Straw

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Although there are two weeks left of the school summer holidays, I think it would be fair to say that the weather has been pretty dismal. British Farmers are worried about their grain harvest and what sort of straw they will end up with as winter cattle feed. Growing conditions have been erratic since a very dry spring then a wet and cool summer. I could do with a trip to the hairdresser as my hair even looks like straw. It has grown quite long and the colour seems to have faded but the new growth is just mousey. I thought I might dye it myself so it is the same colour all over but I could not find a single box of dye that came anywhere near the new natural straw colour of my hair. I expect I will now wait until autumn then dye it accordingly to match the foliage.

I tackled some worthwhile mid summer holiday chores, supervising major clear outs in kids’ bedrooms and completed the dreaded repaint of Fergus’ attic room in two days after scrubbing off ancient wax crayon scribbles. The trouble with the new paint is that it makes a scruffy carpet and tatty blind look much worse.

While waiting for the paint to dry between coats, I finished quilting all of the 13 roof sections for Yurt 2 with simple lines to look like a corrugated tin roof. These will have to be shaped into wedges then fitted to the Yurt frame with Velcro before I can declare the new roof complete. I have started piecing the FINAL panel for Yurt 2 and will take the last three unquilted panels with me to FOQ so that I can demonstrate with Lenni using a scrappy area for the Festival visitors and show off a bit of serious quilting at the other end of the frame.

Unfortunately, I had to withdraw the Smart Car cover from the Quilted Creations competition at FOQ as I was unable to borrow a car upon which to display it. I had contacted several Smart Car dealers and the head of marketing for Smart/ Mercedes Benz UK but I was informed that the 35 000 international visitors attending the show were – “unlikely to represent the demographic of a Smart Car buyer” – which is a great shame. I really will have to consider whether it is worth me keeping the cover if Smart dealers can’t see the point of lending a car at quilt shows which would give them considerable free advertising. Perhaps I should try to sell it privately after all.

I had some very disappointing news this weekend from the American yurt maker who had offered to make the frame for the USA Yurt tour.  He informed me that he would no longer be able to construct and lend a frame due to ill health and economics. This is a major blow to my plans and I wish I had been told FAR earlier! I have been trying to come up with alternative ideas that will enable me to display the Quilted Yurt properly in the USA at the end of September. I have many calls to make this week to see what alternative arrangements can be made. At worst I may have to get the existing frame treated and certified for timber export then shipped at a worryingly unknown cost. I will not be defeated by this huge setback as I am determined that the Yurt will be seen by the American quilters who helped to create it and those who have provided so much encouragement.

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