First week of the Easter Break

In my “old age” of which I am not there yet but my children are getting older and that makes me feel like I’m getting older. All of a sudden we aren’t going to get their feet measured at the beginning of the Easter break, for sandals… instead the older D is off camping with friends and the other has exams, studying and socialising. With this comes a little time for me to sit in my work room and stitch for me, which – I’m not going to lie – is lovely. It also means that I can do a little work work, that means proper money.

So this week included the first of two Easter workshops and it was great. I decided to do a little ruler teaching. So many patchworkers do not really get the full use out of the rulers and the angles that are on them. So… I designed a hexagon workshop, purely rotary cut and machine pieced and it worked a treat.

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It never fails to delight me, the variety of colour choices and styles that a class of students can bring. It is really a joy to help people in their learning and understanding. I learn too actually, I think that is something that every teacher should bear in mind – and some forget it – that you yourself learn from people all the time.

A decision was taken that if the weather was not a wash out during the week, a trip to Edinburgh was due. In fact, I had been given the nod to enquire about some new sewing machines for my college classes. So it seemed like a good idea to pop into the ace David Drummond sewing machine shop in Edinburgh and see what he had to offer. It didn’t take very long to “come to a happy deal” and so hopefully next week I will be unpacking 6 new Janomes for my second workshop of the Easter Break.

A short walk from the sewing machine shop is the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, where there is the most wonderful exhibition of the painter Joan Eardley’s work. Many of her paintings, drawings and letters are privately owned, so to bring it all together was a treat to see. When I taught art in secondary schools, I used her portraits of Glasgow street children as inspiration for many a lesson plan. Her paintings have such life in them. Funnily enough it was her landscapes that I fell in love with this time around. They are based around Catterline, a village on the East coast of Scotland. Maybe it’s because they remind me of sitting eating a picnic in the car when I was younger. My parents are from Aberdeen and we would often go up, before the motorway took you the whole way, and before there were lots of choices for stopping for lunch. I can remember sitting looking at the colour of the Aberdeenshire landscape – liking it – and now I am even more drawn to it. Possibly because of those memories.

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These images are from the wonderful catalogue that goes with the exhibition which had to be bought. There are so few books with such a collection of her work and so beautifully reproduced.

In the final room of Eardley’s work was something that made me laugh a little inside. The Gallery have reconstructed the studio of the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi, and the organised chaos that was displayed made me feel so much better about my guddle of a sewing room. I know where things are (mostly) but for anyone else… fortunately I am in the remodelled garage space so it’s not privy to anyone other than those invited, that doesn’t mean there is a “No Entry” sign though.

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