Quilting in a (not so) Polar Vortex


It has been very cold here this week with temperatures rarely rising above zero celsius, even in bright sun. I cannot imagine what it must have been like in the USA where some places were colder than Antarctica! We had very little snow up here so everything ran as normal except for my Landrover which had ice on the inside of the windows, the alarm beeping as I was driving along due to some ice in the electrics and I had to use rope to tie the door shut when the rubber seals froze so that Bumble was not ejected. Twice a day I had to pour boiling water over the hens’ aluminium drinking trough because it kept freezing. While the prospect of summer seems like months away, I booked tickets to the Latitude Festival in July so I will have to organise some camping gear since my folks have sold their caravan. 

I managed to get my workshop up to a working temperature most days as long as I was also wearing thermals and at least 2 extra jumpers. I managed to finish off the quilt that the computer messed up while I was busy multi-tasking. I tightened up the belts and clamps  then had no more issues on the final quilt done by my trusty APQS Millennium. I advertised it for sale in the New Year, assuming that it would take a while to sell as it is the 14ft version. To my surprise it was snapped up within 24 hours! This week I packed it all up, with all sorts of accessories and spares then it was collected to go and work for a new owner in the south of England. I have owned an APQS machine since 2007, quilting ALL sorts of projects on it so it was quite a big decision to let it go and order a second Bernina Q24. However, I know that I love free-motion on the Bernina and the new frame will be a bit shorter so there will be a little extra storage space in my studio. 

Once everything was tidy I noticed how the longarm room could do with being brightened up. I will hang a quilt up to cover some boxes and invest in some fairy lights. I can’t do much to hide all of the quilts, totems, wadding and general “stuff” that I have to store other than keep it tidy. Imagine how amazing it would be to design a studio from scratch with cavernous hidden cupboards;)


I actually completed 3 other customer quilts, all done with computer pantographs. None of them were quick or easy and I had to keep a close eye on them. I downloaded a great pattern called “Steampunk Spokes”, perfect for an engineer / bike enthusiast whose mother made him a birthday quilt. Qmatic did a great job but each row took at least an hour to sew. 


Since I did not feel I could go away and leave the machine quilting completely by itself, I decided to titivate the sketchbook that will accompany my screen printed Warli figures at the Gray’s School of Art evening class exhibition. I confess that I did not create the sketchbook THEN create the artwork. I actually created the artwork with what was inside my head then put the ideas onto paper afterwards. I printed out examples of Warli artwork, stuck in some photos that I took in India, added a few fabric samples, decorated some of the pages with wooden stamps then decided that the outside would be more fun if the spiral binder was festooned with pompoms. 



I ran off a few more prints at the class, including some foil transfers. I discovered that they do not work with a hot domestic iron at home. I only need one or two weeks more at the class to create prints so I leave enough time to sew all of the samples together as a quilt, particularly if I am considering adding a couple of blocks of pompoms / yo-yos, because – why not?!


About thequiltquine

Quirky Quilter in Scotland Creator of The Quilted Yurts, Patchwork Smart Car, Metallic Norse Wholecloths, Coracle, Quilted Henge, Quilting Tutor & Speaker, Occasional Pig-Keeper, Primary School Teacher, Mother, Writer, Landrover Enthusiast, Gin Connoisseur

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