Sunday, 14 March 2010

Quilter on the Roof


I was going to write that it has been just like Spring here except that it IS actually Spring.  Because we have had snow on the ground for so long, I thought it was still January so I was a bit shocked when I noticed that it was mid March. However, this does not mean that winter has gone in Scotland. I am getting a couple of eggs a day from the hens and soon I will shave all of Bloody Mabel's wiry coat off. She gets 2 itchy, bald patches every year but I didn't want to give her a radical haircut when the temperatures were so low. It seems as if all of my days have begun to blur into each other. I was very ashamed that I forgot that I was supposed to give a talk to the Women's Rural Institute at the Echt Bulb Show when I agreed to attend the Quilters' Guild Scottish Regional Day in Perth.


I managed to finish quilting all of the tweed roof sections, 3 yurt panels and bind 4 of them which was good going. I started to do some accent embroidery when my very expensive Husqvarna sewing machine decided that it could only sew straight lines. I phoned to see if I could troubleshoot the problem and was asked if I had been sewing anything heavy duty recently. It looks like I will have to send it away for a service and possibly get some repairs done. I had to use rickrack to hide the wonky stitches that it produced.


Mo came back from her great trip to Georgia full of felting ideas but most aggravated that airport staff at Heathrow confiscated her duty free gin. She helped me to cut out and man-handle the tweed roof sections through the overlocker. Neither of us is particularly scientific or mathematical but we had to work out circumferences of the yurt and the crown using Pi and a calculator. We had lots of diagrams and scribbles on a piece of paper to work out how wide to cut the roof wedges. At one point she asked me a particularly tricky sum. After some consideration, my reply was, "How should I bloody know?!" We think we have worked it out now and have joined most of it together. The next thing to do is to fit it onto the frame to see what happens next. We have even worked out how to connect the roof to what is going around the walls – thin offcuts of quilted tweed will punctuate each panel with velcro and top loops.


I had a day off from yurting on Saturday for the Regional Day. There were 2 super speakers, Christine Porter and Sheena Norquay. I have asked Sheena Norquay if I can interview her for the Podcast. I was fascinated by her printed and stitched pieces and would love to do a workshop with her at some stage. We stopped for Fish & Chips on the way home and ate them in the car, overlooking the sea with steamed up windows. We even had locally caught calamari which the best I have ever had.


I spent 12 hours working on a custom Double Wedding Ring kingsized quilt on Sunday and only got near to halfway through before I ran out of thread. I had turned this job away a few weeks ago, explaining about the schedule for the exhibition but the customer was extremely keen that I should do it for her daughter's wedding in May. I caved in eventually but I want to have it done within 3 days or I may have a nervous breakdown. I hope Barnyarns has the thread in stock and can get it here by Tuesday. I have also decided that I need to increase my quilting charges! I will have to get on with making the tweed joining sections and piecing my last yurt panel until I can get the frame clear again.


I have invited Ferret for the weekend of the 3rd and 4th July as I will be running my first longarm Summer Camp. It will not be exclusively for APQS owners, although there will be a technical class. I still have to put together a proper programme and work out costs but there will be gadgets, freehanding and whatever else I think will be popular.


It was fun to have a Skype video call with Connie in Virginia the other night. She was able to hold up the Amish String Star that she has done for the yurt. I am so amazed by technology when you can do things like that. I thought I would share the poem that Ellen sent me about spending so much time on the computer...!


 I asked the Lord to tell me

 Why my house is such a mess

 He asked if I'd been 'computering',

 And I had to answer 'yes.' 

 He told me to get off my butt,

 And tidy up the house.

 And so I started cleaning up...

 The smudges off my mouse. 

 I wiped and shined the topside.

 That really did the trick...

 I was just admiring my good work. 

 I didn't mean to 'click.' 

 But click, I did, and oops -

 I found a real absorbing site

 That I got SO way into it - 

 I was into it all night.

So nothing's changed except my mouse.

 It's as shiny as the sun.

 I guess my house will stay a mess.....

 While I sit here on my bum.


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