My Head Might Burst


I kept waking up in the middle of the night thinking of something else that I might need to do. Last week I got the tapestry monster all bound and a colourful double-sided batik but then just as I think I’m catching up, more quilts come in! I now have 3 small Golden DWR’s, a Storm at Sea and 2 others in my workshop. That does not include anything of mine or quilts that I know are on their way. I MUST crack down and get some yurt piecing done so that I feel it is under control. I may even need to buy my roll of canvas and start on the mammoth task of quilting the tartan roof soon.

I have spent a lot of time on the phone and computer this week corresponding with APQS owners in the UK. I’m trying to get a good dialogue going between everyone so that there is more collaboration on technical help and we can arrange classes. I have been on the phone to APQS in the USA and a rep in Australia to get advice on servicing and the sort of events that Longarmers will find useful. There was a great debate on the Forum sparked by Ferret about how past customer service in the UK had been disappointing; everyone is keen to move on now and APQS in the USA has promised to send over a top technician to train us over here.

The quilts and judges’ comments came back from FOQ promptly. The comments are interesting and can vary tremendously. Freya had one judge that said she had excellent machine quilting yet another thought it could have been more imaginative. Bewitched had positive comments and many ticks in the Excellent column. I can look back on my original entry to FOQ in 2006 and see a great improvement so eventually I hope to see most of the ticks in the Excellent boxes!

I was delighted to receive an email from Ingrid Press who had a gallery at FOQ.  I explained to her that I had left my new camera in the car and she very kindly sent me some pictures of her quilts.

I have applied for a travel bursary to go abroad for advanced longarming lessons that will in turn benefit quilters in the UK when I pass on my expertise. I had to explain why I thought I need to go abroad to do this and give details on shows or classes for 2010. There are many to choose from ranging from Claudia Pfeil’s Open House in Germany to various big shows in the USA including MQS, Innovations, and Houston… All I need is time and money!

The other issue keeping me awake has been my workshop/studio conversion. The building quotes were double what we expected. I would like to have accommodation in order to hold retreats and to make a trip to Aberdeenshire more appealing. It is perceived to be a long way from England but Aberdeen has a major airport, good rail links and driving here is quiet and scenic. My parents have been staying here for a week in their caravan and have been very comfortable. I saw some fantastic log cabins that are far less expensive that the workshop conversion. I will still need planning permission in order to connect up plumbing but it is an option that we need to consider.

I organised a Young Quilters’ Day here on Saturday. There was only one visiting YQ with her Mother plus my own children and a neighbour. Freya was not in a good frame of mind in the morning as she told me that, “Quilting is boring and for old ladies!” That did not put me in a very good mood. However, they all had a great day and achieved a lot. They used fabric paints with stamps and stencils then sewed log cabin strips of African fabrics to their centre-piece and even quilted it by machine. The finished article is ready to turn into a cushion or wall-hanging. Fergus was particularly keen but tended to rush a bit, especially since the Featherweight only seems to sew fast. By the end of the day they all even told me that they had enjoyed themselves. It was hard work – a lot of paint got used up rather extravagantly but the fact that the YQ’s enjoyed the day made it worthwhile.


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