Monday, April 27, 2009

Rain today.

I don't know what is more amazing, a race weekend without rain or getting to the semi-finals. They are both pretty good and rather strange. The car wasn't real on the ball this weekend, there was no consistency to it's times at all. I have no idea how we won, and I did feel bad about it. I have no problem with winning when I feel we were better, but on luck it bothers me. Still I guess you have to take it when you get it. Sadly the same can be said of sunburn. New factor 50 sun block and a hat and covering up didn't manage to protect me. It is very exposed at the track so it isn't entirely surprising, but it is frustrating. Tesco cheapy sensitive after sun seems pretty good though. Very soothing and moisturising. The weather has realised it's mistake and it is pouring down now.

The writing didn't go as well yesterday. I find it harder to concentrate between races than between qualifying. Still I did make good progress over the weekend and I can now think about typesetting. I might even be able to get the pattern to a tester in the next couple of weeks which would be great. Although I have just remembered another pattern I need to get written up pretty urgently. I wish I had thought of it before I went :(

Anyway there is a quilt calling me and I had better go and attend to it while I wait for every delivery in the world to arrive. I think there are about 5 parcels due today and all from different carriers. No chance to concentrate today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It could happen to anyone - once.

First for the non race goers a bit of background. When you are drag racing you want to get the car from stationary to moving as quickly and efficiently as possible. To do this you need the driven wheels of your car to grip the track. The track is sticky, but you are always looking for more grip. So before you race you warm the tyres up to make them sticky. If you are lucky you have a way to apply your brakes only to the non driven wheels. In our case we have a line lock to do this. So far so good. The track today wasn't as sticky as we would like, we expected that, but the first run was very disapointing. We checked the car and got ready to run again. As we were leaving the pit Tet noticed the car wasn't behaving right, it felt like a brake was jammed on... You guessed it, the line lock was on. Funnily the next run was somewhat better, taking the brakes off does help. I was pretty hopefull for our next run, but 14.7 seconds is not at all right for our car. Tet had been worried it wasn't running right and the walk back to the pit was stressful. What had we broken? The nut behind the wheel, he had left the linelock on! Argh. Well at least it is easier to fix than I had feared, I have a new signal to give to make sure the brake is off. Although we did notice that it stopped us spinning the wheels off the line, so in a warped way it did help.

Despite getting more runs than usual, I managed to get quite a lot of writing done too. I think I just have one more chapter of my second book to write now. Obviously todays work will need illustrating when I get home, but it was good progress. I also made a good start on a pattern too. Hopefully I will finish that and get well into a second pattern tomorrow. It's amazing where you can find spare time if you really look for it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Brain like a sieve

I remembered what I was supposed to say in the last post. Next week is the shop hop at Patchwork Corner, Art van go and Threads and Patches. It runs on the 1st and 2nd of May and there will be loads of events at all three shops. Also you will be able to see several of the quilts made by students from my first book "Ferreting Around". If you would like to see what all the fuss is about it's the place to be. There will also be demonstrations of gadgets and patterns, to say nothing of great refreshments.

Other news, Cy has an interview up on Jazma Online. He is talking about Cancertown and his other up coming projects. I think it is a really good interview. It sounds like Cy and it does give a really good overview of a lot of his work. While you are there you might like to also look at the interviews with Stephen Downey, the artist for Cancertown and Crawford Coutts the Marketing director of Insomnia publications. Have a good look at the illustration on Stephens interview, it may become important later :)

Time flies

I'd love to say it's when you're having fun, but actually it's when you have work coming in at a silly rate and other life stuff happening too. Where did the week go? Tuesday was good we got a lot of finishing touches put on quilts. It was nice to have a chance to quilt in front of people. It'd hard to explain what I do and really the only way make it clear is for people to see me work. One was a customer and she seemed really pleased to have seen me in action. hopefully now Tet has a new camera I might be able to make some short videos.

