Friday, 10 September 2010

Yuza Sashiko quilters in the North East

As well as the quilt show, we had time for some quilt-related tourism - plus a few pubs and restaurants along the way.

At their hotel in Harrogate, The Old Swan, after putting up the quilt display on Thursday - most of the quilters like stout, which isn't easy to find on draught in Japan! Here, they are drinking Murphys. From the left, Reiko Domon (group leader/teacher), Yukari Domon and Koto Domon. Kampai!

On Friday night, we went to the Wetherby Whaler for really tasty fish and chips, with my mum & dad and our guest, North Country quilt teacher, historian and maker, Lilian Hedley (Lilian is at the front in the second photo). Lilian very kindly gave my friends a special quilt lesson on Saturday and Sunday at the quilt show - the logistics of their trip made it impossible for us to fit in a day workshop, so she did two intensive one hour sessions for them. The Yuza quilters were very keen to learn about traditional British quilting on this trip. Visit Lilian's website here to see some of her work.

My friends ate mushy peas for the first time. Ouishii desu! Delicious!

My friend and fellow quilter Debbie and my mum & dad are in the middle of the third photo, from left to right.

After the show finished on Sunday, the quilters travelled up to Durham. They stayed in the city centre, so sightseeing was easy and we had a mini city tour on Monday morning, including Durham Cathedral. My Japanese vocabulary now includes some new words to talk about the inside of cathedrals!

After that, we went to Beamish Museum for the afternoon. On arrival, we got on the tram to go to the "town".

By special arrangement with the museum, Curatorial Assistant, Gillian Robinson, showed us some of the quilt collection. The quilts were laid on on a bed in one of the town houses. I'll try to post a few more photos, once my friends send me their holiday photos. They were amazed at the fine stitching close up and loved the patterns. Reiko Domon really liked the crazy quilt in the second photo.

After viewing the quilts, we explored the town. I didn't manage to take many pictures as we were constantly on the move. There's an Edwardian pub at Beamish, so we stopped there for drinks (Old Peculiar for most of the group), plus a taste of pork pie.

Afterwards, we went to the Colliery Village, where we saw rag rugs being made and had a tour of the cottages and the pit winding house, again with Gillian. Chie Ikeda tried out the fireside chair in one of the cottages, where we were given fruit loaf just out of the oven. Beamish really makes the past come alive for visitors.

We finished with a look around the school. It was interesting for me to see how closely the school resembled the old schools where I taught in Yuza - the kind of schools all my friends would have attended when they were young. The infants' desks were a bit small though!

Tired! But we still had the energy for a sashiko session back at the hotel. I've learned two 'new' stitch patterns to add to my repertoire.

Tuesday meant a trip to York, on our way down to Chester. Fiona at the Quilt Museum gave us a backstage tour of the archive and we saw some pieces from the collection. Many thanks to the museum staff for this, as Tuesday isn't usually a viewing day. The archive room itself was fascinating, with the quilts in a racking system similar to the one I used to work in at Library HQ in Mold. You can browse the museum's collections here (they are in the process of adding digital images of all the quilts and have around 700 pieces in the collection).

After this, we visited York Minster. It turns out the admission charge is a kind of one year season ticket, plus photo permit, so I've kept mine so I can visit again. Like Durham Cathedral (no photography permitted) the Minster is full of design inspiration, especially when you look up.

Must get a camera with fill in flash...

What was everyone looking at through the mirror?

This - the tower ceiling.

The light inside the Minster is constantly changing - so many windows.

At Clifford's Tower, York.

Our excellent tour guide, Miss Sato. As well as being very efficient and organised, helping out with her excellent English, she also learned how to stitch several sashiko patterns during the visit!

No comments: