For most of the week, I was my school-teaching alter-ego; apart from Monday when my mobile phone rang just as I arrived at school to request that I go straight home to collect Fergus who had been travel-sick on his school bus! He recovered quickly so I was able to use the bonus time to catch up on boring paperwork. Later, we made a trip to the public library, discovering that their internet is far faster than ours; the documents that I had been uploading so painfully slowly for days all disappeared into cyberspace within minutes.
I was in school for 3 days, covering all sorts of classes from Nursery to P7 so that teachers could get some precious non-teaching time to do some report writing. There were lessons on pie-charts, spellings, 3D island contours and equivalent fractions. I decided that it would be fun to explain these in the context of a gladiatorial contest, pitching different armoured combinations of “Numerator” and “Denominator” into a Roman amphitheatre. I may not be up to date with all of the latest teaching jargon but my class was of the opinion that this maths lesson had been “Epic!”
I took my leather quilt to Mo’s workshop with the intention of borrowing an industrial eyelet setter to make holes for its corset strings but “Yurtman” Paul happened to be there and mentioned that he had a heavy-duty press-stud gadget. I decided that this would be an even better method of attachment and I if I have time I can even sew tiny garnet chips around each giant press-stud. I always enjoy tossing ideas out with Mo and Paul – I drove away considering quilting a sheep-shaped piece of leather and displaying it stretched out in a collapsible frame looking as if it was being tanned…
I managed to squeeze in a patchwork pupil – we spent a couple of hours running up a large pieced back for a quilt and having a go at trying the skinny curved piecing that I have been doing lately. It was interesting to observe someone else learning a technique that I have picked up and evolved to suit myself. Beginner pupils often feel that they have to pull or stretch the fabrics as they feed through the sewing machine; in fact it is a case of allowing the machine to do all of that and simply using your fingers to guide or steer.
The Coracle is still waiting impatiently for me to tackle its cover and I was amused to notice that tiny green sprouts are appearing out of the green willow. Helen will attempt to create a wicker paddle and I will wrap offcuts of quilted leather around its shaft.
Ann has almost finished piecing the Cherrywood quilt in pale tones that we are hoping to complete in time to enter into the two-person category at Festival of Quilts so this will be another project for me to do after I return from the British Quilt and Stitch Village Show at Uttoxeter Racecourse next week. And I really want some time to set up my quilt frame with its long-awaited upgrade, sigh…!