Spring Cleaning while it Snows

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The whole of the UK has been covered in snow. The TV news has made it the most important bulletin each night with areas running out of grit, traffic chaos and pictures of children in the south of England sledging on ever so slightly white mud. I found myself apologising for the Brits being a bit pathetic to an American lady on the APQS forum. Our school was closed for 2 days as the school transport company was not risking the road conditions. This is all very well and safety conscious but the main roads were clear and I have a very sturdy 4-wheel drive. The children did do some sledging but the snow was very wet and slushy so not much fun. The temperature has dropped to -15 Celsius in the night so it was really cold out in the workshop. I worked on a simple quilt for a while before deciding it was too cold so I would tidy Freya’s bedroom to look for her missing DS games.

Well, that opened a can of worms… it is tidy at first glance then as you look in baskets and drawers, it becomes apparent that everything is just in a hidden muddle. This triggered a sudden urge to do spring cleaning. My spring cleaning does not involve polish or dusters but it means CHUCKING THINGS OUT!  I need to do the children’s rooms when they are not here as they start hauling the broken felt pens and junk models back out of the black sack. I made a pile of out of date catalogues, decided to part with the vodka soaked cherries that I had strained out of the cherry vodka and even threw away a tub of parmesan than went out of date in June 2007. I’m wondering whether to be ruthless with fabric too. I have scraps that I can’t really see myself using up but don’t know what to do with them and what if I part with something then decide later that I really need it after all?

I was on a mission to find a wholesale supplier of wadding. Everything is imported from USA and there are only a couple of distributors. I found that I could not get all of the wadding I wanted from one supplier. Some of the Forum gals are kindly sending me samples and bigger pieces to play with so I’ll get some shortbread, tea and other goodies to send as a thank-you. I can’t believe that Britain does not manufacture any of this stuff any more. I did find a mill in Cumbria over the internet so will see what they produce.

I sent off my grant application so it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when they open my envelope and compare me with all of the “proper” visual artists.

I did achieve a surprising amount last week. I made several mock-ups of flying geese units to get the size and style right. In the end they are conventional but face unexpected directions – perhaps a bit like the Red Arrows! Now I’m sketching ideas for the quilting and wondering whether to do a bit of Trapunto… it seems to be expected on show quilts.

The yurt got its pair of quilted door curtains which I thought should be known as “yurtains”! I am beginning to think seriously about getting another yurt frame to use as the LLQS exhibition next year with quilted panels for the walls.

The other mini project completed was the experimental trapunto Buddha head. Mo had given me a piece of moulded, stiffened silk. I filled it with toy stuffing and put a layer of Hobbs Polydown behind it. I did this on the DSM and discovered that I am now lousy at that sort of free motion quilting. This then went onto another layer of Hobbs and a backing. The head is a bit fat… it also has the wrong sort of wrinkles and could probably do with some clever hand sewing for features but the principle does work. I have to work out how to do my Buddha for the Pearls of Wisdom exhibit at Birmingham. I think I’m also going to do the Beryl Cadman longarm challenge for FOQ so at this rate I don’t know that it is feasible to do a competition entry as well. I received an email from Paducah to tell me that they had received an empty CD case from me. I quickly sent everything by email but wonder what happened to the replacement CD that I sent them the next day. It certainly took a long time for the Christmas airmail post to reach Kentucky!

I told Ellen that I would share with her for FOQ so I’ll need to book flights for that too before long. Tania has found cheap flights for a girly w/e in France but the offer is only valid for April (when I’m already going to Holland). Added to that I am coveting a new pair of boots, have ordered a roll of wadding and some other supplies so am in serious need of some cash! I do have some coming in but may have to do some reminding which I hate to do. I gave a free day’s lesson a couple of weeks ago as I obviously did not make it clear that I expected to be paid – so I must sharpen up my act professionally or I’ll have to call in the heavy mob!

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