Monday, 7 September 2015

Getting ready for the EPM exhibition - a day in my life

My next exhibition opens at the European Patchwork Meeting next Wednesday, the 16 September 2015.  I’m sure that all the other exhibitors are calm and collected and have everything ready by now.  But I’m a bit of a deadline junkie and I don’t function like that.  Of course, I could just call time and decide that I have enough good work (which I do, but I always feel I could do more).  So this is a head down with serious work to do week, with totally unrealistic goals.  The children are going to be eating a lot of baked beans and other convenience food!  To give you an insight into my processes, I thought I would share with you what I have done today.  I’m sure there are better ways to do things, like trying to achieve less or doing things when I have time, rather than at the last moment, but to be fair, I haven’t really had much spare time over the past 12 months!  Anyway, this was today:

6am Woke up with R’s alarm and eventually crawled out of bed.  I’m not good first thing.  Finished laying out the pieces for my final large quilt for the Show and set up my lovely Pfaff sewing machine with the embroidery unit.  Started the sewing machine stitching out some patterns on some gelli-plate prints to make some little works of art – probably to be mounted on as greeting cards.
Small piece after the stitching, waiting to be neatened

7am Got the kids up, did some exercise, made packed lunches, ordered school dinners, got everyone (including me) ready for school.

8.30 Walked the youngest up to school and then walked back a slightly longer route so I got some fresh air today.

9.30 Did the minimum of housework I can get away with – ie emptied the dishwasher and hung out the washing. 

10.00 Answered some urgent emails and did some urgent admin.

10.30 Started the rounds of removing fabric from dye baths, washing and drying it.  This continued all day off and on as the washing machine cycles were completed.  No, this is not essential for my EPM work, but I taught dyeing to the C&G group at the weekend and there was lots of leftover dye and I couldn’t let it go to waste... 12m of fabric later and I’m still going!
One of my dye buckets

11.00 Ironed the patches onto Vilene and made up the backing for the final quilt.  Managed to drop the iron on the floor.  Luckily I missed me.  It is now a bit flappy and has gone to recycling.  Also luckily, it was an old one, which needed replaced.  I then stitched all the patches in place.
The patchwork prior to block printing

12.30 A little break for lunch, whilst leaving the embroidery unit running – overall I made 12 little pieces in the day.  I did actually stop for 15 mins as the weather was gorgeous and so I sat outside eating.  This is Scotland so I’ve got to make the most of it.

12.45 Started stamping the final quilt with Inktense to give it more interest and a better background.  This involved spraying the stamp, rubbing the Inktense on – I think I used 10 different shades, though not all at once, pressing the stamp onto the fabric three times and then repeating.  Lots of times.
Inktense and the stamp

2.30 Realise I have forgotten to rinse out the thickened dye from the fabric for the binding of my second last new quilt for the EPM.  Rush to get it done before I have to get the kids.  Somehow manage to lock the washing machine and I have to run it again before it will open the door – so I don’t manage to get it out on the line until I get back from the school run.
The block printed quilt top, drying
3.00 Remember I forgot to call sewing machine repair man as my Bernina is sounding a bit unwell.  He reassures me I’m unlikely to kill it by continuing to use it this week, and I make an appointment to take it in once I’m back from the EPM.

3.10 Leave a bit late to get the kids from school.  Once home, we have an ice lolly in the garden as it is so lovely, whilst I hear about the events of the day.

4.00 Start closely reading the French translation of my catalogue that my fabulous friend, Fredérique has written for me.  This takes a long time as I am being continually interrupted by the youngest who is trying to make chocolate whoopie pies from a Hummingbird cookbook – well she is only 8!
My catalogue... in English
6.00 Make a simple dinner and feed the youngest two.  Get the oldest one to golf practice.

7.00 Get in all the fabric that is on the line, leaving the clothes for R to deal with (sorry!).  Help with bedtime routines, then iron out the fabric for the binding, cut and stitch it in place on the front.  Try and write this blog post at the same time.
Some of my 12m of newly dyed fabric - still to be ironed

8.30 Flop in front of the TV with the oldest child for my favourite TV programme Only Connect – I love quizzes where I don’t know the answers!  Got some of the connecting wall this week, so I'm chuffed.  Eat my dinner.  Stitch the binding to the quilt and neaten up the ends on it and some of the small pieces I made today.

10.00 Think about going to bed ready to continue the madness tomorrow... only four days left until we have to get the ferry to France...


Margaret said...

Ah...the energy of the young (grin). I'll be 63 tomorrow. Some days it feels as though I'm still on the treadmill...and then I reflect and wonder, "How on earth did I do it all?" And I remember I was a good 25-30 years younger...

Have a great time in France!

Gillian Cooper said...

Happy birthday Margaret - I hope you have a lovely day. I bet you achieve more than you think. I know I always assume that things will take less time than they do, so I feel that I haven't achieved much.

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