Traveling Quilter

See, it's a hobo duck and it's got a patch on its jeans, so it's like me, kinda homeless, trying to figure out how to be a quilt designer/maker without a studio.
Illustration © Magic Sweater 2013. Permission Pending. (Also: a patch on the elbow and on the pants? He’s so a quilter.)

The phrase, “I’m just really stressed out” is a tired one. The phrase is tired. Upon hearing it, the listener is tired, and we all know the person saying it is extremely tired. I stay away from phrases like this because George Orwell said I should. But Orwell also believed in saying what you mean and this time I mean it: I’m stressed out.

On Wednesday, I get in a plane and fly to New York City. I will stay there for six weeks. Six weeks! If you’re new around here or if you don’t have room in your head for the details of my life (I don’t either), here’s why I’m leaving Chicago: I have a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a range, and a kitchen’s worth of cabinetry in my living room which was already layered with dust and compromised with construction zones. (I’m renovating a kitchen and bathroom in a 1500 sq. ft. condo.) Also, my main squeeze is moving to New York City. Also, my sister lives there. Reasons abound for a sojourn in Manhattan, but it’s no weekend jaunt: I’m going there to live for over a month and a half. It will be mid-March before I’m home again. Jiggity-jig.

Here’s the main issue: I’m a quilter. I make quilts. I ask you, fellow quilters: how do you pack up your studio for a six-week trip in the middle of a tremendously inspired and productive period? Seriously, your input — or commiseration — would be appreciated.

 

For those of you who don’t know, fabric to quilters is as paint is to painters. Fabric is our palate. I have a mad decent palate, too: my stash is sick. If I want, say, a black and white polka dot, not too big, mostly black, well, I just go grab it from the drawer. Whatever will I do in New York City? Yes, yes, I could buy more, but I’d rather not my NYC spell be doubly expensive because I’m 3,000 miles away from my fabric. Trust me: this relocation is gonna cost a few bucks already. And my design wall! And my cutting mat! Oy.

Here’s my solution so far: make up kits for the two quilts I have going right now. Pack them with fabric I want and additional fabric that I might want. Send my machine ahead of me. Commandeer a wall in the apartment to serve as my design wall: be flexible, gentle, and concessionary on everything but this in terms of space-sharing with the fellow.

And make my quilts. And do my work. And look out whatever window I end up with and smile, because my life is charmed, charmed, charmed, after all.

2 Responses

  1. Vicki Holloway
    | Reply

    I have a travel cutting mat/ ironing combo, perfect for classes. And I just use a bed most of the time for a design wall. I have EQ snd spend the time designing when inspration hits, lol, maybe there will be an app for our tablets some day!!!

  2. Kathi Pollard
    | Reply

    When I was in a hotel for awhile, I took what was essentially kits with me, tools that fit in the car, my machine of course, and some more fabric to play with. And you can just run over to The City Quilter for whatever else you need/want! Have fun in the big(ger) city!

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