Sunday, 20 June 2010

Midsummer Madness

Despite the cool weather and grey skies, it is Midsummer's Day tomorrow. At least the sun made an appearance on Wednesday morning long enough so we could have coffee in the garden but despite wearing boots, fleece and long Drizabone coat to football training, I was still cold. Freya had 10 girls here for camping in the big tent on Saturday night. They had hot water bottles and thick socks to keep warm. Mind you, they didn't go to sleep... they were bouncing on the trampoline all night, making plenty of noise and making popcorn at 4 am. I spent most of the next day wiping up spilled coke and nagging the girls to help tidy up the grassy bedding and sweet wrappers. Our walled garden is perfect for such occasions – they were able to play on the swings, hang out in the summer house and sit around a campfire. While I was in the mood I shook all the rugs out in the yurt and hoovered up the long winter's creepy crawlies in case any of my longarm summer-camp visitors want to sleep in there with the wood-burner to keep them cosy.

I reminded myself how to use the Quiltazoid, made sure that I set it up correctly for each new block and used it to make spiros on a sampler quilt for a customer. With a quarter-inch piano key border and small loopy filler it looked very simple and smart when finished. Feeling virtuous about completing a customer quilt and supervising a DIY baby quilt, I loaded an unfinished Yurt panel and used the QZ for part and full concentric circles. I was really pleased with the accuracy and it felt good to be working on something Yurty again. I received several positive messages about my interview in July's copy of Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I have not actually seen the article yet but the Yurt also had 3 pictures and mentions in the July edition of Popular Patchwork Magazine; a full feature is planned for September. I find it really thrilling when something that I have made appears in print so I felt inspired do some groundwork for the Yurt Book. I have archived all of the email comments by Stunt Quilters and all references to the Yurt project in the Blog. It was fun to go back and read old posts and see how much work I try to squeeze into every chaotic week. It looks like I need to aim for 10 or 12 Yurt panel projects in a book as well as interviews, anecdotes, information and lots of pictures. My next task is to draft out a set of clear instructions for the publishers to approve.

I had quite a bit of APQS business to attend to this week, chasing up niggles with the electronics, taking delivery of a bigger uninterrupted power supply and then I had a business meeting with myself to outline my strategy for UK's Festival of Quilts in August. I had to call the Very Technical Department of the UPS system suppliers to ask for a much longer cable to suit an industrial sewing machine. They had no idea what I was trying to describe and in the end told me to do something very low-tech - cut off the socket that is designed for a computer system and fit a 3-pin GB power socket instead. I asked if it was OK to rewire a plug in this age of sealed unit plugs and was patronised by being asked if "someone" could wire a plug for me. HA! I do actually remember buying appliances in the olden days and being trusted by the Government to wire it up to a plug all by myself.

Angela Madden was the speaker at the Aberdeen P&Q Group on Wednesday evening and I was very impressed by the range of her quilts. She has come up with non-mathematical tools for marking Celtic designs and drafting blocks with perspective that look really clever but I will have to see if I can understand the instructions. She recommended that I should look at which is a British Internet-TV quilting site. It looks really interesting but I was amused by Jennie Rayment sounding very posh in the style of vintage cook, Fanny Craddock!

I have had no animal dramas lately, thank goodness. As the wheat field is now very lush and wet and the cows are in the other field behind the house, I have been taking the dogs for walks by the river. If there are no ghillies and fishermen about I let them off for a quick swim but Welly always manages to locate and chase the stupid ducks, drawing attention to himself with much splashing and quacking so he gets put straight back onto the stretchy lead. Mabel's bald patches have grown back in since I cut all of her winter fur off so now she looks quite respectable and could pass for a proper terrier.

After visiting the bank on Friday and trying in vain to get access to my money because it hadn't been sitting in the bank's accounts gathering dust long enough, I marched into the sweet shop demanding 3 Crunchies in a Bank Robber tone of voice. The sweetshop lady, who drives a tiny pink car, querulously pointed me in the direction of the much more up-market Lindt version. I have to report that it was quite pleasant but nothing can actually beat that "Crunchie Feeling!"

I made myself give the nuclear-bunker-loo a second coat of paint in anticipation of the arrival of my longarm summer-camp visitors. One of my children looked fairly horrified when they saw my paint spattered painting gear and hoped that I would not be going out dressed like that, particularly as the old jeans also had serious holes in them. Since I have made it my mission in life to cause them maximum embarrassment, I decided not to get changed before taking them to their swimming lessons and I don't actually think anyone really noticed. I have to paint the floor before Sports Day tomorrow so must try to leave time to change before that.

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