Getting Geared Up
I felt like a hamster in a ball this week as my "to do" list kept expanding and it seemed as though nothing was getting finished. It started on Monday when I tackled buying school shoes and new uniform. The shoe shop was packed the sales girls were pretty efficient. My method of purchasing children's shoes is to buy the first pair that fit without getting sidetracked by style.
We just happened to be next door to The Seattle Quilt Co. in Aberdeen so I bought an extra large rotary cutter for fabric jelly roll production. The June Tailor Shape Pro cutter is great and I sliced through a lot of fabric in a relatively short time.
Producing packages of fabric to sell is not nearly as lucrative as I had thought. The whole process involves cutting fabric from the bolt, pre-washing and dyeing it, drying and ironing, cutting into straight strips or accurate squares, sorting, organising, rolling or folding, tying the bundles, attaching labels and packaging attractively. The time taken to do 20 metres was considerable. In addition, I decided that it would be a good selling point if I made a small and simple quilt from the dyed fabrics so that customers could see how nice the colours look. That took another whole day and the small project grew into a single-bed sized quilt with a pieced back that I will need to quilt and bind this week.
After repeatedly measuring the interior of the Landy for space I decided that I would need to hire a transit van to take all of the gear down to Birmingham. I looked at the Ford website to see if I could get 10 foot poles diagonally into a standard 8 foot van and even called some van hire companies pretending to be a builder since talking about timber lengths is less complicated than describing what a longarm frame involves. Several phone calls later I booked a suitable vehicle. IF I sell all of my dyed fabric packages then I will just about cover the van's costs. It's a shame transit vans are not better equipped to sleep and wash in so that I could also save a week's worth of hotel bills.
I started waking up worrying about whether the show Lenni and frame would arrive in the UK and clear HM Customs on time. There was also a flurry of customers ordering spares to collect from me at FOQ but on Friday I received the email that assured me that Lenni has been shipped air freight. To add to my stress level, two major Yurt companies that had shown an interest in sponsoring a frame in the USA declined so I need to see if I can get enough funds to have one made by a specialist carpenter. As it is still the summer holidays, I really had not realised how soon the Des Moines show in October is approaching. Some serious sponsors need to commit in the next few weeks as complying with US customs will be tricky for such a large collection of quilts. I was both relieved and disgruntled when Twisted Threads finally let me know that they don't have room for the Yurt at FOQ without paying for extra exhibition space. Running the APQS booth and Yurt would have been a juggling act but at the same time would have been a great chance to promote a Yurt tour. I got a super Yurt collage poster printed at Costco so will have that and some Yurt panels on show at the APQS booth which will look great.
Because I have been busy in my workshop, I have neglected to sort out the Sylvanian Family collection that Fenella inherited from her older sister. It was almost impossible to walk across her bedroom floor so we embarked on a major Reorganisation Plan. This involved dismantling a spare bed, rearranging all of her furniture, putting art materials in the summer house, decluttering my ex- sewing room and then rearranging my workshop to accommodate the Lenni frame when it arrives for me to partially assemble and test prior to FOQ. It took a while to achieve all of this but at least there is less junk on show. I now have a beyond-repair treadle sewing machine outside my workshop as a bird table. I have a lovely one in the house but this one is all gunked up and full of woodworm. I agreed to adopt it rather than take it to the dump and it looks rather picturesque. Another acquisition that I could not pass up this week was a large fake coal stove from the second hand shop. This can go into the ex-sewing room that hasn't yet got a new use. I hate "spare" rooms that have no particular purpose and are full of stuff that doesn't belong anywhere else. Mo gave me some surplus fabric for demonstrating at FOQ. She rediscovered some odd bits of flowery chintz that would make lovely cushions. I also spotted a very scruffy antique armchair hanging upside down in a barn that she offered to re-upholster for me. Quaint and untidy drawing rooms in "County Living" magazine always look amazing so it will be a challenge to create a stylish room from all of my old junk.
I took my camera out one morning and took some photos of Scottish wild-flowers as it is so easy to get caught up and stop noticing the beautiful scenery just outside my door. We never did take the Yurt to Aboyne Castle this week as the weather continued to be wet but we went to the Aboyne Highland Games where we watched some caber tossing and took some pictures of pipers in full tartan regalia. Pictures like these should look good in the to-be-completed Yurt book. I may have to get some tartan wellies and pose pensively in a stone circle for the back cover.