I was utterly obsessed or more likely, possessed by the desire to complete the corracle quilting and to complete the totally absorbing trilogy of books set on the Isle of Lewis by Peter May.
The dense quilting was pretty hard going but most gratifying as the texture on the chamois and spandex is gorgeous and I am not sure which side I actually prefer. The spandex was more than a little challenging as it stretched in all directions. It was rather like adjusting a pair of Spanx hold-you-in-knickers as I tried to get rid of the wrinkles while it was on the quilt frame.
Every time I stopped for a cup of coffee or lunch, I greedily read a few chapters as the characters and Hebridean scenery seemed so real. I tried to tell myself to savour the experience but the stories were too compelling. I could even imagine myself living on a windswept croft, eating porridge and cutting peat. For several nights I read well past midnight until the whole story was complete and I sincerely hope that the author will add to the series. I may get a little more work done this week but I am about to embark on a third Carcassonne novel by Kate Mosse that is likely to distract me.
Once I took the 9 quilted chamois skins off the frame I realised how weighty this piece is. Listening to a play on Radio 4, I used gold fabric paint to highlight the quarter-inch concentric circles. I took a small off-cut of chamois and hand sewed some beads onto it using nymo thread and a fine leather needle. I was delighted at how easy it was to attach small chips of amber and some shells. I want to embellish the outside of the corracle using the type of trinkets that Vikings may have traded. I can’t really sew the beads on until I have the the quilted fitted onto corracle frame as there will be quite a lot of shaping and cutting to do. I decided to quilt right out to the edges as I intend to use leftover pieces to cover the paddle handle and possibly make some notebooks if there is enough.
We had two seasons this week: there was heavy snow and treacherous driving conditions on Wednesday but a rapid thaw the next day which led to beautiful spring-like weather for the next few days. It spurred me on to do a mini spring clean in the Music room and my workshop. I bought a few plastic crates to organise my teaching materials and get rid of some projects that had been hiding in shoe boxes. I found the raw garnet chips that I thought I had lost but I have not remembered where I stashed some pearls that I bought in Des Moines.
I caught up with Mo for coffee and bounced around a few ideas for another project thatI have had in my head for a while. There will be an Ancient Celtic theme and I hope to use all sorts of natural embellishments. I have asked everyone locally to be on the lookout for small dead creatures as I want to use bones instead of beads. I spotted a fresh road-killed badger but my children would not let me stop the car to retrieve it as they thought that was both weird and embarrassing. I will have to speak to a game-keeper nicely – failing that I suppose I could make do with some antler toggles. I am keen to get started on the next project, even though I know that I still have Oz Bewitched and Highland Fling to complete. I can’t decide whether to start with the soft brown deerskin or the white goat leather…