The Quilted Life with Carolyn

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Who Do You Sew With? 0

Happy Tuesday, everyone! This week I’d like to hear from all of you about your quilting community.

As you may already know, I rarely sew alone. I almost always seek out company, whether it be my son Lewis, my mother-in-law Nancy the Quilting Goddess, or one of my friends who quilt.

Most activities are made better with company, but I have to say, this is especially the case with quilting. I'm a bit embarrassed to share this, but to illustrate that I truly don't work at home, take a look at my sewing table (see the picture below. Yikes!). It is covered in a bunch of stuff that I haven’t given a permanent home to, and it honestly doesn’t get in my way because I so rarely sew at home (i.e. alone).

Nancy the Quilting Goddess’ house is a natural gathering spot for quilters, and she welcomes so many people into her creative space. I go there to work on my projects on weekends, and it’s not uncommon for me to bring a friend who is just learning and needs her mentorship, or someone who wants to borrow her longarm (our faithful buddy Lenni).

Quilter’s Mart Boss Lady, my sister-in-law Kim will often show up as well, sometimes with her daughter Peri in tow, and we make a party out of our sewing day, all four of us working away.

Another frequent flyer in our little sewing community is Nancy’s husband Tom. He just started a new project last weekend, and Nancy, Tom, and I all shared the sewing room all day. I was piecing, Nancy was on Lenni, and Tom was cutting up his new fabrics.

Meeting up in that space is so inspiring to me. It couples a productive day with good conversation and collaboration. If I ever get stuck or doubt a decision, there's always someone there to bounce ideas off of and find a way forward. Frustrations rarely last at Nancy the Quilting Goddess' house, because help is always there. And I truly feel that all my projects turn out better because of the creative, collaborative atmosphere that exists so naturally there.

Who do you sew with - friends/family? Are you a member of a guild? Do you attend a class? Or are you a lone wolf, preferring the quiet of working solo in your own space? Share in the comments, and tell us what you love about your quilting community!

What I'm Working on Right Now 4

Hey there! Welcome to another installment of “what I’m working on right now”.

This weekend, I was at Nancy the Quilting Goddess’ house for a sewing marathon. Remember those baby quilts I’ve got to crank out before the baby showers? Well, we’re only weeks away, and I’m not even close to done!

I showed up to Nancy’s house with a few blocks of the quilt you saw in my last “what I’m working on right now” post, along with the rest of the pieces in a pile. Truthfully, I haven’t touched it since I sewed with Lewis! *facepalm*

So my trip to Nancy the Quilting Goddess’ house saw me as a woman on a mission. I had work to do!

And guess what!

I finished the top of one! But it was not without challenge. Oh no, my friends. I had to unsew two whole blocks because I had sewed my pinwheel-dealybobs rotating in the wrong direction!

I also discovered that the fully assembled top was far too small and required a border. But I didn’t have enough of any of the fabrics to do a border, and didn’t like anything I had lying around (or anything from Nancy’s extensive stash!)

Nancy and I loaded up to hunt down border fabric. We thought it would be a quick, easy trip, but alas! The next challenge came when I struck out at the neighborhood fabric shop. They just didn’t have anything that fit the image of an abstract woodland (or mountain?) fabric I had in my head. Don’t you hate that? When you know exactly what you need, but you find out it might not exist?

You can bet that the challenges didn’t stop there. Our next stop was another neighborhood fabric store, but alas - when we got there, they weren’t there!

That’s right! The shop had up and moved! By this point, Nancy and I had gone too far to quit, so we plugged the new address into GPS and made our way to the new location. When we got there, they didn’t have what I wanted either. I really had my heart set on that abstract mountain situation.

In the end, one of the shop employees showed me a few options and I ended up falling in love with the abstract pine needle fabric you see in the picture above. The colors didn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of the top at first, and I had a hard time letting go of the mountain idea, but ultimately, I thought it had the same abstract effect and the colors didn’t match, but did mesh.

So I bought enough for the border AND the back! Phew!

We finally got back to the sewing lair, and I messed around enough to have all the pine needles facing the right way, but didn’t fussy cut enough to have the pieces line up perfectly.

I’m totally happy with the progress, pleased that I finished the top despite the challenges, and thrilled that all I have left is quilting on the longarm and binding. Phew! I think I’ll get at least this one done before the baby shower. The odds of completing baby quilt #2 by the deadline are a big question mark. Stay tuned for another “what I’m working on now” post about that one!

Have you ever had a day of sewing where (pun alert!) nothing seams to go right? Tell me about it in the comments!

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