I had an impromptu and exciting visit from local willow weaver, Helen Jackson, who called in to discuss the design of my Coracle Project. We had both done some research on the construction of a simple Spey Currach, a very small, round fishing boat that would have been used by Ancient Celts. This is the structure that I want to cover in quilted chamois skins with bronze spandex on the reverse. We braved the icy wind and rain to see if I had any suitable long willow wands in the garden that could be woven in to the coracle then we sketched out rough ideas. It will be life sized but not intended for sea travel as I don’t want to cover it in tar – instead, it can be hung on a wall for display. I want to sew on amber beads and shells and treat it more like some sort of a ceremonial Viking vessel. The concept is still evolving at this stage. Meanwhile I quilted a small owl fabric quilt for a customer to get bound and wrapped in good time for Christmas. I received my latest Welsh quilt from Ebay, soaked it in distilled vinegar and gave it a gentle wash. Although I like the idea of subtle, neutral throws, I love these huge, bright retro tapestries that don’t match any decor and there simply is NO warmer blanket; essential when the temperatures plummet.
Be’elzebub is also slowly unfolding organically. I am constructing large chunks of blocks that I hope will all fit together randomly when I have enough. The blocks that I like best are the rounded ones so I am thinking about making another bracken coloured version just using those blocks. If I make two earthy “non-wholecloths” then I can choose the one that appeals the most for the traditional-ish design and the other can be more modern and simple, like two companion quilts that are very similar in some ways but also very different to each other.
The rest of my week was disrupted by snow. Durris School was cancelled on one of the days but the school where I was meant to be teaching remained open. On this occasion I stayed at home and achieved very little but I have been told that if this situation arises again then I should take my kids to school with me. They are not impressed with this idea as they had fun playing in the snow but if the winter is as bad as predicted then that is what will have to happen since the country roads that lead to their school can be icily treacherous, even for 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
End of term activities are really gathering pace now. There will be a flurry of concerts, carol services, parties, secret santa gifts to find, cookies to make, presents to buy & wrap, tests to revise for, and colds to avoid. And in between all this, Fergus’s birthday, some Christmas baking, school, and MAYBE even a little bit of sewing?