Well, I managed to finish the quilt top I was working on yesterday, despite the technical difficulties I was having with my sewing machine. I really need a better sewing machine, but all the quilting and sewing I have done in the last 10 years has all been on a plain jane Singer sewing machine that only does straight stitch and zigzag. Just goes to show that bells and whistles are nice but not strictly necessary to get the job done and do the job well.
Creativity does not have to be limited just because you don’t have a fancy sewing machine or an endless variety of art supplies or the latest craft equipment. Creativity is only limited by imagination and imagination is free. So work with what you have at the moment and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
This is a quilt that I made as a gift for a dear friend of mine, I call it Lavender Serenity. The blocks that feature embroidery were taken from a hand-embroidered tablecloth that I found at an estate sale. I embellished the embroidery a little bit with fabric paints and then cut the tablecloth up to use in the quilt.
I added to my fabric stash while on a recent vacation to the Big Island in Hawaii. Many people who are not quilters or sewers do not understand why a person would fly all the way to Hawaii and then visit a fabric store while on vacation. I patiently explain to them the reason why, and my explanation is this:
Every fabric store is a reflection of the region surrounding it. The fabric that you find in a fabric store in Texas is going to be different than the fabric that you find in Maine or Oregon or Florida. In Texas you’re going to find more western and southwestern themes. In Florida you will find more beach and ocean themes. The local culture and geography is reflected in the offerings at a shop. And even the regional climate and weather plays a part in the type of fabric you will find at any given fabric shop. In short, you are not just buying fabric, you are taking home a sample and representation of the local region.
All fabric shops may carry certain similar standard fabrics but mixed in with that are the wonderful offerings of fabric that you can not find in your own hometown and that make that particular region the unique place that it is. Sure, you may be able to buy fabric on the internet but the experience of physically visiting a place and enjoying its atmosphere and culture is what makes travel so wonderful. And the fact that we get to create things with the fabric we bring home brings pleasure long after the vacation is over.
by Juanita K. Bard (With apologies to Shakespeare’s HAMLET)
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous mis-organization, Or to take arms against a sea of clutter, And by opposing end it? To organize? To give away? To sew not more? Nay…To sew I must..perchance a new patchwork Or try a new paper piece pattern, For who can bear the whips and scorns Of the ever present 1/2 price sale ads That makes a calamity of our credit cards. To file or not to file my patterns, To group by pastels and darks, And by organization to say we end The heartache of rummaging around For just that right piece of fabric That our sewing is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To organize… To conceal in boxes…and boxes galore In plastic containers that overflow on the floor. To organize, perchance to achieve it….ay, there’s the rub; For in that great organization of fabric, what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal unorganization, Must give us pause. There’s the respect That makes calamity of so organized a sewing room; For who can bear to whittle down her Stash… The pangs of that separation of fabric, To grunt and sweat under the strain Of not seeing forever the beloved Stash… But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovered boxes…from whose boundary No traveler returns, puzzles the will, And make us rather think we have To give to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make swappers of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Gives way to the pale thought and enterprises Of that great moment with this regard To our current Stash…Organize…give away!!! And lose the name of clutter. Soft you now, Oh, fair quilters… in thy orisons Be all my Stash remembered.
Mrs. Bobbins is a cartoon character created by Julia Icenogle for the Kansas City Star Quilts blog. Mrs. Bobbins is a quilter with cats, quilting friends and a husband. On June 25, 2008, Mrs. Bobbins made her internet debut and has been tickling the funny bone of quilters and sewers ever since. Enjoy!