When my husband revealed that he would be traveling for two full weeks this summer, however, I promptly curled up in fetal position. After all, there’s no school during the summer! There’s no structure! That’s a lot of free time for one mama and her two little boys. Then it occurred to me to find the silver lining in the situation—or create it myself, if necessary. And I did.
During the weekend that my man was out of town, I invited some quilty ladies to join me for a day of sewing at Quilter’s Way, my local quilt shop. Summer weekends can be tough to schedule, so I was psyched to round up a group of seven of us.
|And here we are. Top row (left to right): Terri of Childlike Fascination, Mary of See Mary Quilt, Jenn of Never Just Jennifer, Caitlyn of Salty Oat. Bottom row (left to right): me, Sarah of Smiles Too Loudly, and Beth of both Instagram and Munchkin fame.|
The sewing studio was ours for the entire day. We sewed. We laughed. We ate. We bought fabric. The day was perfection.
In between oohing and aahing over each other’s projects and fending off the siren call of the Munchkins Beth brought, I made a few mental notes about the experience.
1. Sharing a common passion goes a long way in developing friendships. I have my mom friends, my church friends, my college friends—and just like those other groups, I have a connection to these sewing friends. We may be in slightly different stages of life (damn, I was the oldest in the group again, Karin—and by more than 11 days!), with different interests outside of sewing, but I think it would be impossible for us to get together and not have fun. Quilty friends are the best.
|This is one quadrant from my Obsession quilt, which I worked on at the sew-in. |
It’s not done, but I got a good chunk of piecing completed.
2. People have different processes. It’s interesting to see how different quilters approach their creative process. For example, some in the group are unfazed by having dozens of concurrent WIPs; others have just a few (and resort to the aforementioned fetal position when the WIP count gets above six or seven).
Inviting others into our creating space is a worthwhile exercise, but it’s harder than I thought it would be. I mean, I’ve gotten feedback before on how I should quilt something or how I should bind something. It’s different, however, to lay out my plan for a project with just a few fabrics and pictures to help someone else understand my nascent vision. Even the process of trying to describe where I’m headed helps, though; it makes me fine-tune my plan.
3. It takes a long time to piece a quilt top. I mean, really long! I brought two in-process tops and finished neither of them. Don’t get me wrong—I made some good headway. But I usually sew in small increments at home. When I can actually account for the time I put into a quilt, it’s a lot!
4. When I label my quilt pieces and write notes to myself, I make fewer mistakes. (Duh.) At the retreat I went on back in April, I made one bonehead mistake after another. Maybe it was the sheer number of hours I spent sewing or the cocktails that were consumed each evening—I don’t know. I was more conscientious at this sew-in and didn’t use my seam ripper once. Woo hoo for efficiency!
And despite those snafus from the spring, April Michelle wrote some helpful notes about where August Michelle should pick up with her Obsession project. August Michelle was very appreciative. Woo hoo for thinking ahead!
|When I got home after a day of sewing, I sewed these strips. |
I am excited about how this wintery quilt will turn out!
I left the day physically exhausted but renewed in other ways, and I funneled that energy into the days with my boys that followed. I still have a few more sleeps before my husband returns, and I think I’ll be able to stay afloat. So far, there has been no bloodshed, no broken bones, and only a modest amount of yelling and frustration (from all parties present at my house). There was one morning when the guest-room alarm clock mysteriously went off at 5 a.m., waking my older son, who woke me. Sigh. I can’t figure out how it was turned on. My son blames the tooth fairy, who visited that same night. As the resident tooth fairy, I assure you, it wasn’t me!
How does sewing keep you sane? Have you organized any get-togethers for your fabric-minded friends? (In addition to this sew-in, I got a group together to go to a local fabric mecca last month. Fun!)
Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, WIP Wednesday, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...