The Quilter’s Trunk, or: Whatcha Doin’ Next Saturday?

posted in: Chicago, Quilting, Work 0
Hands down my favorite quilt shop logo ever.
Hands down my favorite quilt shop logo ever.

Chicago! Quilters! And friends! And friends of quilters! And their pets:

Did you know there’s a new quilt shop in Chicagoland? You didn’t? Well, now you do. Katie and Lisa, both handsome and imminently capable women, have opened up The Quilter’s Trunk and I’m to be the first big, juicy event they hold. (That is a terrible sentence for several reasons but mostly because it makes me sound like I’m a pig they’re going to roast in a barbeque pit.)

The event is next Saturday, October 10th, starting at 10am at the shop. I’ll be giving two lectures — one in the morning, one in the afternoon — signing books, doing mini-demos, takin’ pics, and enjoying the company of fellow quilters. If you live in the area, you should come because you can:

1. support a new quilt shop in your area
2. shop for things to help you make perfect objects (quilts)
3. hang out with me
4. probably eat snacks

Go to the Quilter’s Trunk website for more info and contact information for the shop. The lectures will have limited seating, so I wouldn’t wait long to call.


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.