Designs in paper and in flowers

My new self-employed life allows for a certain flexibility in my schedule. Thus it was, that I was able to meet my friend Angie this week for a cup of coffee in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  (I love going back to the city which was my birthplace and where we lived – later on in my life – for ten years). At her suggestion, our meeting place was to be the Catholic Cathedral cafe, but sadly it was being re-furbished, so we had to re-group.  I suggested the Anglican Cathedral cafe (all very ecclesiastical!), so on the way, we happened upon the Newcastle Arts Centre ( and called in, finding the Craftshop full of delightful items, such as these lovely labels, by Rosehip ( Just what a textiles person working from home needs, to label all her boxes! These by the way are now all sorted and in good order, so I can find most things quickly.


This is my fabric design called ‘ Flowers from Kirkcudbright, blue on coral’. You can find it here.

Flowers from Kirkcudbright, blue on coral

And behind the Craftshop, a brilliant art supplies shop (, where a couple more purchases were made. All highly recommended.

And so on to St Nicholas (, where it was clear as soon as we opened the door, that something was afoot.  We had stumbled upon the final preparations for a flower festival which was filling the entire building, with many skilled arrangers at work as we walked round. We felt it was even more of a privilege to see the artistry in action than to come along and just see the finished arrangements.  The theme was ‘music’ and there was huge variety and inventiveness in the displays.

My favourite was a composition based on the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and its music by a flower-arranger called Audrey Manuel, who was busy working out the final position of the various elements when we called by. My favourite part was the ‘pink champagne’ – two glasses, at least two foot high, filled with bubbly pink and white flowers, and complete with straws!

pink champagne

After much happy browsing, we made it to the coffee shop and enjoyed a good catch-up over a coffee and scone. This part of the Cathedral has a most beautiful roof, really quite inspiring for patchwork designs, so I have kept a record for future reference.

ceiling 2

Later the same day, I purchased a sewing machine, tried it out that evening and went on the next day to buy eleven more! All very exciting.

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Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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