A swimming pool quilt!

I love to be in the water (or on the snow!) and my place to swim in Durham is the Pace Health Club pool at the Radisson Blu hotel.  I love their pool so much I even put it in a quilt:

'Radisson Blu' quilt by Amanda Ogden

This morning (22 February 2016) a charity Swim-athon was held in the pool to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust (click here to go to the Trust website) which exists to improve the quality of life and chances of survival for young cancer patients aged 13-24. The aim of the Swim-athon is to  complete 28 miles in 12 hours with different people volunteering to swim at different times, each taking a half-hour slot.

DSC_0036[1]I hasten to add that 28 miles is the cumulative total of all the swims. So my time-slot was 10am (a privilege of the freelance life!) and I managed to clock  up 52 lengths in my 30 minutes. The event was really well organised, with a poolside table manned by the organiser of the event, Terri Scott, who is the Front Office Team Leader at the Radisson. The Teenage Cancer Trust is the hotel’s chosen charity. Terri has set up a Just Giving Page for anyone who would like to make a contribution to the charity for this event. It is http://www.justgiving.com/DurhamRADSWIMswim 4 table I was even given a thank-you card. How nice is that?DSC_0037[2]

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This is my ‘Leaping Sheep (blue)’ design. You can find it here.

leaping sheep, blue.png

Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here

Mandy Pattullo and The Hearth

DSC_0488Last week, I set out on a beautiful cross-country route through County Durham to The Hearth Art Centre & Cafe in Horsley, Northumberland, in order to meet up with textile artist Mandy Pattullo.  The Hearth is a former manse which has been sympathetically converted into artists’ studios, with a cafe located in two ground-floor rooms. You can see the adjoining church in the photo below. The large church hall is behind these buildings; it was being used by a group of touring cyclists when I visited. The weather was beautiful – it’s hard to believe that these pictures really were taken in February!DSC_0489There are ten artists at The Hearth altogether.  Several of the artists were in their studios when I was shown round by Mandy. The skills represented include: Textiles,  Feltmaking, Printmaking, Watercolour painting, Ceramics, Illustration and Jewellery.

Mandy has a sunlit studio at the front on the first floor, with a lovely view out over the surrounding countryside. Mandy and I were contemporaries on the Textiles and Surface Pattern course at Cleveland College of Art and Design in Hartlepool and we shared lifts over the five years of completing the part-time degree course option. So it was good to catch up with what Mandy has been doing since then.DSC_0485 (2)Since our college days, Mandy has become increasingly involved in printmaking – running alongside her work in textiles –  and conveniently, there is a print studio at The Hearth. In baskets round her own studio are many examples of her prints and also of the fabric collages she makes and embroiders,  using recycled and vintage fabric including old quilts. Round the walls hang some attractive garments, including a skirt, a jacket and a small child’s coat, embellished with these techniques. You can see examples of Mandy’s work by going to her blog ‘Thread and Thrift’ which shows examples of her work and gives insights to things that inspire her (click  here) .

Each year, Mandy teaches courses at The Hearth and elsewhere in the country. She has also been overseas to teach. Her classes are listed on her website (click here).

The Hearth artists are not always ‘at home’ on any given day, but The Hearth has Open Studios in May and November, and you can get full details from their website by clicking here.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please subscribe if you would like to receive a post each Monday in your inbox.

Do get in touch. I would love to hear from you.

This is my ‘Candy Floss at the Fair’ fabric design.  You can find it here.

Candy Floss at the Fair.png

Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here

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