For the first time in years I had to go to a school staff meeting before the start of term and I was horrified to discover that I would be expected to hand in my weekly plans and evaluations just like when I was still a student. Planning for a regular class is quite an undertaking since text books are definitely out of favour once more and it is really time consuming searching the internet for suitable and relevant teaching material. I was relieved to discover that I share a very nice class of 6-7 year olds and they seemed to enjoy their two days with me. I suspect that I have planned far too much as usual but I am determined to fit a little French, pancake making and sewing in somewhere. I did not actually need any new stationery but I could not resist ordering a mechanical pencil sharpener that should keep all of the classroom pencils nice and pointy!
Wednesday was a blissful day when my own children were in school and I did not have to be anywhere else except for my studio. I felt energised to launch myself into at least two new projects and prepare a customer quilt. I wasted a bit of time dyeing and piecing some wide strips of bamboo-silk to make a backing for BzB. I decided that they looked too pastelly and it seemed like it might be rather too slippery to attempt marking with a Durham wholecloth design. I opted for basic, dyed calico in the end and started tracing the design that I created several years ago in a class with Lilian Hedley. This was drawn onto greaseproof paper with a pencil and the pattern had become brittle with age. Now that I have seen a few feathers in quilt shows these ones seem rather big and ugly and I wonder if I will eventually add some swirly stuff inside them. My plan is to start with a very traditional wholecloth design but then make it rather unconventional. It could all go horribly wrong...
I selected a wide range of plain fabrics from my stash that would be suitable for the remaining 9 totems. There are fresh greens and yellows for Beltane, rich blackberry colours for Lughnasdh, and a range of russets for Samhain. I plan to dye some more background linen, track down more metallic spandex and source coloured leather hides. I need to work out how to make the foam columns more cheaply and pluck up the courage to sew yet more beads and gems onto the leather pieces. Because none of the pieces is particularly large, this can be a project that I can work at in fits and starts.
My plan for Monday morning this week is to stay off the internet and make some headway with planning an Ebook. It has taken a long time for me to accept that producing a book exclusively about the Quilted Yurt is probably too specialised; the processes of making the yurts and other 3D projects can fit into a book that is more technique based. My main problems are deciding what to leave out and concentrating on the task long enough to actually get it finished ;)