Diamond in the middle of Nowhere???
Who knew? I didn’t…
Nestled into an old factory building along the banks of the Farmington River tucked behind the quaint tiny center of New Hartford…We found it! Quilted Ewe!
I heard about it only recently and was told YOU HAVE TO CHECK IT OUT! (It’s not that far and very easy to find) And am I glad I did!
I’ve frequented a lot of local quilt shops over the 14 years that I’ve been quilting, and love them, Yankee Quilter in Seymour, Lisa’s Clover Hill in Berlin, Close to Home in Southington, Sew Inspired in Simsbury to name a few, when you hear of a new one…it’s exciting!
As we all know, sometimes life gets in the way. We become overwhelmed with things, within and beyond our control, and for me at least, my creativity is the first thing to go. My creative juju, as I like to call it, has been gone for quite a while. I’ve had little bits of light shine in between the clouds but it was very brief.
About 18 months ago on a “girls weekend” in Vermont we went into Waterwheel House Quilt Shop and I found a pattern that inspired me. It was $25, and I thought to myself…REALLY??? That’s a lot for a few pieces of paper so I put it down and continued to look around the shop (it’s a great shop!). Something kept pulling me back to it and as I’ve learned in my 50+ years, “go with your gut”, so I bought it. My friends thought I was crazy, but what else is new. I went home and put it in the one day I’ll do this pile and again life got in the way. About 9 months ago I took it out and read the directions, it called for literally hundreds of flowers or patterns cut out of stash fabrics, nothing new to buy but I got overwhelmed…where to begin? So, I put it back in the envelope and back on the pile.
When I looked up the Quilted Ewe on Google I found their website and glanced through the classes they are offering and guess what…YUP they are having a class on this very pattern!
So yesterday I go to Quilts that Care headquarters as I do most Saturday’s. I love being among the creative people and really like that we are all there to make a difference for someone going through cancer treatments. At some point during the day I decide that I need a “road trip”. I ask a few friends if they want to join me and check out this “new” shop, and guess what, they did. So, we put the address into the gps and away we go…unfortunately the gps sent us over the river and through the woods, a nice ride but far out of the way. Lesson learned, check the Waze app for alternate routes. Once we got there I couldn’t believe how close it really was and how many times I’ve driven by not knowing it was there.
We pull up and see the beautiful fabric through the large old factory windows and I for one got very excited. You open the door and are hit with such a variety of color and immediately get a feeling of inspiration. I look across the room and see three women creating something. They look up and immediately welcome us. It is Mary, the owner and Sue and I think her name was Carla, but my memory isn’t what it used to be. As you turn right there is a full size long arm machine that you can rent time on. If you are into felting, there is a whole section of beautiful fiber. As I’m walking around through all the beautiful colors, I forget all about my pattern, my senses are on overload. While I’m exploring I hear laughter and smell something yummy. Coming from the back room is all kinds of excitement and positive energy. Mary says it’s the Hearthside Quilters, they rented the space for their weekend retreat, go on in and see all that they are doing. I’m a little apprehensive but in I step, the women look up and are smiling and several said, come on in! I told them we were from QTC and they said they had donated quilts to us! One woman in our group said she knew some of them from the BBT Quilt Group that she belongs to in Bristol! Small world! What a talented friendly inspiring group of women.
We go back into the shop and there it is, I see it, the pattern that I’m stuck on! Excitedly I tell Mary and Sue that I want to learn about it and about the class. They not only shared their vast knowledge, they showed me some they had completed and sent me back into the room of women as there was someone working on one in there! WOW, it’s not that complicated! It’s a different technique. I’m signing up for the class…I think it will be too much fun to resist! I haven’t even started it and I have a plan in the back of my head to design my second project using my three puppies for inspiration!
I’ve come to realize that this “quilting thing” is a journey and a process. Kind of like golf, no matter how much you know or how experienced you get there is always something to learn, and you will never be perfect, and that’s the part that’s fun! I’ve also learned that no two people create the same. Five people can have the same pattern, the same fabric, the same teacher, and the same machine and at the end of the project there will be five completely different and beautiful creations! It’s ART!
That is going to be my project for me this year, getting out of the part of my head that second guesses everything and worries about how someone else will “judge” my art and just “go with my gut” and create…who knows, my creative Juju might just come back.
My question to you is…
Where do you look for inspiration?
Is it color? Is it a pattern? Is it who you are making the quilt for?
Do you prefer to quilt alone or working on a project as a group?
I can’t wait to see what you create next!
Wishing you all an unlimited dose of your own “creative juju”