Yesterday was bittersweet.
We had to get Randy to the airport by 1:30pm. Our retreat time has gone so quickly!
There was a bit of an upside.
We got to take Mona on her FIRST EVER Fabric Acquisition Road Trip to Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, NC.
Can you imagine being a brand-new quilter and being ushered into the Mecca of Quilty Fabric Selection by the likes of Lori, Randy and Bonnie?
Her head was reeling!
“You need neutrals!”
“Buy what you like, but also be thinking of a way to use it!”
“This is what GOOD fabric feels like, let your hands do the discerning!”
“Oh, what the heck, just buy it all!”
We had a lot of fun and she did go home with a few pieces!
It made me remember what it was like to be a brand new quilter just starting out with no fabric stash to speak of.
When I was just really getting going in my very early 20s, I would go to the fabric store and scrounge the remnant bins. When we were first married, we lived up in Eastern Washington, out near Prosser and the Tri Cities area. There were NOT a lot of fabric choices available in 1981-1983. I was mostly making home-dec items at first, curtains, slip covers, pillows to brighten a drab second hand sofa, and clothing for myself. But that remnant bin held so many possibilities.
Fat Quarters had yet to be invented!
When we moved from Eastern Washington down to the Ontario, Oregon/Fruitland, Idaho area that meager stash came with me, filling part of one closet in my tiny little single wide mobile home.
Jason was born while we lived in that little mobile home park in Fruitland, Idaho while Dave was going to school-- first part time, and then full time. At this time of my life I sewed at the little kitchen table on a $99.00 Kenmore machine. The machine would come up in the morning after breakfast, and be put away before dinner time.
As I look back now, those were some mighty good times in that small little space. Happiness doesn’t require a huge house, a fancy studio, or even a designated sewing area.
When I was pregnant with Jason, a neighbor lady gifted me boxes of her scraps. That was the variety I needed for my first very scrappy quilt, a log cabin I made by drawing lines on the back of the fabric the width of a yard stick with a pencil. I cut on the lines with scissors. I still have that quilt, still love the fabrics in it after 30 years.
And now Mona starts her fabric journey with gifts of scraps and pieces from the 3 of us! Every time she has come over to sew, the pile at her borrowed featherweight grows. It is so fun and so rewarding to see the grin on her face as she dreams of how she is going to incorporate it and sew it into this project – or the NEXT project?
Because yes, Mona, there will ALWAYS be a next project!
I also had a finish this week:
Box Kites – the Finale!
Binding and Sleeve are DONE!
This has sat here since Christmas – or was it Thanksgiving? Just waiting for some hand stitching time to get the job done. On Wednesday night we watched the CNN Special, Voices of Auschwitz—in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp. So moving! So inspiring! So heartbreaking ---and I put in the last stitches on the binding and sleeve during that show.
If I can find a pen around here I’ll sign the label!
The pattern for the Box Kite block is found in my Addicted to Scraps column in Quiltmaker Magazine. Full Quilt Pattern is slated for my next book ---so stay tuned!
Today it is just Lori and I. Mona may come sew a bit later. I’ll be driving Lori down to Charlotte this evening for her flight home. The mountains are cold, windy and beautifully somber this morning. I love this changing view so much.
And it is a great day to stay in and sew just a bit more.
My heart will be full of memories after the week we've spent, but my cabin will feel so empty!