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I have had a frustrating week with technology. The blog was suspended because I ran out of bandwidth again despite having upgraded recently. I tried calling to point this out but no-one answered the phone. I called again the next day but the person helping me did not speak great English and was unable to answer my questions without referring to a supervisor and putting me on hold. I eventually found a way of buying £1 worth of additional bandwidth but probably spent far more than that being on hold to the help-line!

My credit card company also called from a distant land to inform me that they had not authorised payments to The American Quilter’s Society or Ryan Air because they thought someone was making fraudulent use of my card. It has been very embarrassing for AQS to keep getting in touch, telling me that my credit card had not paid for myPaducahentry fees and return postage. I suggested that they set up Paypal and have now sent a cheque – which I could have done weeks ago! To add insult to injury, the computer decided to delete all booking references to flights that we booked to go toFrancein October so I will need to PHONE and probably pay to have all that sorted out…

I determined to catch up with a couple of customer quilts since I have not done any since March. After having worked on intensively quilted projects lately, I couldn’t get over the idea that I thought the customer quilts looked “under-done”. People do ask me not to go mad on their quilts but still, I like to give them plenty what they couldn’t achieve themselves. They seemed pleased with the results and I even managed to complete 2 tops and load the QGBI Region 16 raffle quilt. I decided to keep this simple too as it is not the sort of quilt that needs show-off quilting. I will ask them to say on the label that it was “Utility Quilted”.

I went off to the Loch Lomond Quilt Show on Friday and took Mo for her first proper quilt show. It took 3 hours to get there and we had to be pretty quick at each venue to fit it all in. One day there is a bit of a tall order but we just managed to fit all of the venues in by 5pm. We were very impressed by the diversity and organisation. Among the highlights for us this year were Rosie Furlong, French quilts, antique boutis quilts, and the competition quilts. It was very nice to see Ruth and Patricia who both admired my entry, “Chocks Away”. I was looking for tips on how to up my game since I had not been placed. It was suggested that I had the potential to win technically but for this competition I did not have quite the originality of the other winners. I found this advice very helpful to know. I do appreciate the concept that winning is not the be all and end all of quilt shows but I feel that I have to have a few awards under my belt to be taken seriously as a professional quilter whom people will want to book for retreats & workshops. To see the winners and for more information visit

www. lochlomondquiltshow.co.uk

The new yurt frame was delivered and assembled this week so I could see how to put it all together. I took lots of photos to remember what to do the next time. Mo and I thought about how to tackle the ceiling and it will not be as easy as we first thought… The plan was to piece panels out of tweed but we decided that it might be too stretchy and just look saggy. The new plan involves quilting separate triangular pieces that should overlap. It will involve far more work and materials; it is hard to imagine so I will make one and see how it looks, although I have now dismantled the yurt because I don’t want to leave it up without a waterproof cover. However, I am seriously wondering whether to spend lots of money on wadding and backing fabric for the ceiling. Perhaps I should just make a tight fitting canvas cover from army canvas (impenetrable to infra-red cameras, by the way!), so it is waterproof and then attach the tartan to it. This could then be decorative and functional and should eliminate the stretch. The ideas for this are all very fluid. Mo’s ideas were ingenious but I also have to create 60-odd feet of walls and this may also take a little time to complete!

Besides doing all this thinking, I have been working on the Silent Movie Star instructions. I have come to appreciate that this is a tricky task. I am very conscious of how difficult I find instructions so I am trying to make them super-clear. I had wondered how to draw the diagrams for the corner stars then had the brainwave of doing a photo-story. I hope the magazine also thinks that is a good idea!

I pieced these blocks again (in bright pinks and oranges) to check how they worked and will use them for the Longarm Challenge quilt for FOQ.

I wasted another 2 ½” hours on Thursday evening trying to improve the Dutch triangles. I eventually discovered that my original cutting would work but the edges have to be off-set when being joined. There was much muttering from my end of the table – why did the ruler instructions tell you how to cut equilateral triangle but not how to place the pieces to join them together? There was an exhibition by Gill Turley at LLQS with those very triangles so I may contact her to check exactly what to do. I was determined to work it out. I have now put the pieces into an envelope so I can get on with something more important on a Thursday evening and I will try not to let it become a long-term UFO.

I plucked up the courage to add the pearlescent paint to Buddha. I spent Saturday afternoon layering up the colours, adding more, covering it up, painting over the bits that didn’t look right. I think it is now pretty good. Buddha stands out from a distance and looks quite “pearly”. I have even started putting on the buttons down the prairie points and on the eyes. I don’t want it to look like a Pearly Queen but I think lots of embellishments will be fun! I may need to get some more strung pearls to run some along the binding. If I only had one project to complete in a year I would sew on lots and lots of seed pearls but I may have to decide that enough is enough!

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