Wednesday was the first day of a new term. I always find it a bit of a shock to the system. An early morning and lots of teaching really takes it out of me, then I had to come home and get on with the quilt on the frame. Typically the one on the frame isn't urgent but there are several that are waiting to go on. I could have taken it off the frame but then I would have lost so long time wise it really isn't worth it. I just have to get it finished and then move on.

This weekend we should be racing. Sadly the weather isn't looking like playing ball, so I will be taking advantage of the down time to write. I've got final notes and corrections on book one to do, and I am hoping I might be able to finish book two as well. If I do all that I have several other patterns I would like to get written up too. I'm wondering if I can find a couple of brackets I can hook over my steering wheel to support the laptop. It's won't be great ergonomics but it will be a lot better than resting it on my lap. I laughed at the desks you can buy to put over the steering wheel when I saw them, I get the point now. So all in all I will probably be a bit quite for a while. You'll just have to trust me I'm working hard and there will soon be a lot more interesting quilts to be seen at the NEC this year.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today's a good day

Woo hoo, at least one visitor at the IQA Chicago enjoyed Herd Mentality. Does that matter? Well yes to me it does. It's expensive sending quilts to shows and knowing that someone appreciated it enough to tell others really makes it worth while. So if you've got a minute take a look at Tracy Macabe's blog and see the other quilts that grabbed her at the show.

Still here

Sorry it's been a while folks, life has been getting in the way of blogging. As well as racing Easter is apparently the time to be ill. It seems everyone I know has had a variation of a stinking cold, and that has meant everything has been going slower than it should. I know it can't be helped but I still find it very frustrating.

I know it's late notice but if you are at a loose end tomorrow between 10am and 4pm please consider coming along to Patchwork Corner for a Linus day. We have some projects to finish off and get to new good homes. Any and all help will be made use of.

Now for the exciting news that has kept me from my quilting to blog. Ferret Fabrications is officially a publisher. We have our allocation of ISBN numbers and the first have been allocated to books. Somehow for me this makes things official. Now all I have to do is play catch up with Cy. I am thrilled his first novel will launch before my book, it seems like the proper order, but now I am on a mission to sell as many books as he does. It's going to be a tall order I suspect, but that is one reason it's a good target for me. Do feel free to buy his book and increase my challenge, I like something to work at. He is also rather happy, as the follow up to Cancertown has been approved. This is good news for me too. I know I will enjoy the story and it means I cn now look forward to more of it. Win win in my book.

Sorry that's all for now. I need to write some more of book two and get some quilting done before tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


One race at least, well a run, there was only one lane in use. Still it was track time and after two and a half days of rain it was pretty amazing. We ran 14.2 on a 13.89 dialin, but with most of the class well off the numbers we have qualified third! Amazing. We might get another qualifier tomorrw, but who knows. The weather forecasts don't seem to be able to decide.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rain rain go away

And if you must come again can you wait 3 or 4 days please. Two classes of car managed to get some qualifying runs in. The rest of us didn't turn a wheel, it has rained on and off all day. I did get to do some tool shopping which was fun. Pretty coloured short screwdrivers for sewing machines.

I don't like tests.

I especially don't like ones where I don't feel I can effect the outcome. MOT's and scrutineering both fall into that camp. You take your besat guess and hope and wait. Last nigh we thenwaited some more, and more, and more. The car is now ready to race, but the weather isn't playing ball. Hence sitting here blogging. I would be working on some hand sewing, but I seem to have done something to my shoulder so I figure resting it migh be a good idea. Hmm, people are uncovering cars maybe the rain has paused. I'll be astounded if we get a run today, but we will be ready if there is a chance.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I think I have just run headlong into the economic problems. The latest batch of wadding I ordered went up in price between the order and delivery. It happens so mostly it isn't a problem, but this time it went up 60%! That's a lot. It's going to have happened to all the shops too. So they are now faced with passing it on making the wadding about £13 per meter (80/20 90 something inches) or selling it at a loss (after overheads). Which translates to lose money from lost customers or lose money on each sale. Not a choice I would want to make.