Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Village quilters - I hadn't forgotten you

I have been slow getting this post written and I hope you will forgive me. I made great time getting home thanks to being sent off a little early to miss rush hour. I also got some extra traffic news from a professional driver in the area which kept me out of the worst jam. Having a box of munchies for the trip home didn't hurt either. I wish I had got a picture of the lunch table before we attacked it. It was impressive and this group has several very good cooks. The mince pies were really special and I look forward to trying Ruth's carrot cake on a future visit.

Despite the warnings about the area I was struck by the obvoius effort being made in the community. I'd head about the boarded up estates and imagined the desolate council estates I've seen elsewhere. That's not the case here, the estate I drove past has clearly been a good place to live but no jobs means no money and ultimately no people. It's very sad. The hall I was teaching in was the first community center I've really seen working for the community. People were popping into other rooms for coffee and a chat, the place felt alive, I wish more did. As you can see it's a great venue. Large, light and with heating that is possibly too efficient.

The workshop was my tulips class again (what are the odds of two groups so close together doing the same class?) and the ladies did really well with it. They quickly settled into the rhythm of the technique and were keen to try editing their designs as they went along. Something I like to see in my classes is students helping eacxh other, it usually means at least some of them are confident with the technique. It's quite funny to hear your words repeated word for word and often with pretty much the same intonation but the best thing is when another student can convince someone their work is good and help them out when I've not been able to. That sometimes needs a friend to manage it and I really appreciate when it happens. Quilter seem to be very hard on themselves. They expect to master new techniques instantly. Fortunately they don't have such high standards for their friends and that can make all the difference. I'm hoping that some of the ladies will sent in some pictures of their finished pieces, the quilts were coming along well on the day so who knows, maybe some are finished by now.

Thanks for the great day and I hope I will be back up there sometime soon. Next trip I will have fish and chips too. I can't believe I was so close to the sea and didn't get fish and chips. Hopeless. I will do better.


Susan Briscoe said...

Village Quilters are a lovely group - I had a very good workshop with them back in April. Good to hear the workshop with them went so well. Yes, I also forgot to take a photo of the splendid lunch they did!

Next time you are up there, you must have fish and chips - really good on Teesside - perhaps trying that regional speciality, a fish pattie (fish between two layers of potato, battered). Some chip shops call it a fish cake, so check. Also Middlesbrough is the home of the 'parmo' (something I'm yet to try), a wicked concoction of deep fried chicken topped off with cheese...

Middlesbrough tea time traffic can be a nightmare - it took me an hour to get out of town after I taught. Since there's such high unemployment in the area, it makes you wonder how much worse the congestion would be if more people were actually trying to get to and from work!

Ferret said...

OK so our challenge if they get up back (HINT HINT) is to get a photo of lunch. I have one of the leftovers that I might post. It's pretty impressive even after we ate most of it :)

Any suggestions for other nice groups to visit either in the area or generally North would be much appreciated so I can try to put together another tour up there.

I think the 'parmo' would make me very ill. Something I need to try before a day off and close to a nice loo ;) Now there is a challenge to a dedicated resident. I like the sound of the fish pattie, much safer bet.

So I really lucked out with the traffic then? I might suggest starting half an hour earlier and finishing early too next time because leaving early kept me out of all the traffic so well.

I really do want to go back. I think everyone here is going to be sick of hearing how good it was. I guess I could combine Cumbria and Middlesbrough at a push :) Maybe southern Scotland? Any takers?