Note to Self…

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It has occurred to me this week that I should pay far more attention to learning from past experiences and try to avoid repeating them. A prime example of this is attempting intense stitching with metallic thread on silk. I finally plucked up the courage to start work on Buddha. The border blocks are courthouse steps and on a Pearly Theme I have freehand quilted something oysterish and slightly sea-like. Then I moved to the inner border which was a geometric fabric so I felt it necessary to stitch some dense triangles. This border is now not so much quilted as flattened. I did a lot of prevaricating then took the plunge on Buddha’s face. I think it worked rather well but maybe I should not have used the metallic thread. There are dodgy birdsnests on the back in places but I have decided already that I will just trim them and paint gold paint on the back to make it all look deliberate. There is absolutely no turning back with intense stitching on silk.

If I really don’t like Buddha when it is finished then I can paint some Stewart Gill pearlescent paint over him to tone it down a bit (which defeats the object of using metallic thread in the first place). I have to admit that I didn’t think the stitching would have been quite so dense initially but in general I think “more is more!” The quilt is currently still in the Awful/Awesome category. It is meant for the QGBI “Pearls of Wisdom” special “In the Spotlight” exhibition at Festival of Quilts 2009. It was not necessarily a wise choice!

My quilt arrived back fromPaducahwith the judges’ comments and a colour catalogue. The other quilts were stunning, including some amazing ones from Japanese makers.My comments were made by judges, Libby Lehman, Mary Sorensen and Yvonne Porcella.Best feature:

Fun and playful, unusual design, inclusion of needlework elementsArea to improve:Zigzag – ragged and uneven

I was a bit peeved with the zigzag comment since I had chosen a stitch on my Husqvarna that is deliberately like that to look a bit folksy. But actually I have to remember that it was amazing that my quilt even went toPaducahat all!

I started 2 more projects this week since I obviously thought that would enable me to work more quickly. I now have 6 customer quilts lined up and waiting for me to finish with Buddha and the Longarm Challenge quilt for FOQ. I must find a way of getting them done soon. Most people don’t want my extreme quilting so it should be possible to catch up eventually! I started to cut up the Dutch chintz because that was a fun thing to do on Thursday evening.

Then I decided to make 2 trial blocks for the Longarm challenge quilt. The theme is log cabin but that is not the main feature of my quilt. I already have an unfinished Lonestar so I am making 9 chevron log cabin blocks to create a large border and 4 fake mini-lonestars for each corner.

As time is whizzing past I also made a serious start on the instructions for “Silent Movie Star” for Popular Patchwork magazine. I thought I had time to learn the advanced elements of EQ6 to present this article but have come to realise this may be a bit ambitious so hopefully the magazine’s in-house expert will be able to do my diagrams in the EQ6 format. The quilt is not a tricky layout; I just don’t know how to make the program do what I want yet.

Mo and I went off to Old Meldrum to have a look in the patchwork shop this week. We had to admit that there was nothing that we really needed! She bought a magazine and I found some sparkly trim that might come in handy. We had far more fun in the Farm Stores on the way home. We loved that the shelves were groaning with tractor couplings, rat poison, machetes and sheep castration equipment and decided that it would not be deemed safe to sell these items in other parts of the country. I bought some purple antiseptic spray for Mabel’s itchy skin (yes, she is now partially purple) and an old fashioned galvanised poultry drinker.

This week I finished a fascinating book called “The 19th Wife” by David Ebershoff. It is a parallel story of nineteenth century Mormons and modern-day Utah polygamists. It was a work of fiction but based on fact. I found it quite un-put-downable.

There was a brilliant TV arts documentary of a conversation between crime writer, Iain Rankin and popular painter, Jack Vetriano. Both of these Scotsmen are successful and famous but are not properly acknowledged by the “Critics”. They spoke frankly about their inspiration and drive. One point that they made was that their early work was a copy or exploration of an existing genre but gradually they developed their own unique style. I found that most encouraging. Perhaps I will eventually create a particular type of quilt…

Before you all think I have gone all highbrow, I must mention my midweek trip to the theatre. I went to see “The Vagina Monologues” with a friend who had booked the tickets. Most people would have got a clue about the content from the title. I had decided that it was probably some comediennes telling funny anecdotes about life, work and children. I got that wrong! It actually WAS about vaginas… Everyone seemed to be laughing hysterically but I think I must have missed the point. I decided that I was not repressed, perverse or crude enough to really appreciate it fully. I daresay if Julie Walters or Whoopi Goldberg had delivered the lines it would have been different. The best bits were the tragic stories of abuse because they delivered a powerful message. I did notice some men in the audience who were either very submissive or totally pervy. To top it all, my friend did not have any chocolate with her so she offered me healthy raisins in the interval. I told her it could possibly be the last time I went to the theatre with her!

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