The summer holidays got off to a good start with a week of unusually lovely weather. It has probably been 10 years since we had such heat at the end of the school term. After a day of longarm tuition on Monday I took the kids and their friends to the beach at Stonehaven for ice-cream, paddling and chips. It became really sultry so I gave my spaniel, Wellington, a haircut because he was not losing his shaggy winter coat and he looked like a very hot bear. I got so warm doing that job that I even felt it necessary to cut my jeans off at the knees. In the evening the smell of honeysuckle was divine and we sat out on the old sofa until the midges started biting.
On Wednesday I dragged them along to the farmers’ market at Platform 22 in Torphins where we bought fresh langoustines and herring to cook on my bucket BBQ. My ulterior motive was that I could also enjoy a delicious Arabic coffee in the cafe.
Thursday was not such fun as I had to go into school to help prepare my classroom for next term. There was quite a bit of rubbish to clear out, chewed pencils to sort and walls to cover with frieze paper. It was not just small sections of noticeboard that had to be covered - the walls are entirely made from pinboard and all of the existing paper was damaged. We did not manage to finish the job and we did not have time to discuss the curriculum so unfortunately, I will have to go in for at least one other day.
The travellers returned from Rome having enjoyed two spectacular rock concerts and a lot of hard-core sightseeing. They animatedly described their gelati, pizzas and adventures before giving me some limocello liqueur in a little bottle shaped like a temple column.
I put Freya to good use in my workshop and she helped me to package the coracle and totems in huge lengths of bubble-wrap. It was a challenge working out how to sew on the labels for the Festival of Quilts so I used my initiative - laminating them and attaching them with safety pins instead.
I was reminded that I have not updated my website in almost 3 years so I wondered whether to make the changes by adding extra pages to my Wordpess blog and then perhaps decide later whether it is worth keeping the paid website. I rejuvenated an old Flickr photo account to make a gallery so now I will have to spend time adding a selection of at least 6 years worth of photos. While I was in the mood for messing about on the computer, I updated a Powerpoint presentation to include slides of the USA Yurt for FOQ. This involved hunting high and low for digital pictures that I thought were lost and then checking that all of the fonts matched neatly.
I was feeling very frustrated with the computerised attachment that I had bought my longarm machine so that I could do more basic customer quilts. I just could not get it to co-operate with me. In the end my husband checked all of the connections and discovered that one of the cables had worked itself a tiny bit loose. I practised setting patterns into blocks then started on a simple quilt that was perfect for that type of minimal quilting. It also needed additional stitch-in-the-ditch quilting around each square. It is SO tricky keeping the SID lines straight as the seams tend to vary enormously. Just for fun I asked the computer to simulate this process but it was almost a quarter of an inch off course in some spots. I am not yet sure how much use I will make of the computer apart from when I am asked to keep the quilting super simple but if it just takes some of the strain out of those big repetitive customer jobs, perhaps I will be able to get more fancy freehanding done?