Sunday, 22 May 2011


I tackled a pair of boys' quilts almost as soon as the customer dropped them off as I knew that if I left them any longer they may not get fitted in for ages. They were really charming in simple checks, spots and stripes and big swirls finished them off really well.

Mo gave me a panel of Celtic patterns to quilt that she had applied with a T-shirt transfer. I used the Bliss Lenni and was really impressed that I could follow the pattern without wobbling off any of the lines as it was so smooth. I decided to check that the rubbery residue would wash off before I spent hours on the background quilting but after hand-washing it, then giving it a hot wash, it looked like dried-on glue. Mo was more determined to get it off so she has now scrubbed it with white spirit! I think I can probably come up with easier ways to finish the Hare off...

I decided to trace the Celtic knotwork Yurt panel from California and make a second version of it for Yurt 2. My curved cross hatching rulers have now arrived so I hope to tackle the Celtic Rings next. I will have to make a decision on when to stop as it is probably about time to work on a new project or at least think about a couple of new competition quilts. I checked and edited the supply list for my AQS classes at Des Moines, and submitted the draft book proposal so it really was a week of crossing things off lists.

It was an incredibly sociable week. I attended the world premiere of low budget comedy-horror film, "Attack of the Herbals". This was shot entirely on location near Stonehaven with local actors. The bizarre plot involved herbal tea that made the villagers psychotic and turned them into evil zombies. It was surprisingly funny – apparently it has attracted considerable interest at the Cannes Film Festival. I took Freya and Fergus out for a sophisticated supper at Woodend Barn to see Walter Strauss, an amazing guitarist from California. He played a mixture of Blues, Spanish, American Folk and African instrumentals, including songs that he had written himself. We also went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and enjoyed the swash-buckling piratical adventures of Captain Jack and the dastardly BlackBeard.

In addition to all of the cultural outings, there were some incredible cultures bubbling away at home. My sourdough starter no longer smelled like vomit, just acridly cheesy. I appealed for help on the River Cottage Forum and was advised to keep going as the cooler climate in Scotland was obviously slowing down its fermentation and at least it was not mouldy. Sure enough, it now smells fresh and yeasty after two weeks so I hope it actually makes good bread! We had some remedial work done on our old fashioned concrete septic tank and soakaway; I was complimented by the digger driver that he had not seen such wonderfully healthy bugs and cultures for years so it's good to know that we have done our bit for the environment.

I spent Friday and Saturday at the Loch Lomond Quilt Show with Ellen. We spend a pleasurable and leisurely couple of days visiting all of the exhibitions. The Smart Car looked great in the shopping centre at Lomond Shores. The Canadian Red Cross Quilts all had moving stories to tell. Of course I am biased as some of my quilts were there, but I particularly enjoyed the "30 of the Best" and "FreeWheeling" galleries in the Trinity Church at Renton. The traders were in a new, brighter location at Riverside Church and I bought some gorgeous African fabrics from Magie Relph's African Fabric Shop. There are a couple of large pieces that may end up as Yurt panels and a wall-hanging kit for me to do just for fun. It was lovely to catch up with so many people and even be recognised by my gold boots. I am also thrilled to mention that I have sold "LSD" as part of my effort to raise funds for the Yurt tour of the USA. Its new owners are from Australia; they were on holiday in the UK and were visiting the show. This will be my most well travelled quilt as it has already been to California and Rhode Island. I will be kind of sad to see it go but on the other hand, it's an excuse to make something new!


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