We had a mini family holiday near Oban, on the West Coast of Scotland this week. Our holiday cottage looked like a traditional black-house with a reed thatched roof. There was a rowing boat that we could take out onto the loch and the scenery was breath-taking. Luckily we had two fine weather days so we took a short boat trip to see seals and we wandered around the town. There was not much to buy apart from mass produced knitwear but there were some excellent places to eat including a chocolate shop and several seafood restaurants.
After the weather turned wet and misty we enjoyed a visit to the whisky distillery and the friendly independent cinema where we saw “Sunshine on Leith”, a surprisingly enjoyable film with an unlikely soundtrack of songs by The Proclaimers.
The guidebook recommended a visit to the village of Easdale where we could catch a foot-ferry across to a small island to see an old slate quarry. The giftshop there was rather unusual with a major exhibition by an unusual artist, lots of out-of-date shortbread and a real zebra skin rug. After seeing the other visitors putting on oilskins for the short boat trip across in low visibility, we decided to drive on down the coast.
We stumbled upon an archaeological museum in Kilmartin which was centred around many Ancient burial sites and standing stones. I was amazed to see a Celtic coracle just how I had imagined mine could be before I even did any research. This one was woven from wicker and covered with a cow hide that had been treated with seal oil. It really was a weird feeling to see something so similar!
I had intended to produce a lot of sketches of quilting designs but I found that I preferred to spend my evenings reading a book or watching a film with a bottle of wine. I did at least do quite a lot of thinking about the type of diagrams that I would like to include so I will just have to see whether it is possible to work on these during the rest of the October break. I think it is more likely that the time will fly past and I will struggle to fit in any quilting, especially as it will be Fenella’s 10th birthday and she wants me to make an amazing cake.
I completed 14 autumn stripsets then ran out of exciting colours so I decided that there should be enough to make a totem out of that lot. I will just have to see how many wonky blocks it yields then buy a sponge column of an appropriate size. My original idea had been to cover much cheaper tree trunks with quilted panels but I know from experience how difficult it is to ship wooden exhibits to the USA…!