Not Cutting Down



I have eaten rather a lot of cake lately. It was my birthday last week and there seemed to be a prolonged period of chocolate consumption. I may be reaching the point where I will need to cut down. I had made up my mind that I needed a tweed jacket. The reason that tweeds are supplied by landowners to their gamekeepers is that they are so warm and also repel Scotch mist. Since we have had damp, grey days I thought it would make a smarter change from living in an old hippy jumper. I tried several jackets in various sales but they were all a bit tight or too blokey or I looked like I might be off to saddle up a horse. Eventually, I bought one in the sale at the fishing and shooting shop and have lived in it ever since.

I did not get a lot of sewing done which gnawed away at my conscience but I have moved almost everything into the workshop and absolutely love working in there now. George the Builder blocked up the last rotten window and I had to wait a few days before slapping on the white paint. My books are all on their shelves and I have a stash of neatly organised fabric in trolleys under the quilt frame. The windows all got polished and a rug thrown on the unpainted bit of floor so that everything was shipshape for the Longarm Machine maintenance class. Tracy kindly brought me yet more items from IKEA as my personal courier and now I have the challenge of a 9-drawer unit for threads to assemble.

My guest for the weekend was Mark Caraher from APQS in Iowa. My family and I enjoyed his company and he did a super job of teaching 4 longarm quilters how to check and fix their machines. He had already managed to fit in a similar session in Surrey for the owners in the South of England. The manual that we were talked through is great as it is all illustrated so I will feel more confident at trouble-shooting from now on. My Milli was in good shape; the frame got raised up again and all checked over. After thrashing over the dimensions with Tracy and Mark, it looks like I won’t need to do surgery on my quilt frame in order to squeeze a future Lenni into the studio if I simply add castors. It was most enjoyable hanging out with other longarmers for a couple of days, discussing threads, gadgets and sharing techniques. We had a lovely supper of organic local produce at The Milton Restaurant on Saturday evening to spend some time getting to know each other. All I need now is guest accommodation!

I was disappointed to hear from Ellen that she can’t now come on the MQX trip and the side jaunt to the New York Garment District. We always have such a laugh on out trips together and I felt that it just wouldn’t be the same without her. It’s not that I get lonely on my travels but people-watching is better fun as a shared experience! However, she has some getting better to do and should be fit again for a quilty trip later in the year…

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