Madeira 2019. My second quilting retreat week on this beautiful island. We quilted and visited the sights. The embroidery school and the island tour were highlights.
Pittsburgh Spring Quilt Market, May 2014.
I used to attend each year when I owned my shop, Quilters Haven.
Afterwards, I taught in New York State at two fabulous quilt shops – Calico Gals in Syracuse and Joyful Quilter in Glenville. Their owners Janet Janet Bertrand Lutz and Susan Pettingill were fabulous hostesses driving me for hours from Pittsburgh to near the Canadian border and then onto Boston with interesting sightseeing in between.
At Joyful Quilter I launched The Downton Abbey tour for Stitchtopia in the following year. Many of their customers joined me in London to visit Hampton Court, Downton Abbey etc. It was fun!
Christmas Markets Cruise December 2017. We had a few days on a Rhine cruise, visiting small towns en route in the afternoons and stitching a Christmas project in the mornings. Our final couple of days were spent in Cologne, where there were at least 12 Christmas markets. All of them with the most beautiful decorations and lovely food.
The train journey back to the UK was an experience. It stopped on the German / Belgian border for 5 hours. Thankfully, Stitchtopia got everything organised for all eventualities and we finally got back to London late that evening.
A quilting cruise on the biggest cruise ship in the world at that time, The Harmony. I loved it! It was so big that it took me two days to realise that there was another third of the ship behind the funnel. The ship shows were amazing. As usual well organised by Stitchin Heaven, based in Texas.
There were two other fun tutors – Jackie Kunkel and Amy Ellis which helped to make this cruise very special. We visited Labadee in Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel, where I tried Segway for the first time which I really enjoyed.
This was my third cruise with Stitchin Heaven and it is even more enjoyable when you recognise many of the students as returnees.
I was in India, leading the first Stitchtopia textile tour to the country in 2016.
We visited Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and places in between.
Lots of wonderful textile and cultural experiences with a wonderful group and guide.
July 2018 we were on a quilting cruise from Tilbury, via Amsterdam to the Norwegian fjords.
A New England quilting tour organised by Stitchtopia. Landed in Boston, visited The Plimoth Plantation, a cranberry farm, Lowell, Keepsake Quilting, Bennington to see the Dear Jane quilt, The Joyful Quilter and lots more! The fall colours were beautiful!
A second quilting retreat in Assisi, Italy 2015. We returned to stay in the centre of this amazing little town, home of St.Francis in the 13the century. We visited the local embroidery school and a trip out to a typical narrow streeted village nearby. This time the hotel bar was well stocked or did this group just drink less?
An Alaskan Quilting Cruise with Stitchin Heaven in August 2016.
We started off in Seattle, visited ports in Alaska and finally Victoria on Vancouver island. Saw glaciers, whales and spectacular scenery.
It is always fantastic to teach on these cruises, lots of great students and other tutors, extremely well organised, great shows and food and a wonderful mixture of quilting and sight seeing!
Stitchtopia’s first quilting tour to South Africa. We flew into Cape Town for a few days and then went onto the wine region of Stellenbosch, inland to Oudtshoorn where we stayed in the same hotel as the Queen. Then onto the beautiful Knysna and finally to Port Elizabeth for the bi-annual quilt show. The tour was made extra special as René de Meyer connected us with several South African quilt guilds who made a fantastic effort to host us at various venues. Also a super guide, Sarah and very safe driver, Izak. Arena Travel ask for the best guides and drivers and these people have always gone that extra mile to make the tour special.
This is from the Norway Tilda tour in 2019. The highlight for many on this trip was meeting Tone Finanger, the TILDA fabric designer who also taught a workshop. We were in Oslo for Independence Day on 17th May. Afterwards we had a spectacular train ride to Voss, a Hardanger embroidery workshop at the museum of that name and finally time in Bergen.
We were based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire for a three day textile tour in May 2014.
There were visits to Ripon, The Bowes Museum which has the famous silver swan, a quilt shop at Embsay Mills and Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire. At Bowes an Gawthorpe Hall we had an exclusive talk on the historical quilts in their collections. Jonathan from Barnyarns was a speaker on threads one evening. A very interesting short break organised by Stitchtopia.
I was teaching on a quilting cruise in the Caribbean organised by Stitchin Heaven in 2014. This was my first cruise and I was very excited to be taking part. There were over 90 quilters and three teachers, and the organisation was amazing. Each quilter had the use of a their own Bernina machine during the cruise. Tables, machine etc all having been shipped to Royal Caribbean by Stitchin Heaven. I taught only on the days we were at sea but visited the classrooms whenever, as the students were so enthusiastic! In the end we only landed at Cozumel in Mexico as a storm and an oil slick prevented the ship from leaving Galveston. As a result the quilters had a free cruise and money off the next one. And we all had a great time on The Navigator of the Seas!
