July 30, 2011

Sewing the seeds of love

This blog's been quiet recently; my life's been anything but.

Most significantly, I quit my job and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This plan had been in the works for a long time and I was so psyched for it to finally roll into action.  I expected the transition from New York City, my home of 16 years, to the City of Lakes to be a little traumatic, but it was shockingly easy.  One friend said that's a sign that I was really ready for this change, and he may be right.

I've been having an *awesome* summer.  Being sans employment has meant that I've had plenty of time to hang out with friends, scour Craigslist for furniture and make emergency Ikea runs.  It's been great, but I'll get into all that another time.  One thing that's been mysteriously absent is my knitting mojo.  No lie, until one week ago, I hadn't knit a single stitch since relocating.  My craft bug has found another outlet.

Now that I live in a less expensive city, I can afford a bigger apartment, one with a spare/craft room.  This is amazing!  It means that, like my grandma, I actually have a place where I can keep my sewing machine up and accessible.  I see it.  I touch it.  It occurs to me to use it, and I do.

Although I've been sewing since I was a little girl, when I'd sit next to my mom and make purses on my SewPerfect sewing machine, my skills are not much improved since then.  I am terrible at sewing long straight lines, which means quilting isn't a natural match for me, but it's still fun.  I've learned that the modern quilts (think Amy Butler and Denyse Schmidt) are much more forgiving that more traditional quilts, like an Irish Wedding quilt, which involve lots of corners that must match up.

I started my first quilt about three years ago, and lost motivation until landing in Minnesota, where my pal Stephanie, 8 months pregnant and in full nesting mode, had been quilting up a storm.  I was so inspired that I not only finished my long-languishing quilt but immediately thereafter jumped into another project, seen in these photos.

Sarah is a lovely friend and one of the original members of The Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Knit & Crochet Group.  We also went to the same small college, although not at the same time, and that little quirk goes a long way to explaining why, though we're quite different in many ways, we got along from the get go.  Anyway, she's about to have her second child, and I knew that I wanted to make something for the baby, but I'd just assumed I would knit, or possibly crochet, a gift. That is, until getting bitten by the quilting bug.

Sarah really likes green (as do I), so I tried to incorporate a lot of it into the pattern. A mostly white quilt might not be the most practical for a baby, but it's so fresh and bright.  I backed it with a darker fabric to increase versatility, which I hope it does.  Now I am positively jonesing for a mostly white quilt for myself.

I keep planing more sewing projects because I'm still not super excited about knitting these days.  What I've realized is that for me, knitting was a fairly social activity, even when I did it by myself, because I would get together with my knitting pals, see new projects and yarn, get inspired and excited.  I don't have that right now, and I'm not sure that I want to.  For the time being, I'm content to miss them and the  craft that we shared, and to continue to spread my wings in new directions.


Erin Joy said... Best Blogger Tips

Love the quilt - it almost has an island feel to it. Like you said, fresh. Like a cool drink of water or a clean breeze. Perfect baby gift. Hey, as long as some crafting is going on, it's all good, right? Here's to following new directions!

Meganne Fabrega said... Best Blogger Tips

Congrats on your big move! Lots of good people there. I write reviews for the Star Tribune, so if you like to read keep an eye on their books section. ;) Can't wait to see what else you conjure up with the sewing machine.

Oiyi said... Best Blogger Tips

Love it! It's beautiful. The colors are fresh.

sarah said... Best Blogger Tips

oh, and we LOVE the quilt! Owen decided it was his until I re-showed him the blanket that you guys made for him, that seemed to satisfy him--he has now elevated it to the level of "blankets that live in my crib" (shared by a bumblebee blanket, and an abc quilt his great grandmother made). Today he wrapped himself up in the blanket and told us he was sushi. But he still carries the quilt around saying, "Rebecca made this! Rebecca made this!"

littlebirdbigcity said... Best Blogger Tips

I know what you mean about the knitting. Honestly, after I left the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene knitting group I didn't feel the need to replace it with another. It was like breaking up and not wanting to find another mate. I continued to knit when I moved to Portland, although much less frequently, but I still haven't sought out a new knitting group. I think you ladies were just too hard to replace.
I love the quilts and I'm totally jealous. I need to pull out the sewing machine again.
Post some pics of your new environment, I'm dying to see where you're living now!

Sayschnicklefritz said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you all! I love that Owen loves the quilt, even if it's not for him. I miss bumping in to him and his parents in the neighborhood, eating muffins on weekend mornings.

Pictures and info on my new city and neighborhood are coming soon! As for next projects, think: kitchen.

Lissa said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm so glad that your move and the settling in has been going well, Rebecca.

Craft where the mood takes you; the quilt is gorgeous!

Yarny Days said... Best Blogger Tips

This is a beauty! I wish I saw it in person. And yes, pictures from your new town!