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Bishops Castle, Chester and batiks

It’s a glorious weekend, so we headed out for the day.  I’ve been hankering after making a patchwork quilt for a while, and with our interest in batik raised by the class last week we headed off to visit Textile Traders in Bishops Castle.

Bishops Castle

Bishops Castle turned out to be a very pretty village, if somewhat vertical!

Textile Traders specialise in fabrics from Thailand, Java, Malaysia….  We were in seventh heaven, and in the end I think I was very restrained.  I kept to a pack of four fat quarters of Balinese gold ‘Prada’ cloth, a larger square of batiked cotton with a stylised floral design, a metre of woven fabric in pinks, purples and orange, a beaded belt from Indonesia and a vintage Javanese hair pin!

My stash from the day

My stash from the day

After that we headed off to Chester (yes, I know that’s not the next logical step from Shropshire on our way back to Nottingham, but we had shops we wanted to visit in Chester too 🙂 )

Looking down Bridge Street

Looking down Bridge Street. You can see the Rows above the shops.

I love the way that in Chester town centre you can shop on two levels!  Above the ground levels shops you get the Rows, a second walkway set into the buildings at the first floor as a gallery with it’s own range of shops and cafes.

Steps up to the Rows

Steps up to the Rows


Comment from william moore
Time: July 3, 2010, 6:24 pm

My wife gave me “The Beader’s Bible” for Father’s Day. I’ve been doing various beading projects for years, mostly cross-stitch type patterns and self-designed Chinese and American Indian patterns. Your “Bible” inspired me to get my beads out again.

What really caught my eye was on page 256, Acknowledgmens. There you have pictured one of your ikons. I saw a similar one on your blog. Do you have a pattern? And would you be willing to sell me the pattern? I’ve made several projects that big, but nothing that complicated.

I’d love to make such a work of art for my home.

Thank you,

William Moore
11192 Topview
South Jordan, Utah 84095

Comment from Claire
Time: July 3, 2010, 7:26 pm

Hi William,

I’m really please to hear my book has got you beading again!

I don’t currently sell the pattern for the Icon, I’m afraid. However, it’s not as complicated as it looks, as I don’t use a pattern detailing where each colour of bead should go. I graph out the outlines, but make the rest of the pattern up as I go along using a shading technique that I’ve developed. I use 10-20 shades of the same colour, and lay them out on my beading mat in one long pile of graded colour (grading from silver to blue, or light red to dark red, for example). I then pick from this pile as I bead.

If you’re interested I’ve got an article in the current issue of Bead Magazine which goes into more detail on this technique, and gives patterns for a triptych of trees that I designed (I’ve currently got them on my wall 🙂 You can buy a copy of the article to download from the magazine here. I’ll also be in the next issue with the pattern for the Daisy beadweaving from this post.

Hope that helps,