Saturday, June 30, 2007

Chair 1

It is that time of year again. The next show on my horizon is the Festival of Quilts at the NEC and I can play with some of my more wacky ideas. I love this show as it has a category for everything. I really can go to town. Even better it uses collection depot, so I deliver a piece by hand to a courier who takes it to Birmingham, the cost isn't related to the size or weight of the piece. This is so wonderful. Maybe it won't sound so great to those of you in the USA but over here postage is very expensive and a lot of my work is effectively censored by what I can ship. The first question Thargol asked last night when he saw this was 'How are you going to ship it?".

Anyway, to the quilting. The chair is entirely self supporting and will effectively be four quilts. The back sides and arms are made from two quilts (one the inside of the chair the other the outside) and the same for the seat. The first picture shows a close up of the wood grain I've quilted on all the fabric I will use. I have just one layer of a thin wadding under the grain. Just enough for it to have some depth. I have had to quilt some face grain and some end grain as there will be places where you can see the end of the wood.

The design is based on cardboard chairs that slot together. I did think about leaving this one just slotted into place but I think it will be stronger and neater if I stitch all the joins into place. It will mean a fair amount of quite tricky hand sewing. Just what I always wanted. I've also taken inspiration from old furniture I have seen. I am thinking about the pieces made from planks joined then carved, where you can still clearly see the planks. I like the way they look like they have just used what was to hand. The planks are often different widths an sometimes even thicknesses. The real thing does have tones of character, so of which I would like to capture in this. I am concerned that the judges won't understand what I was after and will feel that the planks should all be the same width, so I have made them very obviously different in the hopes it will be clear it was a deliberate design decision. Keep your fingers crossed for me with that one.

In the second picture you can see a close up of the 'carving' on the back of the chair. It has been sprayed with water to remove the various wash away products on it. I love the look of the wet fabric, it did look even more woody. I don't think it entirely comes across in the photograph though.

Lastly this is the outer skin of the chair, standing up on it's own. Only one of the arms is in it's correct position, but you can see why I need the end grain. It isn't a full size chair, I thought for my first attempt a scale model or child size would be more sensible. See just sometimes I can make life a little easier for myself. I guess the back stands about 30" tall. I Obviously have quite a lot more work to do on this piece but I just had to share it. I am so excited that it does seem to be working. To me it was very important to just use textiles to make the structure. Several people have pointed out that I could put boards in between the quilts to keep things solid, but then it isn't really a fabric chair anymore is it. This is partly caused by the 3D textiles course I did earlier this year. I was disappointed to find some of the pieces were stuffed with bubble wrap to keep them in shape, and at that point decided I wanted to find ways to make the fabric do it on it's own. I did consider things like starch and other stiffeners, but it looks like I can avoid them, which for me is perfect. Keep watching, over the next month there will be plenty more wacky stuff appearing here.

Friday, June 29, 2007

My Sandown Award Winners

OK I only got second places this year, but I am quite pleased that half of my quilts picked up awards. I still think the best quilt I've made in a while is the pink one, I think that would have won the longarm award, but possibly not the bed quilt. Who knows, it isn't going to happen.

Still 'Wait' has done really well for me. Not bad considering how bad the bearding is on it. I did consider just binning it when the bearding happened, but for some reason I stuck with it. I guess that was the right answer as it was juried into Road to California earlier this year and has now taken second place in the small wall hanging category. I am really very pleased that people can see past it's issue to it's good points. I haven't decided yet if this is it's last outing, watch this space.

I really like the rosettes this year, I love purple anyway and having a matched pair is fantastic. Thanks Kate for suggesting a way to carry them without creasing or crumpling them. I did decide they were too big to wear as earrings.

This was really very unexpected as 'Red and Blue Tulips' took second place in the long arm quilting normally there is only a first place for that category. Maybe this shows we have more longarm quilters entering these shows. I hope so, we do need to show people what can be done.

As you can probably tell this quilt is from Ricky Timms Caveman quilting technique. It is somewhat modified after I saw someone else make one like this. I like the slimmer version much better than the wide one. The quilting I actually did sometime ago. In fact I think it was one of the first things I quilted after Myrna Ficken fixed my machine for me. I had so much fun doing this. I didn't really think it would ever end up in a show, it was just something to play with, but as I liked it I thought I would share it. I really didn't think this one would win anything. I guess it just goes to show, you never can tell.

There is no quilting on the little squares, so they stand up compared to the rest. The quilting mostly matches the fabric it is on. The red and blue background quilting does just slightly overflow onto the black borders. I only realised tonight that this is another background fill that I really like, and I think this is the only place I have ever used it. I think I need to have a play with it again and see if I can remember how I did it. It's quite an odd feeling look at your own work and having no idea how you did it.

I guess really I should take it with me to my class tomorrow. Maybe one of my students will be able to recreate it for me. Oh that would just be too funny.
I am glad I am not easily embarrassed.

On the subject of very cool background fillers, I was sent a link to this site today. Do go and have a look, she has done a wonderful piece of machine quilting. It is just what I needed to look at to inspire me to come up with some new patterns. Thanks Sally.

Sandown Photographs

I've finally had time to look at my pictures and to take advice on what I can and cannot do with the pictures I took at the show. I can't show pictures of other peoples quilts, unless they choose to send me them, which is a shame as I have pictures of most of the award winners and many of the others as well. On the other hand if you had a quilt in the show and would like my pictures of it, do let me know I will be happy to give a copy to the owner of the quilt.

pictures of the patchwork corner stand as well but I forgot, sorry. I'll start with the two that didn't win awards. This will probably be my last picture of Che as he has now gone to his new owner. He seemed to be very popular with the visitors to the show, which surprised me. I didn't expect I am however safe to put up pictures of my own work from the show, so that is what I will do. I did mean to take such acceptance of him, but I am thrilled by it.

'Tropical Punch" was seriously out classed in it;s theme category. The standard of work in the Batik Beauties category was stunning. There were two quilts there I would have loved to bring home. I was especially keen on the second place quilt, with it's huge leaves. I like the fact that the quilting changed colour to match the fabrics, the effect was stunning. I can't find my show guide right now to check who's it was, sorry. On the subject of show guides, the artists statement. I spend hours fiddling with my statements to get them down to the word count, I think it was 30 words for this guide, yet many of them are far longer. The longest I found was well over 100 words. So am I being stupid editing mine down to the limit. Often there is a lot more I would like to say but I don't because the rules say 30 words, yet they happily put in much longer statements. Any suggestions?

