When I was not teaching in school this week, I spent untold hours working on the Quilted Coracle. I used a leather punch to make holes in the chamois binding then added a multitude of brass eyelets. It took me a while to figure out the best way of attaching the cords and pulling them taut. I wanted to use natural hemp string but this proved too difficult to thread through the small eyelets. The cotton cord looks quite like leather but is far stronger. Simple lacing as I had planned was not effective; the best method was to tie strong lengths of cord through the wicker and eyelets. I even had to use pliers to make sure that the knots held and did not slip undone.
I wanted to attach circles of beads and shells inside the coracle but it proved tricky to reach with a needle and thread in places. It would have been easier to sew these on before the cover was attached but then I may have had trouble with positioning the darts or the beads could easily have got caught or knocked off while I wrestled with stretching the cover back into place. I decided that seven circles of beads would have to suffice but IF I have time left after finishing all of the other FOQ projects and customer quilts, I can always add a few more!
The next major task was to sew clusters of beads and shells all of the way around the top rim of the coracle. I had to use a long, thin beading needle to attach chips of amber, turquoise, shells and blue glass beads because I wanted to trim the coracle with the type of stones that Ancient Celts or Vikings may have used. I broke two needles before I reached all the way around the 200 inch circumference.
I have noticed that where the willow wands form structural ribs in the coracle, some of the shiny spandex has worn away. The solution to this snag will be to rub in some gold wax so it looks like worn areas of cast bronze.
I think the coracle is now finished – it is certainly ready for the Banchory River Festival at the beginning of June. I have entered it into Quilt Creations category at FOQ but it will have to be wrapped up and travel on the roof-rack since it is too big to fit in the back of the Landy. I know this because I took it down to the river to photograph it. Obviously, I did not actually float it in the water…
I completed another FOQ entry form for a Two-Person category quilt that is pieced but not yet quilted. It was difficult writing a blurb for something that is still a top without having a firm quilting plan in my head. It also required a title so I plumped for “Dunes Duet”, simply because it is made with Cherrywood fabric in soft sandy colours and is a project that will have been worked on by two quilters so we will just have to go with that!