Just don’t ask a busy person…

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That saying, “if you want something done, ask a busy person…” really should be banned. It is true that busy people do seem to get things done but that is only so they can get things out of the way to move onto the next thing that they have to do! I seem to done quite a lot this week as well as spending more time than is probably healthy on the computer. I think it was because it rained heavily. I stayed at home and just got on with things.

After completing my application for the QGBI’s first travel bursary I joined IMQA so that I can apply for a scholarship to classes at MQS. I have to submit a 1500 word essay for that but I’m sure I can manage to fit that in. I remembered to book the village hall in Echt for an Aberdeenshire Area Day on November 21st so now I need to remember to tell Guild members about it. I’m going to do a Christmas swap and mystery project.

The Headteacher of the children’s school reminded me that I had offered to run a quilting project so I will be going in to work with groups of children at the end of October. I’m going to get them to do something for the FOQ School Competition in 2010 on “Cityscapes”. Of course, speaking to the Head reminded me that I had to write a Parent Council Chairperson’s report for the School AGM on Monday.

Freya came home from Girl Guide with an old wooden ammunitions box covered in about 20 years’ worth of paint. Apparently, my task is to strip off all the old paint so the Guides can start again with some new paint. I have spent 3 hours so far with a scraper and a heat gun and will have to use paint stripper and coarse sand paper to get the rest off. It would have been far more cost effective to get a new box. They’d better do a good job of repainting it.

I have received several different requests to run classes this week so I really need to sort something out. Mo and I are going to run a block of 4 cushion making classes to start with but I have also been asked to run weekly project classes, Saturday projects with soup and Longarming weekends. This forced me to discuss What Happens Next with the Studio plans with my husband. Everything had fizzled out when we realised that the project was going to cost twice what we imagined. I have asked him to consider a simpler plan to improve the workshop that I already have and think about a log cabin for guests to stay in overnight. He has agreed that I can get a builder in to quote for moving a wall and a few other jobs and get a quote for a new septic tank; he is even going to take a look at the log cabin shop with me – so finally I can start to plan again. I even mentioned that I would like to invest in an overseas trip and possibly a second Longarm machine for teaching. He really wants to get a Lotus sports car but said he’d consider it. All I need to do is generate an income to show that all this investment is worthwhile!

However, I have done a lot of spending this week. There was nothing very expensive – just lots of small things that all add up. I sourced fuses and needles for the longarm machine in the UK so bought some. I ordered Superior thread from Barnyarns, a small amount of Oakshott for my forthcoming class with Gloria Loughman, ordered a thread guide and spool holder for the longarm AND some knitting needles and wool. I decided that I should have a project that was easy to pick up if there are quiet moments at the shop on Mondays after I have rearranged the bolts of fabric. Now, my knitting is only marginally better than my crochet. I have chosen a yarn with big fluffy lumps in order to make a scarf. I hope short scarves are fashionable.

I had two small customer quilts to do this week. The first was a Maple Leaf quilt which cooperated nicely. I just did some simple swirls on it. After I had finished I experimented with some Aurifil cotton and poly samples down the spare bit at the edge and was impressed that it worked well after creating a looser thread path. The Storm at Sea quilt was more challenging. I don’t know precisely what it was but I had so much trouble with the tension being variable and the stitch regulator also started forgetting to do its job. There were a few things that could have caused difficulties: many loose threads and overlarge seams, incredibly fluffy cotton wadding that gave off puffs of lint while I was quilting and the backing was a white on cream which felt slightly plasticky. The colours were very dark and cream so the choice of thread colour was tricky. I chose King Tut variegated cotton in greens and purple – it would quilt along nicely then throw out a little loop on the back so I would have to stop and make adjustments. Then I ran out of thread on the last border, having wasted a fair amount when fiddling about but luckily I had some Rainbows thread that was similar enough to finish the job. I read all the advice and pages on tension about speed, tautness of the quilt sandwich, needle size but still couldn’t decide exactly what the problem was. If I loosened the tension the top thread was too loose…urgh! I think that it would have helped to have different thread underneath but on this project it just didn’t want to work. I’m not convinced that I actually like working with King Tut so I need to get some bigger reels to really decide if I like Aurifil. The 50wt variegated cotton looks really promising.

This week I decided to make sure that I did some sewing for the yurt project. It wasn’t much but I pieced together the flying geese that went awry so now I can join them somehow and I plucked up the courage to do the paper foundation piecing on the last part of the Stirling project. After about 3 hours I’m still only halfway along the strip and yet again, reminded why I don’t do much of this type of piecing. I know the results are accurate but I find it so slow and wasteful!

On Thursday evening when the quilting ladies come round I thought I would do something uncomplicated for a change so I took a jelly roll that I got nearly 2 years ago and a simple purchased pattern for jelly rolls and was reminded how patchwork is supposed to be relaxing and not necessarily challenging – I really enjoyed it. I might even stick to the pattern and not make it bigger or trickier at all!

Some of the tasks for the coming week are to post LSD for the Scottish Quilt Championships after remembering to photograph the back for the Road 2 California entry form, putting up a new chicken run, write notes to go with the PowerPoint presentation, print off directions to get to Fife for an overnight stop and Livingston for the Autumn Regional Day without getting too lost, and adding more bandwidth to the blog as it is running low already. I hope that actual quilters read it and not just Spammers!

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