As you can see I still failed to get a good shot of the whole of 'Tropical Punch'. I think this time it was entirely human error. It looks to me like I wasn't holding the camera still. You would think that would be something I had learned a long while ago, but no I keep making that particular mistake. Still it probably gives you an idea of what was going on.

The close up pictures seem to have done a bit better. This first one shows one of the upper glasses. The background quilting on these was in a red-yellow variegated thread. I was thinking about the sunsets I saw in Cuba. They were red and orange and sort of spiky at the edges. There was often thin bands of cloud and the ends of them looked a lot like horizontal flames.

I guess I should mention that these are entirely pieced, I had a lot of people ask if the straw was applique, but no it isn't. The whole things is done by free cutting and then shuffling the pieces to get the different colours in the various places. The cutting did take a lot of thought to get the details I wanted, but the design came to me as soon as I read the entry form some months ago. I like the pieces that come to me complete. The parasol and wedges of fruit have their details quilted, with a silver metallic thread. I also used silver to quilt the crushed ice in the cocktails. Of course I was forced to go to a cocktail bar to research the look of crushed ice. It helped add detail to the glasses.

At one stage I had considered putting applique leaves around the border. I gave up that idea as too over the top for the design, I wanted something more subtle. I settled on quilting the leaves on in a variegated thread. they do slightly overlap the panels, as though you are looking through vegetation. If I were doing it again I think I would want to find a way to make the leaves more distinct. I still don't think applique is the answer, but maybe some way of making the quilting stronger. Thicker thread, double threads or maybe even bobbin work. Who knows, but I doubt it will come up again so it is rather academic.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I want to show you pictures, of my quilts at the show and of what I am working on, but my computer isn't playing. For some reason it doesn't like my new big memory card. I do have a plan for getting the pictures off, it involves trying to smile sweetly at others to do it for me, so bear with me. The pictures will be here eventually.

Tuesday I went into London, primarily to get new chair arms, but while I was there I felt I needed to get value for money out of my travel card so a minor shopping trip followed. The most arty purchase was a book of art. I've seen a few pieces by Ilene Meyer in other books, but I now have a whole book of them. They are very surreal but I think they have a lot of great quilt concepts in them. If you haven't seen any do go and have a look at at Meyer World. I will warn you that it is a site that needs flash to view it, something I am normally very much against, but in the case of artists I will sometimes make an exception. I think this particular site is worth the effort.

I don't know if it is common knowledge but in London we have free papers given away to commuters every evening. There are vendors clustered around all the central London tube stations. I find them very annoying, they block the pavement and seem to really enjoy thwacking me with their papers. I used to try taking one paper to see if it would at least stop the others of the same time assaulting me, but it doesn't so mostly I just try to catch their arms before I get hit in the chest. I got hit by three in a short walk Tuesday. Not my best effort. However that was nothing, just outside Leicester Square station there were several vendors and I was working hard trying to dodge them. I didn't see the packing straps they had left on the floor (and were standing on the end of) and I caught my foot. I went flying. Apparently it looked very impressive. From my point of view I had long enough to think "why isn't my foot moving?" "It's caught, feels like plastic strapping" "OUCH!". Followed by lying on the pavement then thinking I needed to move before I got trampled. I hit my elbow, breast and knee. The first two are annoying but my knee is something of a concern. I've knocked my knees about a lot and they are very unforgiving these days. Even at the time I knew this was going to be trouble. I did take the time to suggest (OK I wasn't that polite, I was annoyed) that they might like to use their rubbish bags instead of just dropping the litter on the floor. I don't know if they took any notice.

Anyway there was a point to that, I can't stand for any length of time at the moment. My knee just isn't playing that game. It is bruised and swollen and I can't even wear my braces without causing it more pain. This is not ideal for a longarm quilter, and actually it isn't too good for drawing designs. I often kneel on my chair, and always with my right knee. I didn't know I was right kneed until today. I have tried to rest on it so many times it is just silly.

I have managed to trace off my wings design in two sizes, which is good. I've prepared my design for Hever, and the Guild Challenge at the NEC. It's all things I needed to do, but I would have like to have been able to plan my own work order. Still I have lots more sitting work to do, so I think that is what I will be doing the next few days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

HI, I haven't forgotten you all

I came back from the show on Sunday and settled straight down to working on finishing my NEC entries. That is a good thing, given how soon they need to be ready but at the same time it means I haven't even uploaded my pictures from the show yet.

I have quilted large amounts of wood grain. I was practicing it while demonstrating the Sapphire at Sandown. It has come up pretty well on the real fabric, so I am happy with that. I have just finished the carving design I want to add to my 'wood'. I just need to work out how to mark it on. I might try sewing it with wash away thread from the wrong side. I think that will be the easiest option. I've also got the design for my small traditional quilt finalised, so as soon as the wood is off the frame that can go on.

I've had a demand for money from DHL so I need to write to them, that will be fun won't it. I am amazed they think I should pay for them failing to deliver my quilts. I also came home to a request to write an article about me for Unlimited Possibilities magazine. It is very exciting and I am thrilled to have been asked, but at the same time it will require a lot of thought and care. They have given me a set of questions to work from which will help a lot, and they can edit it down if I send them too much. Of course I also need to think about pictures to send them. Eeek. Glad I remembered to renew my subscription.

Why is it everything always happens at once?

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Today has been a day to learn things. I finally got a chance to talk to some of the traders at the show and ask lots of probably dumb questions. I've been trying to convince myself I didn't want to self publish the books I am working on, and I will finally admit defeat. Being who I am with my issues of working for others and having control of my work it is the solution that should fit me best. It will be a lot more work, I will be doing the work of the whole publishing team with the aid of Tet, and I then need to do the work of the marketing team as well. It's a tall order and a little daunting but I think it is how it has to be. Of course it means I get to gamble my own money on my own idea which is downright scary, but I think if I was prepared for someone else to take the gamble I aught to be prepared to do it myself.

I've been thrilled with the response to my patterns. I need to get some more prepared tonight ready for tomorrow. I will be making them available online early next week. The hard work and late nights is so worthwhile went you watch people choosing fabric to make your design. I hope I get to see some of the finished quilts. I am now fretting that there might have been errors that escaped the testing and proof reading. I guess there is nothing I can do about it now though so I will just have to see if I get irate phone calls, and deal with it if it happens.

