanted to know if they could join our group or a similar one. Since the membership is currently closed, the best we could do was to point them at the internet. A number of the group were at the show and for some it was the first time we have met each other in person, so it was nice to get to know one another a little better. The slightly wonky photos below show Margaret’s and my section of the display.

IMG_1710 IMG_1703 IMG_1702

The town of Maastricht itself was a delight, and I can thoroughly recommend it as a place to visit. It has narrow cobbled streets, old buildings and churches, a wealth of bars and restaurants, modern and up-market shops (nice for window shopping), and some lovely parks and open spaces. the beautiful weather helped too!

IMG_1734 IMG_1800 IMG_1796 IMG_1822

Now to knuckle down and get busy with the stitching jobs which are piling up – onwards and upwards!!!



After the big run

Well, I managed to complete the Great North Run in about 2 hours 38 minutes. Not a great time but the most important word in the last sentence is ‘finished’ – phew! You’d think that was enough exercise for a while, but we finished the week with a hill-walking break in the Lake District. We had lovely weather and the views were fabulous, once I’d dragged my poor little battered feet to the top. Some lovely Lakeland river and hill walks followed, so here are a few snaps to feast upon.  (Joan)

IMG_1488 IMG_1491 IMG_1510 IMG_1519 IMG_1535

Great north run

The day is quickly approaching when I tackle the Great North run for the ninth time. You would think that I’d have known better by now!  The run takes place on Sunday 13th – it’s a half marathon – and although I’ve been training for a few months, I wouldn’t say that I’ve done enough, so it should be interesting(!) to see how I fare on the day. I was hoping to raise some money for Macmillan Cancer care, but unfortunately I was late setting up my Just Giving page for online donations, so I don’t think that’ll do too well (so far only £5 donated). It’s my fault – I should have been more organised about that much earlier. My son will also be competing in the run, so it’s going to be a family outing. My husband is the logistics manager – he drops us near the start then waits at the end with jumpers and chocolate bars, and drives us home. It’ll be a real family outing because my daughter-in-law and 1-year old grandson will also be there. The run finishes at the seaside, and I’m hoping for a dry but overcast day – dry so that the family can go down to the beach while they wait for me to finish – overcast so it’s not too hot to run. Keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well.  (Joan)