Sorting Circles

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I was determined to make significant progress on writing some projects to go in the Yurt book. I wrote instructions that I think are simple to follow but I am aware that anyone who makes a claim that their pattern is “easy” is either optimistic about the skill of the person tackling the project or is just lying. It will be imperative that someone else can understand what I am trying to explain. I have taken several photos of various stages but some publishers prefer diagrams. I realised that I could use Smartpen to sketch the pictures and an editor could find someone who can actually draw to present them properly. However, the trouble with having gadgets and software that are not used frequently is that the operator tends to forget how they work. I could do all sorts of things with EQ6 if I had enough patience to remind myself how it works. It took a whole evening for me to figure out how to upload a scribble and save it as a PDF. It would have been quicker to scan in a sketch but there is really no point in having a Smartpen and not using it. It struck me that when I attended the meeting for parents about the school intranet, I should have won a prize for Geekiest Parent since I was able to comment authoritatively on uploading and plug-ins.

The abilities of computer literate quilters can be staggering. My parents are touring around the USA and they emailed to tell me that they had visited a small quilt show in Tombstone, bought a raffle ticket and left their mobile phone behind. I posted a message onto a forum, a quilter elsewhere in Arizona contacted the guild in Tombstone, the phone was found and they called the number that was stored to my parents’ friends in California to ask how they could return it!

I decided that I would figure out the most accurate and easiest way of attaching bias tape to circles. Sally kindly posted a link to her method on Facebook and it worked really well. Not satisfied by that major achievement, I just had to crack the “Easy” method of sewing a closed bias loop around a circle. Several attempts ended up in the bin but I finally got good results and can now describe a blow by blow account of how to do it. I make sure that a piece of wadding goes underneath to add stability and to bulk out any fullness. The next challenge was to construct some Drunkard’s Path type blocks to reform into a simple Celtic design. I used a variety of methods of turning under the edges of circles. It just goes to show that if you are going to write a pattern that works properly, it has to be thoroughly tested. I had to work out circle sizes or curved templates that included the correct seam allowance and would fit exactly next to a 4-patch block. Since I am not a mathematician and because I never studied a proper course in patchwork, I find resizing can be a bit tricky. It may seem sensible to use a template from a book but I often want to adjust the size of the project. I will make the other half of my Celtic ring before I decide which method gives the best results. Maybe I will decide that I should just make the templates using EQ6 and piece the Drunkards Path pieces together with a curved piecing foot.

I made carrot cake #3 using Nigel Slater’s recipe. It was a good cake, although separately egg whites and yolks was a bit of a faff. I thought the texture was a touch dry if I am being really critical but the mascarpone and cream cheese icing was superb.

I contacted the British Council to enquire about travel grants for artists exhibiting overseas but I was told that all future funding has been cut. I emailed Radio 4 “Woman’s Hour” to see if they would be interested in interviewing me as I could really do with finding sponsorship to help fund the Yurt tour. I sent a package of postcards off to Terri in Wisconsin to publicise the Yurt exhibition in the USA. I phoned Creative Exhibitions to see if I would be allowed to exhibit the Smart Car cover on an actual car at FOQ. The answer was that I may be allowed to enter it if I could obtain a car without a battery or petrol tank for Health & Safety reasons. The marketing department of Mercedes Smart in Birmingham is looking into my request since they could gain free advertising at Europe’s largest quilt festival. The latest thing that I have decided to investigate is publicising my blog to date. I don’t mean to sell any copies; it would just make it easier to flick through to pick out any suitable excerpts for the real book. I was fascinated to discover that I can see where my readers come from on the Blogger site. I was amazed to note that there are viewers worldwide. I think I will now go and frustrate myself with EQ6 for a couple of hours or perhaps I will go off at a tangent and look up some other international quilters’ blogs!

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