The show was a lot more lively today. I don't know if there were more people, or if there were just more excited people, either way it was fun. Where yesterday I was seeing a lot of people I had met before, today I made a lot of new friends, and it was great. I got to give some very short lessons in machine quilting and people who had said they couldn't do it left with samples proving they could. I really like proving people wrong on that point. I hope they do go home and play some more. I am sure they can produce some great work with a little practice.

Anyway I should shut up and go and draw up some designs. I'll take a camera tomorrow and try to get some pictures.

Friday, June 22, 2007


The daft things I do in the name of quilting. Having had several people proof read my pattern we noticed an error after having them printed, so I needed to get a reprint. Well I can put in a correction, but I would like to have so correct ones too. So yesterday I went back to the print shop that did the first ones to get some more. This time they couldn't open the pdf file. They were adamant that it was either faulty or too big and I would have to change it. OK not ideal but not a complete disaster this was first thing in the morning and they were open late. We got back there half an hour before closing but the computer still didn't like my files. They couldn't do it. I decided I really wanted this resolved, and I know there are 24/7 printers in Soho, Google being my friend, it was pretty easy to find them. It turns out the cheapest is actually in Vauxhall, south east London, of course I live north west London. Ho hum, at least it is quite quick to drive across town around midnight. The printer did a great job and by 2am I had a new stack of folded patterns. Sorted. Just what everyone would do right? I do think it will be my chosen way to get my printing done it was a lot easier than doing it during the day.

Then an early morning to get the machine set up at the show. Fortunately I can live on five hours sleep, sometimes at least. I took one of my MQS quilts to cover the table, although I have put a cutting mat over it to protect it you can still see it around the table. Playing with the Sapphire has been a lot of fun. It really is a very nice machine for free motion work, even if the thing that most impressed a customer was that is could draw caravans! I think tomorrow I will take a larger selection of threads to play with, I missed having my whole range with me. Isn't it funny how spoilt we get by our stashes.

Oh yes, two of my quilts got awards. I got second place for longarm quilting with the 'Blue and Red Tulips', Mandy Parks won the first prize, but I haven't had a chance to look at all the quilts yet. 'Wait' also got a second place this time in the art quilt section. I will try and look at the quilts tomorrow and see what the winners look like. As I said I haven't really looked around yet but I am told there aren't as many traders as last year. Hopefully the ones that are there will be interesting enough to make up for it.

It was great to meet so many people in person that I 'know' online. It's so fun to have people I've never seen come up an talk about my work. Thank you all for taking the time to chat. To those I left abruptly I am sorry, I tend to take work related distractions quite seriously and drop the social thing. I was thinking about it on the way home and I will try and make the transition more elegant honest.

Hope to see lots more of you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sandown Entries Delivered

Well they are there safe and sound. I've delivered them all tightly rolled so hopefully they will look OK when they are hung. Last year one wasn't tight and creased where the roll was crushed. Also they were happy to put 'Do not fold' on the applique quilts that would be damaged by being folded. I am very impressed with the changes they have made to the quilt handling process. I am less impressed with my photography skills today.

I felt I should try to take a decent picture of each of these before the show. Neither of them will be coming back straight after it so it made sense. Sadly that wasn't to be. 'Tropical Punch' will be touring until November. It is part of the Batik Beauties' challenge and I think it goes to Harrogate and Edinburgh. The last quilt that did that sold as soon as it got back so I didn't get a lot of time to photograph it. Maybe the universe will be equally awkward this time, I would be quite happy for it to move on, but I would like a good picture for my site first. maybe I will get a chance to take it's picture at the show.

I also forgot to take a picture of the back of it. Of course the quilting didn't show in any of the pictures of the front. Again, I will try and get a picture at Sandown, failing that I will have to wait till November to put the picture in my portfolio.

Che will be heading home with his owner after the show, so I wanted to get a picture showing the binding. It did look fine on the camera, honestly. I wonder if I was shaking or something because they do both seem to be quite out of focus. Also I am quite sure this quilt was straighter in real life than it is in the picture. I guess it just wasn't may day for taking pictures. Still I will be at the show and I have friends I can ask to take pictures for me if I can't make it.

I also got to talk to other quilters when I dropped off my quilts. It's fun to meet people face to face instead of online or the phone. I'm really looking forward to the weekend now. I do now remember how hot the hall gets, so can we all think cooling thoughts for then.

The post today brought a new supply of Turning Twenty and Turning Twenty Again quilt patterns. I will be bringing them along to Sandown, so if you are after a copy do come and find me at the Patchwork Corner stand. I will also try and find space to display the Turning Twenty Again quilts that didn't quite get to MQS. I don't know if there will be anywhere to put them, but I figure I have to try.

Tomorrow I want to get my demonstration piece set up, I have a plan that I think will be fun, if I have enough of the fabric I want to use. I also want to work on my quilt creation for the NEC, I have been really looking forward to some of the NEC work I have left to do, but I couldn't do it until I had Sandown sorted. Ooooh I love it when I have just sent all the quilts off for a show. I feel so inspired and ready to get on with other things.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Splash of Darkness - Withdrawrn

After two rounds of un-picking and re quilting I have had t admit defeat. At best this quilt will be a utility quilt, and I do mean at best. I decided late Saturday there was no way this quilt would be fit to be seen in public. The backing just isn't playing ball. It seems to be stretching and warping as I quilt. No amount of stabilization seems to stop it. I think at some point it will go back on the frame and I will finish it pleats and all so I can use it. It's funny this quilt has been giving me trouble since I started it. I found m starting strips were wonky and the colours didn't work the way I expected. I ended up having to trim every block to make sure I had them square (although some still don't have their diagonal perfectly centered). The colours have come out looking very pink, not multicoloured as I expected. I have managed to get more contrast by quilting the colours with a very light thread and then doing the black with a thick black. Most of the quilting went well but just after I noticed the second round of pleats, the machine refused to sew. It worked fine on the test pieces but not on the actual quilt. Then I realised, the cat have shown no interest in this quilt at all. They haven't sat on it once.This is odd, show quilts are irresistible to our cats. This one has been lying on the sofa and the cats still avoided it. I guess it really isn't a quilt.

