Sunday, 11 September 2011

Coffee & Chips

Thanks to Kay for sending me a photo of the Yurt at Perth...!
Mo and I had a whole two days of "raking" together when we took the Quilted Yurt to the QGBI Regional Day in Perth, Scotland. Before we even left Banchory we managed to rummage through the Red Cross shop where I acquired a Tyrolean jacket, dropped the patchwork Smart Car cover off at the sweetie shop, "Continental Cream" where it will be displayed on a car during NEOS week, chose some sweets for the journey, then we bought some bespoke gin & tonic for our weekend trip from the Deeside Drinks Emporium. I had been busy all week making ipad covers, crazy notebooks and cutting up kits for bunting & Christmas table runners so I felt entitled to a couple of treats...
We thought Perth was pretty cool – I have to admit that I have only ever passed through Perth on previous conferences. There were quite a few interesting and trendy shops selling jewellery, beads, felt hats and yarns, alongside an old-fashioned general store and a traditional ironmonger. There is now a well-stocked craft & quilt shop quirkily named, "The Peacock and the Tortoise". We arrived in the late afternoon so did not get much time to shop but we called in to a great coffee bean and loose tea shop – "The Bean Stop". It was a treat to sample the house coffee and enjoy all of the aromas of freshly blended teas. After a lengthy discussion on the merits of coffee making equipment Mo left with an "aeropress" and I bought packages of Cuban coffee and Russian Caravan tea with a hint of smoky lapsang souchon. We had an early supper at a French bistro then headed to the venue of the lecture, Glenearn Community Campus. The staff there were very obliging and helped to unload the rafters from the Landy roof-rack so that everything was in the right place so that a fast assembly could be attempted ONE hour. The organising committee had managed to round up some young men to help get the crown up and we even had time to spare so that all of the covers went on too – it makes such a difference to have a team of strong helpers! Mo and I felt that we were lacking in salt after all of that strenuous lifting so we stopped off for a bag of chips on our way back to the hotel. There was some hilarity as we could not operate the sofa bed mechanism until we had thirstily slurped a large gin each.
It was nice not to be in a hurry in the morning and we were glad that we were able to brew proper full bodied coffee with the new press. John from the coffee bean shop called in to admire the Yurt and he gave us a great collection of printed coffee sacks from around the world. They are fascinating, smell great and I am sure we will think of a good project for them. My talk seemed to go down well as I told the story behind the Quilted Yurt with some pig chasing tales thrown in for good measure. I was worried that I had only been talking for about 20 minutes but I managed to ramble on for over an hour without anyone falling asleep. The quilters were fascinated by the scale of the project and by all of the different panels. Someone asked Mo how she could cope with a friend like me but of course, she replied, "We are just the same!"
Jan Hassard from Bristol gave a trunkshow in the afternoon and she showed a super collection of historical quilts as well as some of her own. Her old, treasured quilts reminded me to get on with quilting a couple of scruffy feedsacks that I bought from Ebay ages ago. As usual it was great to catch up with other quilters from around Scotland and meet some new ones too. Kay and Another Lady VERY kindly stayed on and helped to disassemble and pack up the Yurt at the end of the day. The janitor, politically correctly named "a mighty man", held onto the crown in the much quicker dismantling process. Lashing the ropes on is always the most onerous task but I must be sure that everything is well secured.  Mo sold enough of my postcards to pay for our obligatory fish supper with mushy peas in Stonehaven and I lazily decided not to unpack the Landy until Sunday morning!

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