Instead of packing this morning, I found myself on a bus headed towards W10th Avenue.
Now, you could be forgiven for thinking that I was headed to Urban Yarns. Y'know, a last minute run for something I need for one of my travel or summer holiday projects. Well...
...it was a last minute run but I was headed to The Cloth Shop (almost next door to Urban Yarns) as I needed some last minute sewing supplies for my Flying Birds quilt project:
Now I know where I stand with knitting needles on aeroplanes but where on earth do I stand on a few fine sewing needles, thread and one of those Clover pendant style thread cutters, which I was thinking of attaching to my keyring? Does anyone know? Or should I forget the thread cutter and use my teeth?!
By the end of my quilt class last night, I realised that if there is any chance of having my applique done by the time we have our next class in mid September (when we will learn how to baste and machine quilt), then I need to take my fabrics and freezer paper on holiday with me - I need to baste 85 pieces of fabric, ready to sew onto my quilt top when I get back.
I discovered during our class that the iron-on, freezer paper method does not work as well as traditional basting. It also became obvious that the neatest result is hand applique, rather than machine applique.
Now, that is all very well but the thing is - I am awful at hand sewing. Oh and did I mention very slow at it?! The idea of hand stitching a 1/4" vine stem around the edge of my quilt and adorning it with 85 fabric flower pieces is extremely daunting - I do not mind giving it a go but I am worried that I am biting off more than I can chew!
If it is apparent that my hand stitching quality and speed is not up to it, I will have to switch over to machine applique. Mind you, machine applique looked like it takes some skill to get right too.
Now, if you are wondering why the fabric in the image above bears no resemblance to the fabric that I showed you for my applique a little while ago...
...well, when I got to W10th, I found that The Cloth Shop was having its annual Longest Days of the Year sale. I decided to ignore discounts being offered on regular fabric as I already have two big projects on the go. Instead, I opted to rummage through two tables of fabric scraps that were being sold by weight. The above is 2lbs of fabric scraps in co-ordinating warm creams and browns that I got for CAD$10. The scraps are all different shapes and sizes.
I am hoping that there is enough here for some kind of small holiday foundation or paper piecing project that I was thinking I might pack to take with me. Just in order to practice some hand sewing while I am away. Just in preparation for the huge hand sewing applique task that awaits me when I get back.
Yeah, I know:
Knitting Mojo - 0; Sewing Mojo - 1!
Right, off to pack!
P.S. I might pack a couple of knitting projects as a back up. Just in case I get to the UK and find that I am swallowed alive with the urge to knit as soon as I place a toe back on British soil.
P.P.S. I have been so homesick it is untrue. I am very grateful to all the lovely people I have met in Vancouver who have extended me their friendship and been keeping me sane over the past nine months. I hope that they do not think me ungrateful as I will miss them over the summer but I am just very excited about the idea of going home for a bit to see my family and friends in the UK.
P.P.P.S. I plan to have a cup of tea, eat a proper bacon sandwich and go for a brain-balancing stroll around a familiar supermarket before I go see my diet dust counsellor in order to get my weight back under control. So if you catch up with me in London, the chances are that it will be for a coffee or a fizzy water!
P.P.P.P.S. I plan to collect all my sports kit together and start practising for the GB Open. I have not been able to do any training in Canada at all so I am very conscious how far behind I must be. My peers have been competing in earnest since February/March and many of them travelled abroad to a Championship in South Africa at Easter. In fact, I had to step out of my home nation's Commonwealth Games Trials earlier this year as I am not in the UK to participate in them. That hurt a lot.
P.P.P.P.P.S. I plan to talk to people without hestitating in case I say something that might be considered a faux pas or in case it sparks a reaction (not a reaction to what I have said, a reaction to the way in which I have expressed myself) i.e. used a British colloqualism, pronounced a word differently or just because my accent is odd (to them).
Please don't mind me when I write this - I am just homesick. In general, I am glad that people are interested enough plus feel comfortable enough with me to highlight and discuss language, pronounciation and accent differences.
It is just that I have had nine months of being the odd person out. The novelty does wear off. I just want to get on a plane, go home and be exactly the same as everyone else around me.
In particular, I want to be able to hear a London or a British accent in a shop without having to quell a serious urge to hunt the speaker down - just so that I can speak to them. Just because they have the same accent as me. Ridiculous but true!