At the shop on Monday, Barbara and I had to advise 2 keen beginners who announced that they were hopeless at choosing colours and didn’t know how to do patchwork but wanted to make Christmas tablemats of an unspecified quantity and size. We tried to explain that a simple block or panel would be good but they argued that they didn’t want square ones. I explained that they would need to add side borders or strips to make them rectangular. We then had to decide how much fabric, backing and wadding to cut for the as yet undecided project. We did our best to steer them towards a book or magazine project, drew out some basic diagrams and encouraged them to come back for more help if necessary.
Since signing up to British Telecom’s “International Friends & Family” rate I have become blasé about making international calls. I have now ordered spare bobbins from APQS, a couple of R&S boards for DIY quilters and a Quiltazoid – by phone to the USA. Most of this was done via PayPal. Virtual buying and selling is quite surreal. You can even move the virtual money around and never touch any of it. I also chatted to a thread manufacturer who has promised to send me samples of their newest thread and magnetic core bobbins. While doing admin, I upgraded my blog to the professional level but still can’t exceed 5000 mb. I have received several Facebook invitations from quilters and suppliers this week. I have only had a quick look at it so far – I can imagine that will open a whole new can of internet addiction worms – I can only just keep up with my emails, blogs, forums and idle browsing as it is! Unfortunately I did not get all my important admin finished. I still don’t have a firm quote for the septic tank, workshop alterations or confirmation that the butcher can deal with Ginger soon. I’m going to have to buy more pig food if he doesn’t return my calls soon.
After successfully finding a buyer for my little used Hartley Fence, I had to package it up and post it to the USA. I did not have a suitable box so padded it out with bubble wrap and wadding then made a tartan bag for it to travel in. The Post Office quoted me £69.00 in postage but luckily the buyer was still satisfied with the HF’s price so off it went.
I spent some time working on the enormous Area Day mystery Christmas project. The project itself is not enormous – I just decided to make it bed sized. I started to piece the very long strips together but noticed that one of them was slightly out of sync. I took it to school football practice to unpick. It would be great if I could rig a Featherweight up in the Landy to get on with piecing at such times – but then I might need an iron and some other gear too…
I attended a 2-day workshop with renowned Australian quilter, Gloria Loughman. She was a terrific tutor. The class was relaxed, inspiring and I understood every single explanation. The class project was an A2 sized project using batiks. Gloria looked a little concerned when I stuck 6 sheets of large paper together and started to pull out plain shot cottons and gold lame so I had to explain the yurt project. I tried to work fast so that I could finish as much as possible of the basic piecing. I was asked what colour my next big section would be so I replied, “Whatever colour I have in another long piece!” It made me think how much yardage is used up in long, curvy pieces. I will have to consider this when ordering more fabric. I am wondering whether to have a go at dyeing some basic plain cotton with the soft, Hungarian powder dyes for backing and maybe if some of it works well, I could also include some of it. There were a couple of tiny pieces of Cherrywood fabric in the chequered section which looked good. I tidied up the box of yurt UFO’s so far and discovered that I have 6 panels in progress. I have decided to have a bit of a blitz on these to make some proper progress. The patchwork can be relatively simple in places as long as the quilting is interesting.
I had a great time on Friday night at a “Race Evening”. Mo has been planning this event for months to help raise funds for the local Ghillie’s sponsored bicycle ride in Jordan to raise funds for the Nazareth Hospital. Tania and Mo had spent several days collecting raffle prizes, preparing food, hanging bunting and setting up the hall for crowds of friends, farmers and local businesses. On the night I helped by serving the curry & stovies and rolling a giant dice for the hobby-horse races. The atmosphere was fantastic. There was lots of “gambling”, plenty of booze and an auction. Mo was thrilled that my husband bought her Swirling Salmon embroidery picture and relieved that we all helped to clear up at the end.
LSD was at the Scottish Quilt Championships. I heard from a friend that the judging was “…as idiosyncratic as usual and that my quilt was in Illustrious company for not winning a prize!” All I can comment is, “Hmm…” It will be interesting to see what photos the magazines publish as being interesting from the show.
Saturday was a glorious autumn day that I spent tidying up and ironing but really not wanting to do anything at all. I had a cup of coffee with Mo and we were stunned as we watched a sparrow-hawk pick off a good sized chicken before our very eyes! In the afternoon between chores, I spent some time browsing the Internet for a cheap starter sewing machine for Fenella. I know I have plenty of machines but she so desperately wants one for her 6th birthday. I would love to get her the “Hello Kitty” machine from Target USA but if it doesn’t work I’m buggered and I’d need a step-down transformer. I could get her one for £49 from John Lewis and put stickers all over it but I suspect it will be awful. I could get her a more expensive one but she IS only almost 6… Now I wish I’d kept the Janome Jem that I sold because I thought I had an excessive quantity of machines! It would have been perfect – compact, needle down, speed limiter. She is always cutting up scraps and trying to draw on them or rearrange them. I have high hopes that she will be my apprentice quilter. After spending some fruitless time looking, I decided it was time we had a BBQ and a campfire with marshmallows. The fire was wonderfully hot but the air was decidedly chilly. Quilting weather is definitely on its way!