I do feel much better for having made the decision. My machine is now working like a dream again. Most of my Sandown quilts are ready for a final de-linting and packing, ready to deliver tomorrow. When I clean them I will take some pictures of them too. I think I will have to listen to the cats earlier next time. On the other hand I have a prototype of one of my NEC quilts lying around. I wasn't sure about it but it always has a cat on it. I think I will accept this vote of confidence. Maybe shows should employ cats as judges, they seem to know things about quilts that humans completely miss.

Friday, June 15, 2007

And now backwards a little.

I've got loads of things done today. A quilt has come together well and I really think it is going where I want it to. The one on the frame though isn't playing ball and I have a lot of unpicking to do tomorrow. I've spent a lot of time looking at it and I think I have to undo a little more than half the work I have done today. On the bright side I think I can alternate quilting with un-quilting. I have areas I can fill in then unpick some more then quilt again. I hope this will make it less depressing as I will be able to see it growing still even as I take it out. I am also hoping it will use different muscles so I won't get as tired. I can hope right.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Things are moving forward

I know it is silly but I was thrilled to see that my entry forms have been delivered today. I guess it is just a reaction to the DHL mess, but I really was very pleased. Even with delays at both airports they still got it there before lunchtime today. It has made me feel much better about sending my quilts out again. I've been quite shocked at the number of DHL horror stories I've been told in the last couple of weeks, and surprised by how many people have recommended FedEx. I've been impressed by this experience so I am quite happy to try them again. Watch this space, I will try and remember to post the review positive or negative.

Another bonus today, Penny has posted pictures of the quilt I sent her as part of the art share meme. This is great as I forgot to take pictures of them. Doh! I was just keen to get them in the post. So if you are interested take a look at her blog here.

I've spent the day working on quilts for Sandown. 'Splash of Darkness' is on the frame, I am trying to improve the contrast between the dark bands and the colours. They looked quite high contrast before I put them together, but now they are a big muddy. Hopefully the quilting will lift and push as required and it will be good. I've also got 'Tropical Punch' underway, it is a really fun quilt and perfect to work on in between the quilting on Splash. I am both concerned by how close the deadline is and quite confident I am on track. I would actually be ahead of the game without all the distractions the last couple of week. Still nothing I can do about that now so I guess I just have to get on with it.

Theoretically we are racing this weekend at Santa Pod, but the weather isn't looking hopeful. I am saving some hand sewing just in case, now that should be enough to taunt the weather into being good right?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Some days things do seem to be coming together. I took my Houston entry forms to Mail Box Etc to try out the FedEx next day delivery service. I like the idea that if they don't deliver I don't pay. Although I have just realised that I didn't manage to get a copy of the terms and conditions. I did ask but there were other customers distracting me and the staff member, I'll go back tomorrow and see if I can get them. Anyway I went in and they offered me somewhere to sit and fill in the forms, which I thought was very nice. I got most of the form filled in but I didn't have a phone number for the recipient. I asked if it was required and he said yes it was essential, they couldn't accept the shipment without it. Before I had a chance to say anything else he offered to look it up for me. What a difference. It was certainly a lot easier than booking a DHL collection and filling in their paperwork. Now I just have to wait and see if it gets there. I checked earlier and it was making progress, but having just checked it is stuck at Stansted with a delay beyond their control. Oh well maybe it is something about me, I can get even simple packages stuck.

I followed this up with delivering my new patterns. It is official, I will be launching my first pattern at the National Quilt Championships Sandown. It will be for sale at the Patchwork Corner stand. Somehow along the lines I also volunteered to demonstrate the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire, so if you are coming to the show, please pop by and say hello. I was really pleased that the patterns passed inspection, it is very similar to the first time I put a quilt into a show. I guess it is all a matter of sending your creations out into the world to fend for themselves. I am quite looking forward to spending the whole weekends at the show and meeting lots of new people. I am sure it will be very tiring, but hopefully it will be fun too.

I've finally finished squaring up the 204 blocks of Splash of Darkness, and I should have it on the frame tomorrow. I even think I have decided how I am going to quilt it, of course it may change once I get it on the frame, quilts seem to get more chatty once they are loaded.

I take a night off and work happens!

I spent tonight at a concert. I don't go to so many now, so they are even more of a treat when they do come up. I tend to only go to bands I know will put on a good show, I don;t have time to waste (let alone money) on those who are more variable in quality. Tonight was Motley Crue, who I love going to see. It is a very high energy show and I always leave feeling better, more alive and usually inspired.

Strangely it was the support band that provided most of the inspiration this time. I wasn't looking forward to them at all, Papa Roach didn't sound like my sort of band at all, but actually their newer material was pretty good. Their older songs really weren't to my tastes but they didn't play too much of that. They did give me an idea of a male nude. I have been thinking about it for some time now but I find men are harder to show in ways that speak to me. Sorry but most male nudes are somewhat untidy to my eye. I have nothing against the male form, it just isn't an neatly beautiful as women. The lead singer of Papa Roach mostly wasn't that exciting, but just sometimes the light on his arms was fantastic. I think I know what aspects of it made it work for me, and I think I have someone who could model for me. If I can make it work I will be thrilled.

They also sang a song dedicated to people from broken homes. After the song the singer said that believed that anything that doesn't kill us makes us stronger, and that he was proud of who he has become. It reminded me that I have a series and a one off that I need to make on that kind of theme, and I think I now have the skills I need to make them work. I think I will dig out the fabrics and bag up those projects next time I need a break.

It was good to see Motley Crue, I always wonder if the concert will be the last time I see Mick playing, and it seems that he plays each as if it were his last. He is still a great guitarist, and I do love watching him, even if I did need my binoculars to do it this time. Unfortunately Tommy Lee wasn't able to play, he has injured his shoulder. Whilst I felt sorry for him having to sit out the concert which he obviously wanted to be involved in, I felt even more sorry for his stand in. Can you imagine having to perform in place of someone with that big a personality, in front of their fans with them coaching you from the sidelines. Not my idea of fun, even if the idea of playing with the band is. It was a fantastic show, and they did a good job of the sound mixing. Sadly a lot of rock bands don't seem to be able to do that and it spoils a lot of concerts. I loved the flames, flares and pyrotechnics, just what you need on a hot day in a hot venue, we must be mad.

