Gallivanting Time Again

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 The Pink Project was completed last Sunday night, quality control checked for threads and wrapped up on Monday morning. There is always an anticlimax after such an intense period of activity. It took two days to sort out the workshop, sift through all of the bent pins, catch up on correspondence and wait for Fedex to collect the large package. I was disappointed that it was not released to the media on Friday as planned as I have been dying to post pictures of the finished article on the blog and Facebook.

I finally bound Buddug’s beautiful Baltimore quilt and sent it back to Wales as a special delivery parcel. I did a lot of tiny background quilting on it but because I had used wool wadding, it was still drapey and light. I think her hand appliqué is wonderful and love that she used so many different fabrics.

By Wednesday I was wondering what to do as the pressure was off and I had no definite deadlines to meet. It is not as if I have nothing to do… just that I could not decide what to tackle next. I quilted a small piece of fabric to turn into a notebook cover with pen pocket for the Echo Livescribe pen that I have been too busy to experiment with. As usual I have made myself a note to increase the sides on the quilted covers for spiral books by another quarter of an inch. I really must write down the instructions for the notebook cover as by now the original notes have so many crossings-out and post-it-notes attached.

Tania and I were driven down to St. Cyrus to see our neighbour’s new house with sea views. I was intensely jealous of her 1950’s cream Aga that made the empty house cosy and welcoming. We had a rake around the junkyard on the edge of the Nature Reserve. “Steptoe’s” has the most incredible quantity of stuff outside on tables and stacked high in a large barn. There was an odd system of pricing where we had to ask a woman with a notepad who went off to discuss terms with the boss and then some haggling could go on. Prices were not cheap; I bought a scruffy 201k Sinker hand-crank sewing machine for £20 but it is in a bit of a state. I had read that it has the reputation for being one of the strongest machines ever made. My Husqvarnas are great machines but they have really struggled with large, bulky projects this year.

We had a second outing on Friday when I took one of my machines up to the shop in Keith to be fixed. I was rather taken with the Janome Horizon as I reckon I could do with a sturdy machine that can cope with big projects but can also do some decorative stitches. I have received many comments by email that it is a good machine but there seem to have been a few teething troubles according to some. It would be great if Husqvarna would bring out a similar machine in the same price range then I would have both value for money and the best Swedish build quality. It was a long drive to Keith in thick Scotch mist but fun to be away from the workshop and not at home doing overdue jobs like sorting out my wardrobe, paperwork or tidying children’s bedrooms, which is what I ought to have been doing.

At Freya’s request, I took her and Fenella into Aberdeen for a girls’ day out on Saturday. We went to the music shop to look at pianos. Our free antique piano has a honky-tonk-pub-piano sound with some keys that stick occasionally so the teacher has recommended a digital version. I have now researched extensively on the internet and been to the music shop and the conclusion is that we should get the most expensive one that we can afford so that the children don’t grow out of it as they progress. I like to encourage any interest in music so bought Freya some sheet music by Lady Gaga! We had a leisurely wander around in Aberdeen and stayed out in town all day, even visiting a tortoise shop. Fenella had said she would like a tortoise for her birthday but changed her mind when told that they don’t do anything at all and can hardly ever go outside in Scotland. She thought the lizards looked cool but we agreed that the reptile shop was pretty odorous so thankfully she has gone off that idea.

Mo and I had permission to rummage through the skip behind a hotel that is being refurbished but we were disappointed to find that it had already been emptied. We decided to drive by a disused village hall that could make a great studio. It is right in the forest and would provide a terrific space for working on large projects. The landlord is apparently on the brink of turning off the services and using it as a storage shed so we are keen to find out if we can use it for a very modest rent. It would make a wonderful longarming space except that it is situated on its own and expensive equipment may not be secure, although it has obviously had no visitors other than swallows for years.

The children are now on holiday for two weeks so I am planning to fit too much in as usual – visiting family in England, reminding myself what my Yurt Book is about, quilting a few of my old quilts that have been sitting in a basket for a while, planning a talk & workshop, starting a couple of new Yurt panels for Yurt2, repainting the Purposeless Room white, considering a couple of new projects with Mo, making a huge cupcake for Fenella’s birthday, and planning a Yurt Night which should keep me busy for a while…

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