As I’m writing, I can’t even believe that we’re already 3 days into October. Today is the last day one of my kids will be in the States, since he’s going overseas for college. Rita (see below) wrote her redpepperquilts blog post with the title “Change is Good”. I think that she is mostly right, but some changes are harder to swallow than others. Here in New Jersey, the leaves are changing colors and they are bright, colorful and good! The shedding of leaves brings cooler weather and also amazing apple varieties, pumpkin spice, hot cocoa and more. Those things bring a sense of warmth and coziness as we contemplate the end of summer. It’s not my first rodeo seeing leaves change and it’s not my first child going out of the country, but both still make me feel vulnerable.
With my mood a bit melancholy, you bet I have been doing some active sewing. I need to keep busy sewing for others because it makes me very happy. But being an artist isn’t always easy, comfortable or practical. Lately there has been constant news of companies, artists, and quilters leaving the field in one way or another. It all boils down to money. Being an artist is lovely, cathartic and meaningful, but it rarely pays the bills! I wish I had a dollar for each time someone said to me, “you should sell your stuff online.” I would love to do that and may try one day, but it isn’t going to pay me nearly what it costs in materials, time and energy. I create because I love it and need to do it for my sanity. I enjoy giving away things that I have made. I love teaching others to create as well. I had been envious of the quilters who have turned their passion into profitable careers. Were they not as profitable as we all thought?
RECENT NEGATIVE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE QUILTING INDUSTRY
Australian superstar, Rita, of redpepperquilts.com just announced on her blog that she is dropping all sponsors and ending her business. She has a huge following and I have learned a great deal from her. Her quilting style is impressive, colorful, painstaking and superb! She has had a big impact on the larger quilting world in many ways, not just with her signature black and white striped quilt borders. It was common for many of us to first learn about new fabric lines or quilt happenings from reading her blog. Checking her blog was one of my treasured daily habits. While I am happy for her, I am so sad for the rest of us.
I also apparently just read Jessica Skultety’s last issue of The Wonky Press newsletter. What? No!!!! Jessica, of quiltyhabit.com, is someone I have talked with a bit online but had always wanted to meet in person. Her quilting style is fresh and modern, just as is her writing. She has been lovely responding to my comments and helping me to learn about resources in my area. Her newsletters were always filled with great information, fun tidbits and numerous links to art all around the world. Reading her blog often felt like the most satisfying museum visit and tandem art show! I routinely checked each of her links and would wonder, “where does she find this stuff?” Well, now where will I find out about such stuff? While she is clear to say that she will still be blogging, this is sadly her last issue of the Wonky Press. Jessica, your newsletter routinely brings me joy and I can only hope you will resurrect it one day soon.
Finally, the art writer, Abby Glassenberg, announced in the Craft Industry Alliance that the giant designer, Amy Butler, is leaving the quilt world. You can find Amy Butler designs all over the art world, not just in quilting. She was one of the first designers to have a strong impact on the quilting world. Her patterns and fabrics are hoarded by fans and used sparingly, as if they are made of gold. She announced that she will no longer produce new fabric lines, and is instead focusing on other aspects of her creative career. Her last fabric line, Natural Beauty, will be out this month. She mentions needing financial stability as one of her reasons for the change. If someone at her level can’t make fabric designing an actual money-maker, what hope is there for the rest of us!? Amy is so beloved that there is a project inviting everyone in the community to post a reflection or tribute about Amy on Wednesday, October 10. Click on Abby’s link above to learn more.
Speaking of changes, does the pattern below look familiar? This same block was used last year and it’s being revived as a quilt drive for Hurricane Florence victims. Carole of frommyCarolinahome.com is collecting 12.5″ Perkiomen Valley Fire (or known as Thomas Fire) blocks in jewel tones. She gives a tutorial on her blog and here’s another PDF tutorial from the past quilt drive. No matter which instructions you prefer, just be sure to use jewel colors. Using up scraps and dipping into my stash a bit, I was able to make 14 blocks in no time at all! Seeing them up on my shadowed fence makes me wish I had made just one more. It would have been nice to add more golden and bright green colors, but the scraps dictated my choices. The blocks are now ready to mail.
Amy needed more boy clothing for her dolls so…A Doll Like Me just received a package. Doll clothes are always fun to make and this recent batch was all for boys. I have to admit that the polar bears selfies are my favorite pj’s thus far!! I love those happy faces!
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