Having showered and changed, I've managed to get my Houston entry forms done, the photos are OK, they could be better but Decadence really didn't want to play ball having been rolled up for two weeks. Hopefully it will be good enough to show the concept to the jury. Then when I logged on to update my show spreadsheet I found that another of my secret projects is about to become a lot less secret. In the next day or so the pattern for 'By the Hearth' should appear on the Makower web site. It's obviously my week for publishing patterns. It is a pattern for a life size fireplace, complete with candles, Christmas cards, presents, stockings and of course a cat. It will also be published later this year in Popular Patchwork. It was a fun project to work on, I just wish I could have shared it at the time.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I have my quilts back. They don't appear to have been opened at any stage so all is well. The driver denies ticking the permanent export box, although he says that pretty much all packages are permanent so he does tick the box for people when they forget. Hmmm. I suggested he might want to check with the customer before doing that but he says it isn't worth it. Well that's nice to know.

Yay, another milestone hit

By the skin of our teeth we got the first batch of my first pattern printed today. I am so thrilled. If things go according to plan I hope it will be available it Sandown in two weeks time. It shouldn't be a big deal but it has been a long time in the planning. I have three other patterns ready to be typeset, proofed and then printed, which hopefully will be easier now we have done one.

I have started looking for some online shop software. We had planned to write our own, we are a household of software engineers after all, but really there is too much other work to do. So if you have software you would recommend I would be very interested to hear about it. As well as my own pattern I have the Turning Twenty, Turning Twenty Again and Turning Twenty around the block patterns for sale. If you want to order anything before we get the online shopping working use the contact me link and I will be happy to sort out manually.

I've also sent another secret squirrel off to it's owner, which is always nice, it will be secret for a bit longer, sorry. Other than that I have just finished my first ever bias binding on a quilt. Yes it has curved edges, and it went pretty well. I don't think it is something I want to be doing too often though.

Friday, June 08, 2007


I post more when I am dealing with DHL because there isn't much else I can do. I have a quilt on the frame I want to be working on but I know I can't hear the phone if the longarm is going, even when the phone is on the quilt too. I called the TURN team this morning and have been told there is no way I am getting a TURN number. In fact having talked to them I think it is pretty much impossible for a sole trader to need one. This is good, very good in fact. The government is really trying to make it easy on small businesses, which is great news for me. However we now have to convince DHL, which I suspect will be somewhat more tricky. On the bright side I do have a contact on the TURN team who is quite happy to talk to DHL for me.

The problem is getting hold of DHL. I have gone through the computer system (national rate line) several times, apparently this is the only way to reach the tracing unit. It is a clever system. You can't email anyone on the tracing team directly, they don't seem to have email, you can't phone them directly either. SO you have to pay the national rate every time you want to talk to anyone. Also by forcing you to go through the computer system and enter your AWB number then listen to the status of your package they get to add call time every call as well. Ho hum, at least they have now taken a message and I should get a call back soon. Until then I need to find something quiet to do.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pretty in Pink - back

I think the back shows better why I am so pleased with this quilt. Of course it was also harder to take pictures of. the backing is actually a pale pink with a sort of paisley pattern. I hope that the back looking good and being a little more subtle will extend the quilts life. It could be used this way up for an adult quite easily.

There are a few areas with slightly larger gaps than other areas but not many and mostly in places dictated by the design. I think the overall effect is pretty regular. The stitches also look pretty even, I don't have stitch regulation, so I have to try and move smoothly. It's surprising as I thought I was quite tense when I started the quilting, but it doesn't seem to show. Maybe I actually quilt better more tense?

When I started the project I was planning on putting quite open quilting on this piece. I didn't want to push the cost up with a lot of machine work. It didn't quite work out that way, but in hind sight I think that is probably a good thing. When I do Linus quilts I tend to put more quilting on the quilts for boys or younger children, on the grounds that they will be loved a lot and need every chance going to stay in one piece. It also occurred to me that this is a potential heirloom, it may be around in a hundred plus years and if it is will give a snapshot of this family at this time. It's a nice thought and one I considered a lot finishing the quilting. This quilt got the quilting it wanted, and I think it knew better than me.

I just hope I can do as good a job on the bed quilt I am putting into Sandown. It's getting very close (I am hand delivering so I have a bit longer) and I still can't decided what I want to do on it. I am hoping it will start talking to me really soon. If not I guess I start winging it and hope it gets chatty as I go, right?

Pretty in Pink - front

Before the quilt went off today I look a lot of photographs of it. It has gone from something I didn't quite understand to something I am very proud of. I think it is the best longarm quilting I have done so far and I wanted to make sure I had a good record of it. Isn't it typical, I put a show quilt on the frame and mess it up, a child's quilt that will be used and loved I manage to do really well. Oh well these things happen. I did hope it might be that I suddenly had found the secret formula, but no. The next quilt used the same threads and a similar pattern, the thread broke the tension shifted and in general it was a bit of a nightmare.

Still back to this one, which is a far happier tale. The pattern for the center of the top is based on my 'Ginko Typography' quilt. I've been thinking about making a pattern from it but I like the more free form approach I currently use to make it. The design brief said pink and floral, so we decided to go for machine applique flowers. These should stand up to hard use and have a lovely puffy look. I wanted to keep quite a lively feel to this quilt so the flowers are places quite randomly but only on the most visible area of the quilt.

To take the pictures I laid the quilt on my bed, it is intended to fit a single with some overhang all the way round. One of the borders should fall neatly on the edge of the bed, different borders depending on width of the bed (I hope). It is very tricky fitting a bed other than your own, you can't just nip up and try the top. I thought the picture with the nude in was amusing. It shows the range of my work quite nicely and somehow the two quilts seem quite happy together.

The binding re-uses the fabrics from the inner two borders. I had planned on using a white piping but it seemed too harsh, the pale pink sits much better with the rest of the quilt.

Secret Squirrel

I have been working hard today, I've got lots done and I feel much better for it. Unfortunately it is more secret stuff so I can't show you that. On the other hand one of my other secret projects is now allowed out. I was taking lots of pictures of it this morning before it left for it's new home. I believe it is now there (I sent it by hand not courier) so I guess I can now brag about it.

