Volcanoes, Moquette and Invisible Mice


moquettesprd   stripjoined

I had a busy and varied week. I was booked to teach in school on 4 days and give two talks/demos but wintry weather threw in a couple of diversions to this plan. I gave a talk to a local WRI which seemed to go down well. I was expected to judge the competitions for “best hyacinth bulb” and “vegetarian supper for one”. I was the lucky recipient of two raffle prizes, comprising a set of ladies’ embroidered hankies and a rubber ball on a keyring that would hold spare carrier bags for emergency shopping. It is a good job that I found my evening so entertaining since they were not actually joking when they said that my Speaker’s Fee would be the delicious Refreshments. I was a little surprised: at least, the meringues were delicious.

We have been trying hard not to hurt Bluecat’s feelings by laughing at her clumsy attempts to catch the invisible mice that live deep inside the walls of our old farmhouse. She has a habit of not paying attention and frequently falls straight off the end of the windowsill. The other day she tried out a proper cat stunt of taking a running jump from kitchen stool to table but the stool slipped and she went flying off in a very uncool move which she was unable to make look deliberate. She glared grumpily and stalked off for a sulk in her shopping basket.

I had an enjoyable week in school with a Primary 6 class that was half its usual size since all of the P7’s were away on a residential trip. Without the aid of any special training courses, we had fun building volcanic islands out of snow which erupted with a mixture of vinegar, bicarb and food colouring. The class carried out research on 3 tropical islands and   found out all sorts of fascinating facts about komodo dragons, vanilla, tomato frogs and maps. We all learned how to sing two songs in sign language as we had a very talented signing expert who supports a profoundly deaf child.

I was meant to teach a workshop on Wednesday so I turned down a day of teaching in school. In the end, the workshop was also cancelled due to snow so I gained a day in my workshop, albeit unpaid. I expect that it was due to having bonus time that I made two disastrous attempts at bias binding. The first time round I did not have enough of a particular fabric and the next time I cut a perfectly good piece of fabric into too many triangles for some bizarre reason. I ditched the “clever” method in the end and simply cut off 45 degree strips and sewed them together.

I had been cold in bed the night before so instead of going to look for an extra quilt I thought I might like to make a new one. I spent some time browsing at fabric online before telling myself that I could use up leftover Aboriginal prints. I tried out a new-to-me simple method of making half square triangles and decided that the next time I am bored I will  simply piece odds and ends until I have a bed quilt sized project. Obviously, I already have unquilted projects that I could quite easily turn into a new quilt for my bed but I had a passing fancy to start something new.

I managed to sew a few more gemstones onto the white leather piece and I joined sections of the freestyle pieced curvy strips together. All I need now is the extra large foam bolster that I will turn into the first Celtic totem post.

The other project that I have been working on is an ancient bedcover that Mo asked me to quilt for a client. It is made from some sort of cotton fabric that is very fragile and crewel work that seems to be made from moquette or jute. I am simply stippling the background down onto calico, wool wadding and backing but it did not take long for me to realise that most of the embroidery was no longer firmly attached. I am quilting slowly right over all of it and it is rather like quilting a carpet. It is really amazing what my APQS longarm machine can cope with – silk, spandex, leather, carpetty stuff… This project has not been fun so I confess that I have been stopping frequently to look up fountain pens, beads, ex London Underground moquette cushions, and sealing wax on Ebay.


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