Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

signatureblock

Good Morning!

I have a sense of "calm before the storm" this morning, as I sit in my kitchen, updating the blog and writing this newsletter. The autumn quilting season is just ahead, and we are vending at the Hill City Outdoor Quilt Show & Sale next weekend, and the South Dakota Quilt Guild Show the following weekend in Huron. Of all of the different tasks that we do, vending is the most stressful for me, as we need to be extremely organized and prepared for each event... "Which quilts do we take? How many kits do we have? Can we cut more? Do we have enough patterns? What are we forgetting?"... and so on.
The shop is a flurry of activity, and I know our hard-working staff work day and night to meet all the deadlines. I imagine them sinking into chairs, exhausted and relieved, as they see the SUV & trailer finally pull away from the shop. Sometimes, we only drive a block or two away before we have to turn around and run back in for something we've forgotten.


But, I also have some relaxation planned for the week. "The girls" will leave Wednesday, for our annual getaway in the Black Hills. We'll spend four luxurious days at a B&B near Hill City: sewing... eating...resting... and then sewing some more. It's heavenly.


Saturday afternoon we'll set up the shop booth at the show, and Sunday we'll be busy vending.


I'm making a mental list of all the projects I can get done in three solid sewing days, and it's getting pretty long. A mixture of UFO's, nearly finished projects, and a couple of new kits are already packed in my bag, and I'm not done yet. Realistically, I know that there's no way I'll finish everything that I take, but my optimism is unlimited!

quiltingwithmysister


As I was packing yesterday, I found a UFO from last year, and took some time to finish it. Laurie-Ann is making a friendship quilt using the cover quilt pattern from "Quilting With My Sister." Before last year's sewing weekend, she handed out instructions for everyone to make a signature block for her quilt. I think I'm the last one to get my block done. But, I found it yesterday, hand-appliqued the dress on the background fabric, embellished it with some beads, and stitched my initial with embroidery floss. I'll also sign it with a permanent marker.
Now that I'm done, I think Laurie-Ann might stitch her blocks together this weekend. The result will be beautiful, unique, and a wonderful reflection of her friendships.


Click here for the book "Quilting With My Sister".


I found an interesting article about "Friendship Quilts" posted on womenfolk.com. Click here if you'd like to learn about this tradition.

As I go through my sewing room, sorting & packing, I experience a wide array of emotions: guilt about the UFO's I haven't found time to finish; relief when I find the missing pieces to a project I thought were lost; accomplishment when I find a scrap pile left over from a finished project that is now quilted, bound, and hanging in the shop; and excited anticipation for the projects I can't wait to get started on.

For me, quilting is an emotional journey. Like a roller coaster, with lots of ups and downs, and a loop-de-loop every now and then. Starting a project is always exciting, and I can hardly wait to make the first block & proudly display it on my design wall. I sometimes get bogged down in the middle, chugging along, trying to get up the slope. Then, it's full speed ahead, rushing toward the finish line! As I happily reach completion, I'm already thinking ahead to the next journey. It's an endless passion (some might say an addiction), but I love the challenges & rewards.

So many quilts, so little time!