It is the 'Pretty in Pink' commission. Pink is really not my colour and there have been times when I really wondered what I was doing. It is surprisingly hard to select fabrics that aren't your colour. I decided the way for me to deal with it was to only consider the quilt in grey. After all the most important thing in quilt design is value right. I got the top together and I wasn't convinced. It looked fine in black and white though so I carried on. Here are the pictures I took while it was on the frame.

As you can see the quilt is hot pink. It is designed to appeal to a seven year old girl, and having taken advice from people who sell fabric to young girls and indeed young girls themselves, this is the colour to go for. I would have to admit to quite liking the star fabric. It is so soft. I have no idea how I would include it in a quilt for me though.

The top was all pieced then the layers loaded on the frame. Once I had it loaded I positioned and fastened the flowers in place. I am really pleased with the flowers as they are somewhat three dimensional. Of course I couldn't get that to show in any of the pictures.
The background, which is most of the quilt, is quilted with two types of flowers, hearts (thanks Myrna) and peacock feathers. Once I got into the swing of flowers I really enjoyed doing them, so I think this will be added as one of my freehand overall patterns. I am sure it will look good on a wide range of quilts.

It was only after I added the flowers that the quilt started talking to me. I could finally see past the colour and see where it was going and what it wanted. I love it when I reach that stage of any project. This one though was special, I didn't think it would happen so it meant a lot more when it suddenly came together.

Not much to say

It's hard to get hold of the TURN team and they don't want you to call until they have had your papers for 48 hours, which would be tomorrow afternoon. DHL are unhappy I haven't got hold of them and given DHL a name and extension number so they can speak to the same people. SIGH. I have far too much work to do to waste time chasing people who are trying to help me. I don't want to upset customs, it isn't a good plan.

It looks like the package I sent Datapost actually arrived early! OK they didn't manage to deliver it, but until I hear otherwise I will assume they really did try and the recipient was actually out. Hopefully they won't have too much trouble getting their package.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


It's official I have to get a TURN to get my quilts back. No not a small bird nor a dodgy stage act, a special number you need to have to be able to move goods over the value of 600 pounds in or out of the country. In fact I don't need a TURN but a pseudo TURN. I've applies and if all goes well I may have it in 48 hours. Then I can give it to DHL, who can give it to customs who will release my quilts.

As with everything in this case it isn't as simple as it could be. TURNS are issued for people moving goods from the country of origin to another country. The quilts are moving from here to here. Hopefully they will apply some common sense and just give me the number anyway.


So my quilts have turned into wallpaper, and either increased or decreased in value, depending on how you interpret the numbers. There may or may not still be 2 packages, but they are definitely stuck in UK customs. I have to apply for a TURN code or VAT number before I can get them back, as you aren't allowed to import goods over the value of 600 pounds. If I can get the form it will then take 48 hours to get the code. However getting the forms isn't as easy as you might hope.

I really wanted to waste another day chasing DHL, really I did. I didn't have anything else I should be doing at all. Of course all my customers will understand why their jobs are late and still want to work with me. Yeah right. I see some very late nights in my future as I try to catch up with everything. Yes, I am finally having a sense of humour failure. I think I did well getting this far.


I looks like my package was released by US customs overnight. After that it moved around the depot and then left. As it is now on a new airway bill that is addressed to me I think it might be on it's way home. I guess the theory is that in 2 days it might be home. So anyone fancy guessing when it will actually arrive at my door? It would be nice if it was soon. I've decided to enter 'Decadence' into Houston and I would very much like to take some better pictures of it. I have ones that would be fine for identification but they aren't as good as I would like for sending to a jury.

For sending my entry forms in I will try Fedex via Mail Box Etc. They offer a guaranteed next day service, and I will be sending my forms on Monday. That gives them 4 days to get them to their destination. It will be interesting to see if they can do any better than DHL.

Now I've also just checked on my Datapost package I sent on Monday. That is on a three day service. I have to say the tracking for that has been less the useful. It has been in transit since I sent it, which is in some ways the right answer, but I was hoping for a little more. It now says it is accepted, last scanned by delivery agent New York. Given I know it isn't going to New York I am guessing this doesn't mean it has been delivered, so does it just mean that a delivery agent has agreed to deliver it? There is also not date or time information on this tracking so it is hard to tell if it is on schedule to be in Utah tomorrow. I guess we will just have to wait and see. Yes it is what you think it is, and aren't you glad it didn't go DHL like it was supposed to.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Not Happy

Very far from it in fact, but I did find that googling DHL incompetent cheered me up somewhat. Now I have a lot of work to do to pay this even more massive bill they are planning on presenting me with. If DHL get their way the price to not have my quilts hung in a show will be around 400 pounds ($800). I already have the bill for the outbound leg of the journey. Nice to see they have one department that is doing it's job isn't it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Woo Hoo

I've found my quilts, they are definately in American Customs, and if I send over a business letter asking for them to be returned they will. Now I just have to get the paperwork done and sent before they all go home. I am feeling much better. I haven't heard anymore about Birgit's quilt though, so keep up the positve thoughs for her, it looks like it has come through for me. Thank you all for your support and help.

Update from America

I've just had an email from Nan at Counterpane Corner, she is the person the show quilts are sent to. She was just confirming that my quilts have still not arrived. I am not the only one having this problem at the moment, Birgit Schueller's quilts haven't made it either. So when having positive thoughts about these packages making it home safely please include her in your thoughts.

Yay progress

The quilts appear to have made it to the USA later than they should and without the correct paperwork. They are being held by American customs awaiting further information from either me or the show. I should be able to get them back without paying customs charges, but I won't know for sure until later. It maybe that customs are trying to contact the show before releasing them, which will be tricky given they are late and the organizers are already at the show. Still I think that is the most positive and confident answer I have had so far so I am pleased. What a situation, pleased that US customs are holding my package.

It was an interesting conversation with Customer Relations. Apparently the scanners do update the system pretty much instantly. The customer isn't really expected to watch the tracking constantly, normally you do get a call if there is a problem with your package. In fact she thinks I have done everrything I should have, indeed above and beyond what I should have needed to do. So it really isn't my fault the quilts haven't arrived on time where they were sent

Round we go again

I am back phoning DHL. The account manager who was helping on Friday does seem quite upset at having been mislead about my package. He said "I wasn't just told it had left I was told it had arrived in America and made it's internal flight". So I am going to assume he thought he had the right information. He now has to try and find out what has been going on. I also mentioned the problems with the tracking system, that things appear, disappear, and change their time. He doesn't know anything about it but will try to find out and call me back. So now I just have to wait.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Something Arty

I've felt a need to do something arty while I have been on hold to various people. I haven't been feeling like quilting so I tried knitting. It was OK but not really what I was looking for. Then people started talking about drawing on one of the lists I read. Hmmm, all you need to do to get better is practice. I haven't practiced in ages. So I thought I would have a go. I feel much better for doing it and I feel inspired to do something else. I'm not sure yet what the next thing will be, but I am sure you will all be among the first to know.

