The trouble with browsing on Ebay is that it is easy to waste an awful lot of time doing "research" while finding the best sites for gems or beads. I also became extremely distracted looking at handmade glass lampwork beads on Etsy and I started to build up quite a collection of inexpensive and not-so-cheap beads for my Houston Chamilia/Trollbead bracelet. My excuse was that I was actually choosing beads to add to the Pandora bracelet that I have bought Freya for her birthday but virtual shopping for bead-charms was becoming my latest addiction. I told myself that this was perfectly justifiable since I have not been drinking wine in recent weeks as part of a mini health kick! Fenella has informed me that she would also like a bracelet like mine so it looks like I may have to spend a little more time searching for the best deals.
In addition to a day in the classroom, I helped a beginner quilter to apply binding to a cub-scout banner, sewed yet more gemstones onto the white leather goatskin, and I did some utility quilting on a gingerbread man patchwork throw for a customer.
I confounded the local pharmacist again with an unusual request for lanolin cream or neatsfoot oil which I wanted to use for rehydrating the battered old leather that Mo stripped from some ancient armchairs. I did not want to drive all the way over to the feed merchant and horse tack shop so I improvised with French olive-oil soap and rapeseed oil. I really want to maintain the very worn look of the old leather but I am concerned that it will all crack up if I try quilting it when it is so dry. I daresay I may have to quilt a test piece to see what happens.
I finished quilting the Norse birds onto the soft deerskin hide and posted a picture on Facebook. I was thrilled when one of my quilting heroes, Karen McTavish, commented that she thought it was "Glorious!" I have decided that it definitely will not become part of the tree/totem series as I have concluded that they should all feature circles that can be surrounded with gems or other interesting beads.
I worked on some skinny curved piecing over the weekend as I want the "totem" to look a little like birch bark but using the same colours as the gems. There was a time when I would never had dared to try such a radical aspect of patchwork but I figured out my own way of doing it and I am quite excited by what I have planned.
I balked at Mo's suggestion of making 7 such pieces since that is a magical number but I am very tempted by the notion of making 12 - one for every month of the year. I have not even finished the first one yet and I can picture myself being consumed by a new major series. I am already trying to talk myself out of creating something new for the inaugural British Quilt & Stitch Village Show in Uttoxeter at the end of April. Surely I must have something already finished that could be suitable?