In January 2013 I led the first Stitchtopia textile tour to Japan. It was entered around the huge Quilt Festival in the Tokyo Dome. Before that we visited Kyoto and Hiroshima and places in between. We had a wonderful guide, Yuka who I believe has guided all the Stitchtopia tours since. I loved this tour as it took me to a country that was very different from others I had visited. The show was amazing and should be on the wish list for every quilter!
We were in Madeira in February 2017. It was my first visit to this island, in the Atlantic, off the coast of Africa. Tours around the island, tobogganing down a road, walking along the levadas, visits to the embroidery school and markets, four sewing days plus lots more all organiiby Stitchtopia.
Canada Autumn 2013. Visiting Montreal and Quebec City with several smaller towns I’m between. One couple were on their honeymoon with us, they know how good Stitchtopia tours are! We were hosted by several quilting guilds and Canadian teachers plus the fabulous fall colours helped to make this a special trip.
I was invited to teach at the Paducah Quilt Show, Kentucky in April 2017. It was an amazing experience! Nearby was A town called Metropolis, the home of Superman.
This was a stitching and knitting Stitchtopia tour to The Faroe Islands in August 2017.
We all met in Edinburgh and flew to the main island, about a 2 hour flight north. I believe there are 18 islands and we saw a lot of them. The capital, Torshaven was our base, staying in a grass roofed hotel. There were workshops, visits to local textile artists, museums, exhibitions and remote villages. For me it was the most talked about tour I did that year. Few people could place these islands and their culture is quite unique.
Carcassonne in France, my third quilting retreat to this ancient city. As well as spending 4 days sewing we had visits to Mirepoix and Minerve.
This was a 3 country tour over 8 days. in September/October 2014. We met in London, flew to Helsinki for a couple of days. Then a boat trip to Tallin in Estonia. The only city in Europe where they give you a craft map! We then took the train to St. Petersburg, travelling in what felt like a James Bind film. If you want to know more ask me about it next time we meet. Stitchtopia had arranged for us to meet a group of Russian Quilters. It is amazing how with no language but a ‘common thread’ how well we were able to communicate!
June 2013. This was a three day visit to west Wales arranged by Stitchtopia. We visited Jen Jone’s quilt centre and cottage. There was a trip to Aberystwyth to view the old quilts, particularly wool ones, in the museum. My workshop featured Celtic designs and dragons teeth!
We were on a week long retreat in a French Chateau. Each person had a Bernina sewing machine to use. I taught for 4+ days, but you could go back to the sewing room in the evenings. The chateau has its own vineyard and we had a wine tasting in the cellar. Visits were arranged to Lyon, Lake Annercy and Chambèry. The trip was organised by Stitchtopia.
The main attraction of the tour was to visit the biggest outdoor quilt show in the world at Sisters in Oregon. We flew to Seattle and spent a day there before driving to Portland and then onto Bend for a week. We could then attend classes, the quilters picnic and the quilt show nearby in Sisters. From there we drive to San Francisco via Crater Lake.
We were in Bergen and Kirkeness, Norway. between the two ports we took a 7 day voyage along the coast of Norway calling into 34 ports! I think it is one of the best ways to see Norway. I first did this voyage as a child every three years, to visit my grandparents in Harstad, northern Norway. I now teach on this route for Stitchtopia (Arena Travel). Next tour February 2021.
We are in Myanmar November 2018. Landed in Yangon to be met by Lin Lin who was our guide for the next two weeks. After a couple of days we flew to Bagan, then onto Mandalay all of which had the most awesome sights. My favourite place was Inle Lake wher we spent a few days visiting floating markets and villages. I rated this tour as one of the best I have ever done. My next tour to Myanmar is in February 2021.
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Vietnam November 2019, a textile tour organised by Stitchtopia. We landed in Hanoi, and visited some amazing places during the next two weeks. This video shows Sapa, Halong Bay and The Mekong Delta. But we also spent time at an eco resort, saw the Chinese border, visited Hoian and Saigon.
This video has some of the hundreds of photograph I took in Houston between 1996-2017. I was attending Quilt Market and taught at the Quilt Festival. You might recognise: Tone, the Tilda designer, Edyta of Laundry Basket, Helen Stubbings, from Hugs and Kisses, Lynette Anderson, Pepper Cory, Janet Clare, McKenna Ryan, Lisa Walton, Christopher Wilson-Tate and Cara Gulati to name but a few.
We were in Norway 🇳🇴 in June 2015. Spent the first few days in Oslo, before taking the train to Flåm. Then onto the Hardanger fjord and Bergen. Gorgeous weather all the way!
I was visiting the bi-annual quilt show in Verona, northern Italy with a Stitchtopia group in April 2019. We also did day trips to Lake Garda and Venice.