Beam Me Up

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This week’s coffee rendezvous was a morning trip to see “StarTrek”. We took coffee with us, got a cheap rate, sat at the back and enjoyed a very entertaining film. There were 3 other people in the cinema. It was action packed and the characters were just like the original TV series crew. After the film and some whizzing around the supermarket, pet shop and fabric wholesaler on the adjacent retail park, we got caught up in some roadworks. I had to phone the school to warn the bus driver that I would be a few minutes late for meeting Fergus and Fenella. The school secretary informed me that they had tried to phone me at home and on my mobile to ask if they could give Freya any more piriton for her hayfever so they had to call my husband at work; caught red-handed… gallivanting!

I had a fun little quilt to do for a 90th Birthday present. It was going to be taken fromScotland over toVirginia,USA so had a mixture of traditional blocks from both countries. There were lots of small fillers like pebbles, tartan, contours, mini feathers and Scotch Mist. The piecer was delighted.

On Thursday I felt as though I had hundreds of things to do. I did some joining on my pink and orange quilt and was amazed when it fitted together without any major complications since new bits were being added to an existing project. I went to check on my sick chicken – still paralysed but quite perky which is why we haven’t dispatched it yet. I got the summer house ready for a Jamie Oliver party for an unknown number of guests. (This is just like Tupperware but with rustic plates) The workshop had to be tidied up for the Thursday evening sewers. I had to prepare the vast cream and brown DULL log cabin quilt to ready to start next week. AND I had to pack for the QGBI Region 16 Residential Weekend atStirlingUniversity– plus ironing, livestock, children, bank, phone calls… In the end a handful of people came and the evening was lovely. It was warm and sunny; Mo brought strawberries, meringues and cream and we drank Earl Grey tea from the bone china teacups and saucers that we found in the junk shop.

On Friday afternoon I went toStirlingUniversityfor the quilt retreat. The whole weekend was most enjoyable. All of our meals were provided and we spent many long hours sewing in the company of quilters from all over the country. There were 5 well known tutors: Gail Lawther, Philippa Naylor, Maike Baaker, Sandie Lush and Helen Cowans. As usual people wondered why other people’s classes or fabrics seemed more interesting but it was all great fun. We were able to see the posh frocks, kilts and limousines on Graduation Ball Night and were roused at 4.00am by a fire alarm that had been triggered by students who were burning toast after a night out. Such a shame I can’t post a picture of me in my tartan pyjamas and green Doc Martens in the car-park at the crack of dawn.

Maike was a lovely tutor who got us all designing swooping, curvy flying geese. Since I am not suicidal, I did not do microscopic geese. In fact, I made sure they were quite large by helping myself to the dusty overhead-projector machine. I have decided that I can’t see the point of curved piecing – it’s too fiddly. I have been shown how dress-makers do their curve joining and will choose not to faff about with it. I prefer invisible machine appliqué where the curved edges are stuck onto freezer paper and clipped or how about ironing the folded edges onto ¼” fusible tape?! I think I will experiment with this when I put my giant seedpod- shield onto its background.

I was reminded yet again that I really don’t enjoy doing paper foundation piecing. Although the results are accurate, it is so slow and wasteful! By suppertime on Saturday I was a bit weary of PFP.

The evening lecture by Gail Lawther was splendid. She gave us a sneak preview of 35 long thin quilts based on her travels toNew Zealand. They were all fabulous and so different to each other. I should think that everyone in the lecture will have pre-ordered her new book. I was a bit embarrassed when the raffle quilt was held up and everyone was told that it would be raffled at next year’s QGBI AGM. I thought it would be staying inScotlandand offered for raffle at a Regional Day as I had really only done utility quilting on it. It was well admired but I wondered if I should have done a bit more show- off quilting.

It was interesting for me to note that most of the tutors had a background in tailoring or textiles – that will be how they manage all that amazingly tricky stuff. I have to remind myself again and again that I just have to work on my individual style and not worry about other quilters’ amazing curves, feathers and set-in seams. None of them are making a quilted yurt with a tartan roof after all. Maybe I should call it a “K(w)ilted Yurt”. I also wouldn’t mind betting that none of the quilters returning home after a weekend of sewing had to go straight out and fetch a livestock trailer to take the family pigs on a journey… (to be continued!)

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