Continuing on our trip around the world, Vietnam was next on our list of places to visit and Jan had designed a block for the ladies which used Markal oil sticks and stencils. That was interesting as stencil brushes stabbed away at fabric and card! We had four days there in total so I was allowed to visit the attractions in Halong Bay. We went up the mountain in a cable car – the cable system achieved two world records: the largest cabin in the world with a capacity of 230 people per cabin and the cable with the highest pilaster, with a height of 188,88m. At the top we found Sun World where everything was free to do. I had a ride on a roller coaster and a turn on the Sun Wheel which is 215metres above sea level. That was amazing going round in one of the 64 cabins and seeing the view over the city. Next we visited the waxworks museum and I had to play second fiddle to David Beckham while Jan had a photoshoot with him. He’s rather dishy, don’t you think? He can thread me up any day! Sigh!
Moving on to Singapore where the ladies in the class were all busy working on a raw edge appliqué block based on a design Jan had seen on a floor in a church there, it was time for an exhibition of work done by the crafters. The artist in residence and the wood painting classes were represented as well as the quilt blocks. Paintings on the walls and decorated wooden boxes and other items graced tables along with quilt blocks made so far. Some blocks had been stitched together so that quilt tops were beginning to form. I was very proud of the group when the captain said how good they all looked. He seemed very pleased to meet me as well. He was a very nice man – a very, very nice man!
On our second day there, I decided to visit the Gardens by the Bay and see the Supertrees which are spectacular when lit at night in a free ‘Son et Lumiere’ show. I managed to find a couple of flags to add to the colour of the gardens along with the red dinosaur behind me.
When we headed for Kuala Lumpur, I noticed that Jan and Keith had a foundation pieced block based on another floor tile pattern to offer the class so I sulked in the cabin till they had got that one out of their system. It was all hand stitching and I just was not needed.
When we arrived in Thailand it was a totally different kettle of fish. There was a raw edge appliqué block which meant I could do some stitching again. Tiny pieces of fabric meant tiny stitches and a lot of care when doing it, so I was happy again.
We crossed a very peaceful Indian Ocean to reach Chennai and the class found itself cutting out pieces of fabric to make a picture of the Taj Mahal for the next quilt block in the series. I loved watching the flying fish as they scampered away from the wake made by the ship as she glided thorough calm blue waters. Then it was on to Sri Lanka and an elephant sanctuary which was the inspiration behind the next block. Both of the last two blocks were raw edge applique and the ladies in the class had become hooked on the Steam-a-Seam which seemed to stay in place – unlike the Bondaweb and Heat n Bond which had to be held in place till ironed on. I had discovered in Thailand that an elephant with a raised trunk is a happy elephant and trunk down signifies a miserable elephant. When I passed on this little snippet, Jan said she wished she’d known that before she designed the block as her elephant was a sad one.
A happy little elephant posed with me for this photo. The keeper dressed in blue here is admiring the saree I bought in Colombo. Don’t you think I’ll look cute when Jan dresses me in it?
Next time I will show you some of the places in the Middle East where we had some more adventures. Our fourth and last instalment will have photos of the blocks in the quilt the ladies made too.
Ariadne Artista 630