Summer Holiday Sweatshop

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I have put in very long hours this week in an attempt to get everything done in time for our trip to Norfolk which is one week before the FOQ deadlines for quilts to arrive. Some mornings I had fed the animals, left breakfast out for children and started in the workshop by 8am. Apart from stopping to throw them together a bit of lunch, I quilted all day long. My back, shoulders, neck, elbows and hands all ached.

When I was not working on my quilt, I was cracking the whip over Freya and Fergus to make sure that they got theirs done too. Fergus was to add hand sewing and pearl beads but I confess that I added most of the beads for him because the T-shirt transfer areas were like tough plastic and he did not have the strength to get the needle in there. I hope the spec is enough like the entry forms we sent off. I forgot to make a photocopy of the forms and the children did not actually start their projects until the start of the school holidays, after the forms had to be sent in! Their finished projects look great and I admit they had a lot of supervision and demonstration otherwise they would not have been able to achieve what they did.

The weather was very Harry Potterish this week. We kept getting huge thunder clouds and heavy downpours. Despite having a power surge plug attached to the Longarm machine, I felt a couple of power bursts rush through it. I was worried that the Stitch Regulator was playing up again but it seemed to be fine. One afternoon I even had to switch off and have a cup of tea while a storm rumbled overhead.

We did go and see Harry Potter. It was good but we were all disappointed that so much of the book was missing from this film. It will have to be a mega long film that manages to tie up all the loose ends of “The Deathly Hallows”.

I learnt a lot on the PinknOrangeproject too. Doubled up Dream Puff does not make a super puffy fake trapunto. It needs a rigid layer too. I think Double Hobbs Polydown is more effective. When it came to adding the gold braid at the end it was like wrestling with a carpet under the DSM and it is heavy so will be expensive to post.

I had decided to use the same colour in the bobbin as in the top in case there was any trouble with tension. This meant there were a lot more bobbin changes and the tension was great with So Fine in the bobbin so I should have just stuck to one colour after all.

I started off filling the spaces of the shell filler with a different thread but in the end realised that this was far too tricky so stuck to the same colour. These spaces were later painted in with Lumiere and a tiny brush. This was like painting with ink and it took hours. I experimented with Stewart Gill paint around the strangely Welsh feathers and after 4 coats I was just about satisfied but I thought the colour could have been more shocking. It was fun to use neon coloured thread as a micro filler. Instead of real trapunto, which I had already decided was too hazardous, I quilted tiny bubbles up to the motif so that it puffed up. The corner star blocks were a bit of a triumph. I managed to remember how to print a block from EQ6 so found an 8-point star and stuck it onto a plastic folder to turn it into stencil.

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