The week got the off to a gentle start when the children returned to school without a single flake of snow scuppering my plans but I stocked up on sacks of dog and chicken food just in case. It gave me time to consider a much needed new TO DO list. The WRI ladies came for an outing to my workshop where I gave them a talk and showed them some of my quilts. I had the delicious honour of judging the Shortbread Competition which was hard as their standard of baking was so high. It reminded me that a couple of my Yurt Book recipes need tweaking – I have to decide whether to recommend serving the venison casserole with mash or a concoction of pearl barley.

I chose Norse and Celtic designs to enlarge at the photocopy shop for a set of 3 metallic wholecloths. I had enough gold lame and a piece of shredding tissue lame in silver but I had to send away to an American pageant shop to find shiny copper spandex. It will either be a quite interesting miniseries of pieces that look like carved metal-work or simply a disaster in lurex…

On Wednesday I was kept busy teaching a class that involves free motion quilting into small sections of a pre-quilted Celtic spiro. It is interesting working with beginners; I can remember clearly the frustrations of being a novice. There are students who get rather annoyed with themselves if they don’t produce flowing designs straight away and I remind them gently that it is a bit like learning how to write – you would not expect beautifully flowing cursive script on the first day at school. It is always interesting that thread choices and the individual style of each student leads to entirely different looking projects that started off from exactly the same point. While they worked away on their fillers I polished the flute that had arrived from Ebay. It was a little more “vintage” and grubbier than expected but it soon polished up and Freya managed to get all of the keys to work so it will do until she decides whether to resume lessons or not.

I made a start on the first of 3 Christmas quilts that I plan to make for each of my children. I thought I had far more Christmas fabric in my stash so I ended up rummaging around pulling out what might pass for Christmassy colours instead. I used the Go Cutter to cut out apple core shapes then had to work out how to sew them without having a trauma about using PINS. I had bought a Curvemaster sewing machine foot which worked reasonably well at easing the fabric in from one curve to another but despite watching a YouTube video I don’t think I quite had the hang of it. I came across a blog where it was suggested that the middles and outer edges should be stuck in place with a tiny dab of Sewline fabric glue. This seemed to work a treat so I have made a good start. There was a time when I would never have attempted anything as tricky as curved seams but I seem to have overcome my fears and I think the blocks I have made so far look really fun.

I made a tentative start on the Norse gold lame wholecloth and so far it seems to be going accordingly to plan. I have not yet worked out what I want in the background. The easy option would be swirls and plumes but I think it needs some tricky lines.

I taught a class of lively 6 year olds on Friday and I managed to keep them fairly under control for the day but I did pour myself a large sherry when I got home 😉 My next assignment is teaching Science classes for a day so I have been trying to think of cool experiments that will grab their attention and keep them engaged for a whole hour.

During the evenings after supervising homework I have been on the internet looking at Hebridean holiday cottages, trying to find accommodation and parking for the Landy in central London, figuring out the logistics of being a tour guide for the 2012 Irish International Quilting Festival, and learning how to tune up a banjo and ukulele from a YouTube clip. I finally succeeded in submitting the winning bid on a Le Creuset fondue set so I am now looking forward to the next time I have a surplus of cheese or chocolate!



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