Monthly Archives: January 2009



Today I was invited by my hairdresser to be a model for a stylist from London who would be coming up to Aberdeenshire to demonstrate the latest cutting trends. Apparently she has no young and trendy clients as they are all too busy straightening their identical long straight hair. I thought I had better make an effort to wear something other than my ubiquitous striped fleece jumper to show that I might not be totally unfashionable (which I am!)

I wore a 3 year old blouse which was smarter than usual but as I feared, I was frozen until I got home and put my jumper back on.

I arrived to discover that the new trend involves only cutting with electric clippers. Rachel did a fantastic job as usual of the trimming, shaping etc.

However, she seems to think I’m a bit of a daredevil so she persuaded me to model the very latest thing involving clippers and for some unfathomable reason, I agreed…there is a shaved area on one side with a swirly pattern a bit like quilt meandering. I look like a teenaged boy or a Bronze Age warrior on one side only. I’m hosting a Quilters’ Guild event on Saturday and they are not that avant garde or mad on the whole!

I pieced all of my other Kaleido blocks last week, cracked how to use the Hartley Fence for full circles, completed a large double, did a linus quilt, baby quilt and then just as you think you are really whipping through the work, 2 more arrive!

I had coffee and cake three times in one day on Thursday since it was my birthday. On Saturday night David got the yurt ready for supper with friends while I was in Stirling for a QGBI Regional meeting. We had a great night with fireworks, a cosy fire and lots of laughing.

I have just been completing an Arts Council grant application. I’m sure they make these really tricky to put people off. I am preparing a brief on how I want to do a quilted yurt and another series based on ceilings for which I need Master Quilter tuition – in the USA!

Well, I might as well start off ambitious and see what happens. It is actually quite alarming when you are made to do a budget. So far mine has come to around £9000!!!

Seeing Stars


I spent the whole of Tuesday applying hot fix crystals and stars to “Bewitched” while listening to Annie Smith’s “Quilting Stash” podcast, Philip Pullman’s “The Firework Maker’s Daughter” audio-book and started listening to TH White’s “Sword in the Stone”. This was a fairly pleasant way to be engrossed in sticking on about 1000 gems but when I thought about how long a Sharon Schamber quilt that had 30 000 crystals on the back would take I got bored!

I took a couple of pictures outside but the January day was grey so the picture is not as true as it could be. It is very different in sunlight because the gold lame really shows off the texture of the quilting. The zig-zag melons (interlocking rings) dominate in a photo but they are not so annoying in real life.

The challenge of the day on Wednesday was translating the story of the quilt on the entry form into Dutch. It was surprisingly easy – Yahoo has a free translator called “Babelfish”. All I had to do was type in my paragraph in English and it instantly translated it into Dutch. I think enough of the words look similar to be reasonably accurate.

Rather than then finish an already started project or start quilting the enormous customer quilt that was on the frame, I cut out strips for a project that might get entered into LLQS. Thursday and Friday were really cold and the workshop was not warm so I spent some time cutting and more time sorting through digital photos. Sometimes I think Picasa is great but sometimes it seems to shuffle everything and when I tried to make a web album for the APQS forum to access it just all got lost. In the end I have made quite a tidy album on Flickr and will try to put photos there more often. If I buy the full version I can organise it into lots of folders. I still can’t figure out how to get pictures in amongst the text on my blog.

Milton Studio has a couple of tartan quilts and another shop sample waiting for me to catch up so I need to really get going this week.

I have managed to get on with joining the Hungarian Challenge quilt together. I just have 2 borders left. I have decided to make them extra wide so that I can shape them into scallops like dinner plates. My blocks are all blue and white “Broken Dishes” and will be quilted with some sort of crackle effect. This work in progress has been wittily named, “Smashing”!

I finally got around to taking out a subscription to “Popular Patchwork” as I can’t buy it anywhere locally. Ferret phoned me on Saturday to let me know that she is featured in a proper article and is on the front cover but “Kentuckii” is on page 21 so I should get a copy… I hope it arrives soon. It is so exciting to be featured in a proper magazine and that is the third time that I know of that BK has been in a mag. (also in P&Q and QuiltMania)

Brain Training


The Christmas holidays have gone in a flash. We had a great time supporting the Nintendo Corporation playing on the Wii thingy. We have virtual people who look just like us and after I had done my body check the virtual person got fatter. There are all sorts of fun activities like hula-hooping. I’m the family champion at that. I’m also a professional ski jumper. My husband has been playing with the Wii all holiday and practising frequently after the children were in bed so I was delighted to beat him at tennis, bowling and golf last night! Looks like I’ll be fit in no time at all … HA-HA!

I also got a Nintendo DS lite so I could keep up with the children in the technology stakes. It came with a virtual cooking guide which is clever but you do actually have to shop for ingredients, rather than forage in the cupboard until finding something that can be successfully combined and called a balanced meal. I decided to put my new gadget to better use and get the game called “More Brain Training”. It is really like a series of 11+ style tests. Once you get the hang of what to do and have had a practice you do get quicker. My brain has improved so much that it is now aged 62. It started at age 78… of course its real age should be 40 or less! I still don’t understand the theory behind Sudoku.

I was allowed lots time to work on the quilt which was just as well because there has been a lot to do that just took hours. I spent a long time and much thread doing a grass like satin stitch around all of the melons. This disguised the dodgy meeting points a bit.

I remembered to rinse and block the quilt before starting the binding and it definitely has wavy borders. I had a lapse of concentration and trimmed one of the borders narrower than the other 3 so decided that must be the bottom.

I had forgotten that the prairie points would look less pointy after a wash so they still need some serious starching

I made a scrappy binding out of all the Kaffe Fasset fabrics and spent a day figuring out exactly how to sew it all on neatly by machine. I chickened out of sewing the front on first then stitch in the ditch to get the back on. I sewed the binding to the back first, used fusible quarter inch tape (marvellous), and invisible thread to attach the front side of the binding neatly. After that I couched some thin gold ribbon around the binding and inner borders which was quite tricky without the special braid foot. I even sewed a hanging sleeve on by hand.

I have now sewn on a random number of yoyo’s with buttons on the worst melon joins. That took nerves of steel as I was holding the buttons down with my finger nails while trying not to hit them or my fingers with the sewing machine needle. I now have lots of hotfix crystals and gold stars to apply so that I can declare it finished, photograph it and send a CD to Holland by the end of the week. I may still add a bit more gold thread around the binding and I’m still wondering whether to add belly dancing coins along the bottom for fun…