Buddha Bedecklered

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That is what I wish I had called the Buddha quilt on the exhibition blurb… I remembered it was Ellen’s favourite Dutch word on our trip. We saw a sign for “Auto Bedeckler” which we think may have been something to do with car valet or paint jobs but that is just a guess. Anyway, it’s a great word. Buddha is finished apart from pinning it to the wall damp for a bit of a blocking session so it hangs straight. In the end I decided not to use the strung pearls or any beads and I even took some buttons off. I think I just got fed up with embellishing after a while! I must hang it outside for a photo but we keep having gray days or sharp showers. I need to get a really well lit studio and a camera that takes good indoor shots so I don’t have to put the quilt hanger up outside, wait for the wind to stop blowing and stop it from falling over in the lightest breeze!

Because I am well aware that there are only 3 weeks left until the school summer holidays, I have been determined to get all the customer quilts finished. If any others arrive I won’t guarantee to get them done before August so if I do any it will be a bonus. I did a feminine scrappy quilt and a very jazzy Christmas quilt so that was quite fun. I have a large French Braid to do this week. I can’t quite decide what to do with this. The request was for “flowing lines” – French braids are quite geometric and could be full custom or simpler. I almost wish I had the Circle Lord templates for clamshells. I am tempted to do a long, echoing meander. This would give the quilt texture without creating an obvious design statement that could compete with the piecing. This is the one that I have got Matilda’s washable wool wadding for. It feels lovely and I thought it would make a far more economical alternative to the Alpaca Blend which has almost doubled in price.

I had one of my “Doh!” moments when I read the section in a Fons & Porter book about Log Cabin. All the strips are cut from the width of the fabric and the building blocks are placed onto the strip and chain pieced. Surely I must have come across this method before? I had been following Marti Michell’s advice to cut all the strips in advance and now I really question WHY did I do that?! The Fons & Porter way is fantastic. I could get very fond of doing log cabin with all sorts of leftover strips, particularly when I become Prime Minister and have banned fat quarters from being sold.

If you ever work in a fabric shop you get to hate FQ’s. You have to cut a half yard/metre, and then cut it in half so it is roughly 50cm square. The customer gets that piece and you have to package the other bit up to sell. I don’t think FQ’s are all that useful. I much prefer long quarters or half yard/metres. I am convinced that people simply ask for a FQ because the pattern specifies them, not realising that you can get much more out of a nice, long piece! I think I will organise a Quilter’s Guild Area Day based on stash busting. We could pick a pattern from Bonnie Hunter’s website after doing some serious cutting and swapping and send her some blocks as a thank you.

I decided not to go on a jaunt this week since I was busy but after reading “Country Living” over coffee, felt the need to go and buy some junk furniture to titivate. I confess I don’t actually read CL anymore, just look at the pictures. I have decided that you could get one year’s worth and read January 2009 every January thereafter as it would be the same! I think I must have taken out a subscription on direct debit and just forgotten about it. Tania and I set off to the Boxroom to rummage through the tat. She came across 4 respectable solid wood chairs with a good farmhouse look about them. I decided to go for 4 Polish bentwood chairs for £10. They might come in handy. They have Krakow stamped underneath and probably date from the Cold War before our cheap goods came fromChina. They look like village hall chairs and someone has badly painted them poo-brown. I really don’t know when I think I will have time to paint them a subtle shade of green or pale blue like in the magazine so I just put my red cushions straight on them as I already have 3 half stripped chairs hanging in the garage that have been hanging on a rafter for at least 5 years. There are only so many unfinished projects that can be tackled at once… despite this we think we might have a go at brewing wine and candle making – it looks fun!

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