Gatherings

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The Studio received a thorough sorting out after I unloaded all of the gear from FOQ and even the paperwork was filed neatly. I spent a lot of time emailing and phoning to follow up possible shipping quotes, technical queries and making notes on how the show went. It could take weeks or even months to see if people who looked at machines at FOQ become actual customers. 

 

I ordered wool wadding for an impressive appliqué quilt that is coming up and finally got to work on the long overdue workshop samples for the “Pimp My Quilt” class that may have to be subtitled, “Wild Wholecloth” for more sober types. I am fairly pleased with how it has turned out but feel that it could do with even more bling to live up to its reputation. Miniature crochet circles in fine gold thread would be great so I really must make an effort to conquer my crochet dyslexia.

 

I chased up arrangements for the Yurt Tour, very conscious that Des Moines in October is rapidly approaching. The Customs forms are long-winded and I was hugely disappointed when my tweed roof sponsors pulled out having shown a keen interest previously, citing cutbacks as the reason. It is too late to gain any grants at this stage. The USA Yurtman came up trumps and agreed to make the Vermont frame the same size as the original and AQS has been poised to put the Yurt in its show catalogue. I decided to wait until after the weekend to figure out whether it would still be possible to go ahead with Des Moines without one of the main sponsors or get a PA on board, have more funds in place and line everything up for a Spring tour that could involve more than one event. I also need time to work some more on the Yurt Book!

 

I have been collecting together ideas and mulling over all sorts of things since FOQ. If I am going to travel around the country doing workshops and selling machines then I may need to make the enormous sacrifice of trading in my beloved Landy for a more economical and practical estate car that could double up as a van. The Landy is my absolute most favourite vehicle and brilliant where I live in Scotland but it is not good for long distances. Maybe I can have one again when I retire!

 

Mo and I are going to try to work on a joint show quilt using lots of different materials and techniques. We are full of grand ideas but need to sketch these out on paper and work out when we are going to fit it in to our schedules. I have not actually worked on any show entries this year and the Yurt Project seems to be evolving into the Yurt 2 Project – with USA and Europe versions.

 

I was irritated to find that I could not pay for the bottle of supermarket wine at 9.50am as I dashed around doing some grocery shopping one busy morning. I was disappointed that the shop was not busy as I was in the mood to cause a Scene and protest at the Government’s stupid law that only really penalises housewives rather than teenaged binge drinkers who would actually still be in bed before 10.00am . I refused to move out of the automated checkout area where the assistant was getting agitated at the robotic voice proclaiming, “Please take the illegal item out of the bag!”

That same day a man arrived at the house asking if I could use any cheap, spare tarmac for cash as they had finished patching the potholes in the road. When I went out later on I noticed that they had only repaired one side of the road before trying to sell off their “surplus” materials. By the time Freya came home to tell me that her first Home Economics lesson at secondary school was “How to make Instant Coffee”, I was ready to storm Parliament, stage a coup and restore order. I think that teaching children who have cooked over a camp fire in primary school how to make instant coffee is absurd. I was expecting something more elaborate involving coffee beans and frothy milk.

 

Mo, Tania and I set the world to rights with a Yurt Night discussing politics, books, taxidermy and funeral arrangements. Our conversations are always irreverent and eclectic, accompanied by a delightful bottle of Rioja from the new wine shop in Banchory that also stocks 6 types of gin that we will be obliged to sample.

On Saturday we drove up to Strathdon on the edge of The Highlands to see the Lonach Gathering. This is quite a spectacle where Pipebands and Clansmen march around the neighbourhood from early in the morning, stopping off for several drams of whisky on the way. I filmed a short movie on my digital camera, forgetting that we have a Flip video camera at home. It was a wonderful, traditional event with everyone wearing tartan and wellies. The weather was beautifully sunny one minute then lashing with rain the next. Freya camped there overnight with friends and it was pretty stormy but they stayed cosy with plenty of extra layers and blankets. It is fascinating watching the field events that include caber tossing, hammer throwing and tug-o-war. We spent a pleasant afternoon wandering around chatting to friends and I chose a tartan hat with feathers for the Quilt Quine to wear at foreign events. I really hankered after a bright green tweed trilby but it was £55 and I wasn’t sure that I could really wear it while demonstrating longarming at quilt shows. It is about time for me to update my web avatar picture so I may model the new headgear for the photo.

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