Friday, August 2, 2013

No Lack of Fun, that's for sure!

Last May, I met up with the warm and wonderful Cidell of Miss Celie's Pants to visit the Baltimore Sewing Expo. I encouraged her to buy a serger and she encouraged me to test-drive all the long-arm quilting machines. Yes, we have our priorities straight.

Except for some good workshops, by the likes of Sarah Veblen, there wasn't a whole lot there for fashion sewing. But, the quilts! I lingered over many of them and thoroughly enjoyed looking at the quilts. There were several quilts that really spoke to me, and they were made by Victoria Findlay Wolfe (here are some examples). I remembered her name, because her "Double-Edged Love" won Best in Show at QuiltCon. This photo really doesn't do it justice - it is a spectacular quilt.
Double Edged Love by Victoria Findlay Wolfe and quilted by Lisa Sipes
I contacted her to see if she teaches privately, and indeed, I was able to book a session with her in her Manhattan studio. I took my own patchwork with me, and it was great to get her feedback and ideas for moving ahead. Then she taught me how to make a Double Wedding Ring block (which had simply baffled me).

I got to sew on her Juki 98Q - what a SWEET machine! It only does a straight stitch, it is fast and it even has an automatic thread snipper. That is one machine I've never tried because there are no Juki dealers in the area, but now, I would definitely give two thumbs up on this machine to anyone looking for a beautiful stitch. Nice.
It really felt like I was there for an hour, but in fact we spent the whole day looking at her work, sewing, chatting and having lunch. I was right in the Garment District but I didn't manage to do any shopping. That's OK, there's always next time.

Lookie! There is my quilt-top-in-progress on her design wall, as well as the Double Wedding Ring block in progress. Victoria's studio is beautifully organized but still cozy and inviting.
It's coming together!
What a nice day! Here I am with my backpack and headed out to catch my train.
Victoria held out her smartphone to take a nice photo. (She took all of these photos) I feel so lucky!
Folks, my sewing mojo is on fire. I am sewing window shades for my sewing room, there are multiple quilt projects underway and I really want a new summer dress. Seems like it wasn't that long ago I was feeling a little lukewarm about it all - isn't it great how things ebb and flow? You just never know when you'll have that inspiring conversation or a hug from an old friend. I've had all that and more, recently, and I am so very grateful.

I hope you are going into the weekend with a project in mind.
Do something nice for yourself & enjoy-

Happy Sewing!


18 comments:

  1. A fabulous day! I'm all inspired too! (I'm still sewing!) ;-) next time, shopping! ;-)

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    1. I decided to make a pillow out of my DWR block - yay!

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  2. Someone who is interested enough to request private lessons - you're a dream student. Glad you had such a fabulous day.

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    1. oh Myrna, you are so kind; it was special!

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  3. That looks like you had so much fun! I can't wait to see what all comes from this inspiration.

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    1. Yes, sewing random scraps of fabric is fun - and I no longer toss my scraps after a project. She even had quilts sewn from silks and other unusual fabrics.

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  4. Oooh yes, bah-bye ebb, hello flow!! Fantastic. A double wedding ring block? You're know you're in deep when you start adding the word double to your technique, like in figure skating I suppose. I love the photo of you and Victoria. That some award-winning quilt. Wow.

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    1. LOL, Melanie, you always bring a smile to me face. Hello FLow!

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  5. I've noticed that same ebb and flow so it was nice to know I'm "normal." Well, as normal as a fabriholic pattern stasher can be. Your quilt block is simply beautiful and your NY day sounds blissful.

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    1. I know what you mean Jane, we worry when our mojo slinks away, right? And we are so happy to welcome it back!

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  6. She sounds like a dream teacher and what a fun day you had!!! Glad to hear the mojo is flowing and I look forward to seeing what comes out of your sewing studio, be it garment or quilt!

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    1. I know you are probably "over" quilting at the moment, having been such an avid quilter in the past, but do get out to meet Victoria if, or rather when, she makes it to the SF area. She is a tireless traveler, so she'll be out there sooner or later.

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  7. Spending a day in Victoria's studio sound wonderful. Let me warn you quilting can become addicting. I know, I stopped sewing garments for 10-years all because of quilting. Love it!

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    1. Is that right?! Well you are preaching to the choir here!

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  8. Ebb and flow. Isn't interesting how when we go through a difficult time, new doors open? I have cried with you and rejoiced with you as the new doors have opened. The best is yet to come :)

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    1. Rhonda, the feelings are mutual. It is a pleasure to follow along as your momentum keeps building. You have caught some traction and I can't wait to see what's on your horizon! I know you are enjoying the journey.

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  9. I'm so thrilled that you had the opportunity to work with this wonderful quilting artist! And I understand what you mean about ebb and flow and how your creative juices are flowing now...I'm in the midst of a storm of creatively and am enjoying the ride. I know quilting takes awhile to complete but can't wait to see your finished pieces!!

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    1. Carolyn, you've got that right - she is an artist. What a breath of fresh air after so many years of sewing with a limited color palette (not to mention all that struggling with fit). Thankfully, I have good TNT patterns now so I can at least keep my garment sewing going along. I am not yet ready to buy RTW - and probably never will do so when I can quickly crank out a TNT dress a la my favorite Sewing Fanatic!

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