I don't think this is quite finished looking at the photograph. I think I might go back and darken the background a little more, which would also let me even up the shading. I still find shading and hatching very difficult, so I am really pleased with the hair on this one. I was surprised how much Bonnie's lesson on painting faces had helped. I could hear her tips as I was working, and they apply just as well to drawing as to painting.

Sorry DHL

OK, before I say anything else I owe DHL and apology. Their web site does clearly state that all times are local to the scan point, and in an earlier post I said it didn't. That was my mistake and I am sorry for misrepresenting them on that point.

However, they still seem to have no idea where the packages are, here is the latest tracking list I have on the web site. A lot of new data points have been added and several others removed. I have also sorted them in to date and time order, something that seems to be beyond DHL.I have also converted all time to British Summer time to make it easier to see the sequence of events.
  • May 29 10:14 London Heathrow - UK Shipment Picked Up
  • May 29 18:14 London Heathrow - UK Departing Origin
  • May 29 20:14 London Heathrow - UK Departed From DHL Facility London-Heathrow
  • May 29 23:01 East Midlands - UK Arrived DHL Facility East Midlands
  • May 30 14:01 East Midlands - UK Shipment on Hold
  • June 01 11:42 London Heathrow - UK Arrived at DHL Facility London-Heathrow
  • June 02 06:04 East Midlands - UK Departed From DHL Facility East Midlands - UK
  • June 02 07:32 DHL Wilmington - USA Clearance Delay
  • June 02 10:34 DHL Wilmington - USA Clearance Delay
  • June 02 11:03 DHL Wilmington - USA Shipment on Hold
  • June 03 12:15 DHL Wilmington - USA Arrived DHL Facility Wilmington - USA
  • June 03 13:25 DHL Wilmington - USA Departing Origin
  • June 03 14:44 DHL Wilmington - USA Clearance Delay
So to me. from this set of data, it looks like the shipment got split up. The first part was shipped to Wilmington in time to get to the show but was held at the depot, possibly because it was incomplete. Some time later the rest of the package made it to Wilmington. It looks like several scans have been missed along the way which makes it quite hard to be sure. There is no record of the first package leaving the East Midlands for example, and the flight time seems very short, 2.5 hours to the USA?

Also remember I was told the package was definitely on a flight to America that would arrive in Wilmington by 13:00 June 01. I was them told it was definitely on an internal flight "I have called our export agents and they tell me it is definitely there", no sign of that in the tracking is there. I made several calls to try and verify this, every department other than sales assured me the package was still in the UK, which would be consistent with these records. My next job for today is to write up a clear list of all the information I have been given by DHL staff at various times and see if that can be added to this list. Hopefully it will give me a very clear idea of what misinformation I have been given and what my package has been up to.

Working on a Sunday!

Someone in DHL USA appears to be working today, there is another customs delay. 5:06 am. I'd love to know if these times are all converted to the same timezone or if they are local time to the scan. Either way I guess I should assume there is at least part of my shipment sitting with customs in the USA, which does suggest it may not have shipped with the correct paperwork. No I am not surprised, but I an disappointed. I guess it also means there is a small chance my work will be hung as exhibition only. I can't decide if that is a good thing or not. The point is very much to get the judges feed back, but I suppose the work hanging does still gain me some publicity which is good.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Got to get my act together

It is the busiest time of the year so I figure I have to really get my act together and get busy. I think the most urgent show issue I have is getting the binding done on 'Nude with Rope'. I have decided the best way to deal with the DHL problem is to get back on it as soon as possible. So I will put that and 'Decadence' into Houston. They seem to fit pretty well for "World of Beauty", and I would love to be able to tell either of the models they had been in a show with that title. Yes that is positive thinking, assuming 'Decadence' will get home safe, before September.

I also need to finish the bindings and sleeves for my Sandown entries, tedious and right now not grabbing me. Somehow doing the nude is more appealing, so that is what I think I will get on with. I can also add calling IQA on Monday to try and find my membership number, I know I joined when I entered the 'Celebrate Spring' show so I guess the number has just gone AWOL somewhere.

I also have a commission to do some work on but I think I will leave that for a calmer day, maybe tomorrow. Monday I don't think will be terribly calm somehow. Right now though I have a new pattern to type up so it can be typeset for me for next week.

They aren't at Heathrow

So now we have three places my quilts aren't, that's pretty good isn't it. They are not at the show, or my house either. The very nice ladies who work for DHL in Heathrow did try to find out where the packages are but no one works on a Saturday so there wasn't a lot they could do. According to their system there are now 3 packages (I sent 2) and one of the at least got on a plane this morning and is on it's way to Illinois. From the information they have, which is pretty different to the web site they are pretty sure the quilts are in America, somewhere. They may even reach their destination eventually. Not really very useful. I am also a little concerned that the packages seem to be multiplying. Does this mean they have been opened and repacked at some stage? I suppose customs may have felt the need to have a look or something, but I would have thought they would have just repacked them as they were rather than having to supply more packaging.

I would like to thank you all for the messages of support, they are very much appreciated. I think you are all helping me remain calm enough to try and deal with this mess. No mean feat I assure you.


The DHL website tracking has updated again. The Customs delay in Wilmington is now showing as 05:34 followed by the shipment going on hold at 06:03, followed by it leaving the UK depot at 06:04. I think I understand the problem, it is a teleporting package. Every time someone stops looking at it, it teleports somewhere else. I am going to go down to the Heathrow depot and see if anyone there can track if for me. I can but hope right.

