The afternoon was dreary, but Sue Maddox and Sue Watters managed to make their way to Oxford station just before we had to pass through the turnstiles and board our train. Since most of our drive-bys are done at lightning speed, this particular opportunity to actually visit for a moment was rare. 

Sue Maddox says:
Two days to go before Christmas and all was going according to plan -  ie not Christmas preparations, but taking part in the UK 'Train-by' version of Ricky's US 'Drive- by quiltings'. When I saw Ricky's travel schedule, I couldn't believe he was going to be travelling through Oxford, just twenty minutes away! Even better, he was going to be catching the train there, so as long as he was at the station in plenty of time for his train, and we could get our timings right, we possibly stood a chance of chatting with him as well.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to do this on my own, so called my PIC (partner in crime) Sue Watters and talked her into doing it with me. We always talk each other into mischief and this seemed to be something we absolutely must do.

Two quilts were selected and we set off in the worst weather we had seen for months. The mid afternoon sky was black and the rain was hammering down. We crawled through heavy traffic, abandoned, rather than parked the car, and ran, with our quilts to the station. We must have looked a bedraggled sight, but there was Ricky, Justin and their friend Susan waiting at the Oxford staion to greet us.

Goodness knows what the crowds of people must have thought of us, but we were so caught up in the moment that we really didn't notice anyone else. We had a quick picture in the station entrance, followed by a chance to chat. Ricky was unbelievably generous with his time and Sue and I so appreciated the fun opportunity to do something so mad.

Whoo-hoo as Ricky says! We giggled all the way home and both thought it a great start to our Christmas. We'll dine out on this in quilting circles for years to come. Sue has a blog ISEWQUILTSUK.com and you can see a few pics of our 'Brief Encounter' there.

About the quilts:
My quilt is a Folky Baltimore - my own design using blocks from EQ. I loved making it and eventually taught it as a BOM at my local quilt shop. I was talked into adding the border by my lovely students and I'm so glad they encouraged me to do so. The fabrics are mainly Rites of Spring by Brannock and Patek, which seemed perfect for the aged, mellow look I was after.  I think the quilt was one of those quilts that are inside you, just waiting to be made. I hand appliqued, using freezer paper and finished hand quilting it in time for the Shipton Quilters' show in 2011.

Sue's Watter's quilt is her 'Toile Reel'. The beautiful Jo Morton Ravenswood fabric inspired this quilt. She loves toile fabric and just knew she wanted to use it as a border for this quilt. She used blanket stitch applique and had it long arm quilted.

Thank you Ricky for this fun opportunity. It was great to see you here in the UK!

Sue Maddox, Alvescot, Oxfordshire and Sue Watters, Cheltenam, Gloucestershire

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