Great Quilters don’t necessarily make great teachers…


I spent quite a few hours on the phone to couriers and customs officers about my quilt going off to Paducah. Fedex Aberdeen advised me to speak to their central telephone number – in India. The first person thought I said that I was sending a leather coat. DHL quoted £139. Parcel Force advised me to call the American Embassy. I called HM Customs which now includes tax, benefits and money laundering activities. I got bogged down in customs forms until 3 calls later I was finally told that the courier would sort that out. I will need commercial Invoice and Textiles form (4 copies each) and ensure that the courier completes an RGR so that I am not charged customs fees to receive my own quilt back!

I had a much more productive trip to a packaging company where I bamboozled the man and his minions by asking for bubble wrap and acid free tissue paper. He was a wide boy called Ronnie in a warehouse under some old railway arches and not many quilters drop in – it’s mostly burger van drivers who buy polystyrene food containers so we made his day more interesting.

I did at least manage to complete a customer Lonestar Quilt. I actually kept it quite simple and did quite a lot of small stipple to flatten out some wavy bits since I have given up feathers for Lent. I decided that stipple is underrated – it looks rather nice. I could have gone on and done more embellishment but decided that customer jobs should be kept simple and 2 days’ work is enough since none of them are technically custom jobs.

I spent some time with a friend teaching her the basics of Longarming so she could tackle a large star quilt herself. We had an interesting discussion that there are some really good quilters who can’t necessarily teach their technique clearly. She enjoyed herself but did not find it as to get consistent shapes with the Milli. She has now decided to get me to finish the quilt as she wants an even overall pattern on the quilt.

I went off to the QGBI Regional Day on Saturday and relished a day out without being responsible for any organising. Freya and Fergus enjoyed their afternoon workshop and made super fabric pictures using disperse dyed papers. Again I noted how a really talented quilter did not come across so well as a public speaker – there were big pauses in the talk although what she said was interesting. In the afternoon the talk was great but plagued by technical difficulties with the slide projector. I seem to be mentally storing away these points for further consideration in case I’m asked to do a lecture. The Aberdeen Patchwork and Quilting Group has asked me to talk about my travels in September so I can use that as a test. I would like to suss PowerPoint because that seems to be the most accepted way of talking about quilt images if the quilts are not there in person. I had to retrieve my notebook from underneath the projector at the end of the day and was very excited to meet the editor of “Popular Patchwork” who asked if I would like to design a project or be interviewed. I was so enthusiastic telling her about all of my projects that I reckon she thinks I’m quite barmy.

I spent Sunday reapplying the hanging sleeve on BK to Paducah’s specifications. It is closer to the top now and the prairie points actually stand a chance of staying upright. I have wrapped in tissue and shrunk it into a vacuum-pack bag. Hopefully it will be released from the bag in KY and breathe out nicely into shape. I had forgotten how big it is. “Chocks Away” had a turn on the rail to see how it looked. It hung really badly as there is denser quilting in the middle so it all bowed out. I have pinned it to the wall, dampened it and stretched it out. I’ll just have to hope that serious blocking sorts it out and remember to check that the pins don’t rust from all the water I’m spraying on.


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