Still Clueless

Well the tracking has updated again, at 02:30am it was in the Wilmington depot, now remember yesterday afternoon it was on an internal flight, about to be delivered. Then 06.04 they were departing the East Midlands Depot. Now I have been told it is a 9 hour flight between here and Wilmington, so it can't have got back in that time. Maybe my package is now in three places? Of course it being the weekend there is nothing I can do. It will be Monday before I can try and track these down.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Latest Update

Well the package that was definitely scanned onto a plane bound for America at East Midlands Airport at 05:01 was scanned at Heathrow airport at 11:42. That's a very quick trip to America and back. This could be good (ish) news. It may mean they are heading home. OK it means that they have missed the show but at least they would be safe. Alternatively it may mean the shipment has been split and some are heading each way, it would make sense of some of the conflicting information.

Thank you to the American quilter who brought me this update.

Art and Soul

I've just had a very interesting chat with a friend, who commented that it is like having pieces of your soul out there when quilts go to shows, and it got me thinking about these quilts, the time I spent on them and what I would do if they didn't turn up.

I was surprised to realise that the technically most important piece in the shipment worries me least. If I had to I could do 'Decadence' again, I'd rather not but I could. Most of my soul is with the smallest of them, 'Blue Moon'. This piece really came from me, I had wanted to do it for a long time but it had never been important enough to get done so a challenge coming up that is fitted perfectly was just amazing. I dropped everything and worked on it solidly until it was finished. That is really rare for me, and I love it. I guess studying astrophysics wasn't so daft after all. I am not sure I would make another copy of this, it feels wrong to even think about it. I might try something similar but in a different scale or something.

Then there is 'My Fat Quarter of Paradise'. I was just making this for the show and when I started I didn't like it much. Boy did it grow on me, I do love it and a friend has made a very similar but smaller version for herself. It's significance though is that is has the care and support of other quilters in it. It nearly didn't get entered as I ran out of thread whilst quilting it so I couldn't send the pictures in. Although I ordered more thread it didn't arrive and I was inundated with offers of thread from other longarm quilters, nominally my competitors. How amazing are quilters? Although I don't have the same fabrics I could do a very similar quilt again, although I probably wouldn't. This was a one off.

'Road to Mondrian' is made with fabrics bought for me by the grandmother of a friend just after she died, yes after. He decided that she would like to support my quilting (she did in life so why not) and bought me the batiks that it is made from. I could repeat this quilt with the same fabrics, but the meaning is in this one.

Finally there is 'Burning Chrome', it isn't even my quilt and I've lost it. I suspect I don't have to explain how I feel about that. I just hope they turn up somewhere at some point. This I can't replace, I guess I could replace the fabric and quilt the replacement, but I it really isn't the same is it.

Hopefully before I go to bed they will have all arrived at the show safe and sound, but it's been interesting realising the value isn't always where you expect it to be.

Do you work for DHL USA?

It's unlikely I know but I can't even attempt to track my packages now the UK sales people have left for the weekend. The tracking system I can see is faulty and has been for 2 days apparently. If you were able to see if you could track my quilts for me I would really appreciate it. Please use the contact form to the right and I will send you all the package details.

When I have tried calling American customer services they have refused to look into it because it is a UK package, hence this plea for help.

Where oh where have my little quilts gone?

I have one person absolutely certain that my quilts will be delivered to the show today. They are on an internal flight in America and will get delivered before 5pm local time. I have one person certain they are in the UK and may be returned to me next week. I've asked to be emailed if they turn up at the show, as the tracking isn't being updated and may no be for some time. Isn't it great having this tracking and accountability.

Still the problem is over for DHL they can all go home for a nice quiet weekend, their office shuts in two minutes and they are free. I wish it was that easy for me. Of course by the time I know who was right I won't be able to contact anyone. It's a very clever system.

Eeeek I'm on video

I did know it was coming, you kinda notice doing an interview, but it's still quite scary actually seeing yourself on screen. Here is what Bonnie McCaffery says about her latest VidCast

On my trip to England I came across 2 quilters that I thought you
might like to hear about.

Ferret - yes that's her name - is not your standard quilter - she's
young and does quilted nudes that are gorgeous art pieces.

Maggie Farmer is a country gardener who is inspired by the nature
around her.

If you enjoy the music, you might want to check out Music by Joaquin Taboada You can purchase the CD for $10 at

VIDEO at - click "GO TO
VidCast". Then select the "MP4" version if you have QuickTime or
you're on a MAC. The "WMV" version will work if the MP4 version does

So if you want to see moving pictures of me you know where to look. I would like to say I was very nervous hence falling over my words. I can normally string sentences together. Also I am told by my nearest and dearst that I was slightly picking up Bonnies accent, I can't listen carefully enough to tell but I am all English really. I always pick up the accent of people I am with it's quite annoying as they often think I am being rude, I do try not to do it.

Tick Tock

I've just checked on my package again. It still claims to be sitting in the East Midlands. Maybe the tracking system is still broken, and it really is in America. I've just had a call back from DHL and they say it has landed in America, not sure when or what is happening to it now as the system won't update until the working day starts there. If I have my time differences right it now has about 8 hours to get delivered. I'll call them again just before 17:00 to see if there is any more information on it.

....U P D A T E ..............

We have confirmation (we think) that the package got on a plane to Wilmington at 05:01 today. It should be arriving in Wilmington 13:00 our time, which would be something like 06:00 US central time. Wilmington is 600 miles from where they need to be so, if everything goes according to plan (what am I saying) they should make it to the show, but boy will it be tight. Still there are now two people in DHL watching this shipment to make sure it keeps moving and I will get a call to update me when it lands.

I think they need a map

...and someone with a clue. DHL have told me in the last three hours,
  • we can't tell where you package is until after 9am
  • your packages wasn't scanned but is on a flight
  • you package was x-rayed which causes a 24 hour delay (on the 29th)
  • your package is on our warehouse
I am going to assume that one or more of those is a lie and one or more is truth, but it is very hard to be sure which is which. If I was really cynical it might sound like they had lost the package entirely, but that would be silly wouldn't it. If it is still in this country there is no way my quilts can compete in the MQS show. They wouldn't arrive in time.

Hmmm, I've just had another call from DHL, they are definitely on a plane. OK so does anyone know where my package is, or where it is going? The only bright side is there is now someone in DHL sounding as bothered about this as me. No one likes looking a fool and this poor man does seem to be being set up by his own company.

Any bets where it is, which way it is heading or where it will end up? Will I have wasted my show entry fees? Will the show ever forgive me? Will I ever use DHL again? Will I ever enter another American show?

All this and more on the next thrilling installment of Dr Jekyll and Mr DHL.