Movin’ On Up…

Today I start painting the room that will soon be my sewing studio (doesn’t that sound fancy?).

This was my eldest stepdaughter’s room until she went to college, then it was my stepson’s room until he went to college four years later. Now, it’s going to be MY room. HA!

Here’s a portion of what my “studio” is like now. It’s my kitchen table. The cutting table is the kitchen island (not shown). My fabric is stowed away in cabinets, dressers, and under a bed in another room.

Kitchen "Sewing Studio"
Kitchen “Sewing Studio”

I am soooo looking forward to my kitchen being neat and tidy again without all the sewing cluttering it up. And when we have guests, I will no longer have to put everything (except the design wall) away and get it all back out again. That really puts a hitch in my sewjo when I have to do that.

And here’s the room I’m moving into! Upstairs. Away from the kitchen and common areas of the house.

Primer goes on today and I’m auditioning paint colors, but will go with a taupe-y gray that doesn’t compete with the fabrics I’m working with on projects. I want the color in the room to come from fabric.

Studio Before
Studio Before

I’ll be moving some things in before there is proper flooring, because our friends from England are visiting in a couple of weeks and we need the kitchen dining table, but I still need to be able to sew. Baby steps, y’all. Sometimes life is a series of baby steps. As long as it’s onward and upward, that’s fine by me.

~~ Tara

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Can’t Stop This Music

I got word this week that I didn’t make the cut as one of the 2018 52Quilters (strike #5 off my 2018 Plan). The Universe is telling me to reserve that energy for another area that needs my attention.

To be honest, I’m slightly relieved to have one less thing on my “to do” list. There is joy in simplification.

I’m still gonna dance in my kitchen, y’all. Ain’t no party like a Quilt District party.

French Dancer

xoxo,
Tara

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Comin’ Around the Bend

I had been quilting a year before I saw in person what other quilters were making. I didn’t grow up around quilters. I didn’t belong to a guild. I hadn’t had any in-person classes.

I learned the art of quilt making through watching YouTube. Relentlessly. One video led to another led to another. I’d watch them all, regardless of whether they were traditional or modern, art quilts or lap quilts, improv or well-planned. English or Spanish or Portuguese. (My Spanish is very limited and my Portuguese relies on any similarities I can find in my Spanish, but a flying goose is a flying goose, folks.)

Then I heard about QuiltCon. (cue: the song of angels)

I cobbled together some funds and got myself out to Austin, Texas. It was February 2015. I kept to myself mostly and studied the quilts in the show. I walked around as if in a dream. I attended a few lectures.

Among my transformative experiences that weekend was this:

The quilters of Gee’s Bend delivered the keynote. I had read about them and knew. I knew this was big. They sang gospel. I grew up with gospel. It felt like home to me.

L to R: Mary Ann Pettway, Lucy Witherspoon, China Pettway, Gloria Hoppins. The Quilters of Gee's Bend, QuiltCon 2015
L to R: Mary Ann Pettway, Lucy Witherspoon, China Pettway, Gloria Hoppins. The Quilters of Gee’s Bend, QuiltCon 2015

L to R: Mary Ann Pettway, Lucy Witherspoon, China Pettway, Gloria Hoppins. The Quilters of Gee's Bend, QuiltCon 2015

This is the song they sang:

I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

The flowers that you give me
I can’t see their beuty
The flowers that you give me
I can’t see their beauty
The flowers that you give me
I can’t see their beauty

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

The flowers that you give me
I can’t tell nobody
The flowers that you give me
I can’t tell nobody
The flowers that you give me
I can’t tell nobody

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

So a few days ago when I heard Mary Ann Pettway and China Pettway of the Gee’s Bend Quilting Collective were soon teaching a workshop only a few hours’ drive away from my home, I sent my registration request off in a flash.

In fewer than three weeks, I’ll get to spend a few hours with Mary Ann and China. I’ll get to learn from them. Hear their stories. Let their histories inform me. I feel remarkably blessed to have that opportunity. I hope they’ll hug me if I cry a little.

xoxo,
Tara

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Freckled Turtle Party

So far, even though some things in my 2018 plan are underway, 2018 has been teaching me a lesson in slowwwing dowwwn — while adding things to my life (like this blog!). I’m definitely not 25 with the energy of three people anymore!

Because a lot of what I’ve been up to the past month has been behind the scenes or related to my “day job,” I’m super happy to be able to show you some of the things others have made with my Churned Up pattern, and to give you links to check out what else these three ladies are doing! If there’s one thing social media does right, it’s connecting quilters near and far! If you’ve been following me over on Instagram, you may have seen these.

Meet Velda of Freckled Fox Quiltery

(Formerly known as Granny Can Quilt) I enjoy her wit & sass. I feel like I’m chatting with her over our machines at a quilt retreat when I read her blog. You can also find her on Instagram as @freckledfoxquiltery. She went scrap-o-licious with these Churned Up quillows:

Scrappy Quillows by Velda at Freckled Fox Quiltery
Scrappy Churned Up Quillows by Velda at Freckled Fox Quiltery

Meet Stephanie over at Quilt ‘n Party

Stephanie made the full version of Churned Up with a lovely, soft 30s print. Check out her blog for some great mini quilt and block tutorials! You can also catch her over on Instagram as @quiltnparty. (Tip: Check out her Gypsy Wife! *swoon*)

Churned Up 30s Style by Stephanie at Quilt 'n Party
Churned Up 30s Style by Stephanie at Quilt ‘n Party

Meet Joanne (aka Turtle Quilter Jo)

The above link goes to Joanne’s Instagram page, and you can also catch her over on her Quilts by Joanne blog. Joanne is one of the angels among us. She quilts a lot for charity, and I couldn’t be happier that her groovy dark and bright Churned Up (which she made lap size!) is going to a worthy cause. Her version keeps making me want to say, “far out, man!”

Joanne's "far out" Churned Up, Lap Size
Joanne’s “far out” Churned Up, Lap Size

A huge THANK YOU to each of these women for volunteering to make the pattern and write up such lovely reviews. I’m thrilled and humbled that they each enjoyed it so much and made these beautiful things that will go out and live in the world. That’s a new experience for me, and I like it! A lot!

xoxo,
~~Tara

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