As I had anticipated, I had a busy few days prior to my trip to Malvern making sure that the fridge was well stocked and that Freya had everything ready for her marathon school bus trip to Spain. Finally, I made 200 inches of wavy chamois binding and attached it all around the rim of the coracle. For some reason I decided to finish off the edge with an embroidery stitch and had to stop myself from adding even more decorative stitching as I remembered that there would also be lots of eyelets to add detail. I just hope that at least one of the leather punches will be strong enough to crunch its way through all of that spandex, wadding and suede.
After I had taken Freya sailing and dropped her off for Duke of Edinburgh training I headed down to Falkirk in the evening so that Ellen and I could hit the road to Worcestershire on Friday morning. The Landy did a sterling job as usual apart from struggling on long, slow hills with its temperamental turbo. I had lashed two 10ft long boxes on top that contained the rails and poles of a longarm quilting system that would be delivered during the show. Apart from getting help from a neighbour to shove the boxes up onto the roof-rack, I covered them with a tarpaulin then tied them on with ratchet straps and nylon rope entirely unaided.
Ellen and I discussed everything under the sun on the journey but we were glad when we turned off the tedious M6 motorway and followed more scenic roads into Malvern. We stayed at a pleasant Bed and Breakfast run by the aptly named Mr. and Mrs. Gotobed and wandered down to the local pub for wild boar burgers washed down with Hobgoblin real ale.
The show was held at the Three Counties Showground and it was very busy. There were many traders’ stalls crowded into the main hall and marquee and a high standard of competition and exhibition quilts. We were excited that our friend, Kay Bell had won the longarming prize for one of her customer quilts and teased her by text message saying that Ellen would spend the day impersonating the talented winning quilter.
I bought more printing tools that I will add to the collection of blocks and rollers that is still pristine from the last time I bought a batch at FOQ, Birmingham. Perhaps if I reorganise the drawer that contains all of the creative stuff, I will be more inclined to use it?
We drove out to the pleasant market town of Ledbury on twisty roads through scenic countryside where we had another delicious pub supper with Ani and her friend, Tracey. I bounced book ideas around with Ellen and made some notes to add to the many other ideas that already need editing.
We travelled further into the Cotswolds on Sunday to deliver the quilting machine to a quaint, new quilt shop next to the museum in Winchcombe. I had to park on the pavement and climb onto the roof to untie all of the straps. We carried the boxes across the street and squeezed the longarm frame into its new home after flagging down a passing Man to undo some over-tight bolts that had defeated us.
Ellen and I declared that the area around Malvern was definitely worth further exploration on another trip when we would allow ourselves more time. I did not go straight home to Aberdeen on Sunday night so we made a foray into Linlithgow on Monday where I found cording for the coracle and beaded totem. I also bought half a dozen Cornishware storage jars that were in a charity shop window, priced reasonably at £4 each! Over coffee we discussed which other quilt shows we still needed to tick off our bucket list or even ones that we would like to revisit. We are both keen to go back to Paducah at some point so perhaps we will have to give that some serious thought…