I’ve mentioned more than once that I like to take hand sewing with me everywhere. It relaxes me and is a productive way to pass time otherwise spent staring at my cell phone and getting a stiff neck. Sometimes people will ask me, “What are you making?” When I reply, “a quilt,” the response lately has been, “a what?” So, I pick up a couple of blocks and put them next to each other and repeat, “a quilt. You know, like a blanket.” Suddenly, everyone is a comedian…Three times on my most recent trip I was laughed at and asked, quite sarcastically, “You gonna get that done by Christmas?” Puh-lease…Do they really think that star is the first one I’ve ever made?
Besides, I don’t hand stitch to a deadline. I like to choose the fabrics, match the seams and take even little stitches while watching each star come together. I did finally decide on a background for my stars. I think this brown is just luscious with them.
Not always are the people who inquire about “what am I making” so dismissive. Once, I had a couple of hours to kill in an airport and a gentleman from Chile asked that question. So, I showed him a couple of stars and he was off. He asked how I made them, he asked me to show him each time I added a new piece and he exclaimed over my little stars as if they were works of art. I am not going to lie, he made me feel pretty good. But there is more…apparently my stars were a ‘sign.’ He had been seeing this woman, you see, and he was on his way home to Chile after about six weeks in the U.S. He was thinking about whether it was time to make his relationship more serious. As it turns out, his friend was trying to learn how to quilt. I had been wondering why he was so interested in what I was making. And it went on from there…he asked my name and when he heard my last name – same as a famous U.S. author – he showed me the book he had just picked up from the airport gift shop which was written by that same famous author. Another sign in his opinion. Finally, we got to talking about our families and his son was thinking about going to graduate school in the U.S. As it turns out, he is an economist and that’s just what I recruit for at my school. Sign number 3!
I never did get to find out if he and his lady friend got together. I hope they did and are snuggling under one of her quilts right now.
I was working on my Little Houses from Scraps in another airport and they generated another pleasant conversation with a woman a few years older than me. I had missed my flight this time so had about 3 hours to enjoy stitching. While I was working on my houses, this lady kept staring at me from across the pedestrian traffic area. When I got up to throw some trash away she said, “I just have to ask, are you making a quilt?” Of course, I was. So she got her bag and pulled out two adorable quilts, one pink and one blue. She was on her way to see her new twin grandbabies and had learned to quilt just to make them for the babies.
My houses are starting to accumulate, too. At first I was going to stop at 6, then 9, then 12. Now I am nearly at 16 and I think I’ll just keep going until the Little Houses from Scraps zoning authorities tell me I’ve reached the maximum capacity for the neighborhood.
I’ve shared before my green plastic sandwich box that I use to transport my hand stitching supplies. That was a great hint picked up in a Jo Morton workshop. Since then, I was turned on to glassine envelopes by Martha at Q is for Quilter blog. So I make individual little kits for each star or house block and store them in my box. I love the crinkly sound they make when I pull out the pieces to start a new block.
I also picked up this little cutting/pressing thing last year. I lay out a house block and it is very handy seeing all the pieces so I can follow a set order in putting them together. Also, when I keep the finished ones squeezed in the cutting board they get pressed nice and flat before I ever get them to an iron.