It has been hard to tear myself away from my latest fiction addiction and concentrate on writing my book about a quilted Yurt while I have been greedily devouring novels featuring DS McRae, set in a grimmer than life version of Aberdeen. These books are full of murderous characters, criminal gangs and far more bodies than normal but they are gripping because all of the places and people seem so real and close to home. Maybe my book needs some more action or a mystery to solve.
I made an effort to spend some time on the Yurt book draft, fleshing it out a bit and deciding what was most relevant. I referred back through the blog to work out what I have been so busy doing since the Yurt debuted at Loch Lomond last year. It would seem that I constantly suffer from angst that I am not fitting enough into my week to create all that I would like. It is interesting to review just how much has been achieved. There was more decorating than I remembered, along with brewing, baking, homework and trips. During that same period I have made several attempts to get my teeth into the book or promote the Yurt before being overwhelmed by guilt that I have spent hours on the laptop with no evidence of activity. At least if I am making a quilt it is easier to see it growing.
I was amused to read in the blog archive that I had been bamboozled by some of the gadgets that I thought would save me time but that simple tasks actually took longer to achieve because I had forgotten how they worked. A prime example of this was my attempt to interview Yurtman for his chapter. I could have used the SmartPen with its recording facility or the handheld voice recorder when I thought I would have time to write podcasts. It is all very well practising with the tape recorder and pretending to be a reporter when no-one else is there but I felt slightly embarrassed to have so much technology at my disposal to interview someone who is interested in living as "off-grid" as possible. Instead, I just wrote garbled notes with a biro.
I decided that maybe I should dictate parts of the Yurt story onto the tape recorder and get my speed typing friend to turn it into text. Getting the hang of the gadget was the easy part. I discovered that it saves the files as WAV's which are too big to send by email so they would have to be shrunk. I spent an entire morning fumbling my way through cyber-babble trying to compress or zip or convert my recording into an mp3 file small enough to email to my friend. It would have been quicker and easier to a) type it myself, b) drive to her house with my notes or c) copy the file onto a usb stick and post it! I was annoyed at how much time I was wasting not quilting but determined to solve my techno-puzzle and I finally found a way to do it by sheer luck. Sadly my friend's computer was too elderly to open the file but at least I know it can be done in theory.
By the time I made it into the workshop to quilt a hessian coffee bean sack that I thought would make trendy gadget covers, my sewing skills had obviously deserted me. I think I should just have stuck to straight line quilting. I wondered if it would improve the look of the piece if it was washed as it was a bit grubby and the hessian had a loose weave. This was not a good decision as most of the ink washed out. I could have made further attempts to remedy the situation by adding embroidery but decided that it would be quicker to start again so Bloody Mabel got a new dog blanket. Next I quilted two small pieces of Aboriginal fabric and a piece of oilcloth so at least I would have something to show for my week's efforts.