Since I contributed the prompt for Day 17, it’s only fair I participate right?
I love collections. Luckily, I mostly admire them from afar. I love to go to museums and exhibits because they hold collections of all kinds of things. Photos work, too. A couple weeks ago, I saw a photo of a teapot collection, and it reminded me of the time when I was hunting for a temporary teapot collection. I wanted to have a tea party for a group of friends before leaving South Bend, and as part of the fun, I wanted to give each guest a teapot to take away as a souvenir of our time together.
And of course, I love any collection of quilts. It makes me happy to wander among those amazing creations, looking at the stitching, the blocks, and the arrangement of fabric. Which brings me to my current collection.
Fabric. It’s not what I intended to write about when I suggested collection as a prompt, but then I don’t know what I was thinking to be honest. I just wanted to come up with a prompt and make it into the list. Which I did, but I didn’t even remember what my prompt was until I went back to look it up. 😉
But back to my fabric collection. Luckily (mostly), I’m a quilter, and I stick to cotton fabric. I have colors I favor (teals, greens, purples, and neutrals), but I find myself expanding more and more into new color territory. More than that, I just find myself expanding the collection. I love fabric. I love the color. I love the feel. I like putting it together into patterns and possibilities.
Several years ago, I gave up my collection. We were moving so I could go to grad school, and we were having a garage sale, and I figured that I wouldn’t have time for quilting anyway, so why keep hauling the stuff along. I hadn’t actually done THAT much quilting. It seemed to be more about the fabric than the quilting. And I didn’t need to hold on fabric just to hang on to it.
I still found myself pulled to quilts and fabric, but I could largely resist the bug until I was in Taiwan. Part-way into my second year there, I had to make a decision about whether to return to the US at the end of that year or make a commitment to make it more long-term. But I knew that if I stayed, I needed to have a hobby because it was way too easy to just fall into working most of the time. (For those of you who don’t know, my husband was still in the States during my first two years in Taiwan.) With no family and no hobbies, it was easy to get caught up in work stuff. I enjoyed the things I got involved in, especially the extracurricular things with students, but it was time to focus on something for me.
So I bought fabric to make Logan’s quilt. I ordered it from the US from fabric.com. They were awesome to deal with. (You can see the quilt in the photo above.) I also bought a few other things and began to build my fabric stash. Then I found out about a fabric district in Taipei. It took some doing, but I found someone to go with me, and it was an awesome place. The photo here just shows a very small section of a huge second floor of a building that housed all kinds of fabric, batting, sewing items of all kinds. I couldn’t help myself. My collecting itch was triggered.
I pieced two quilts while in Taiwan and got the one for Logan quilted. So when it was time to come back to the States, I worked to bring much of my collection back with me. However, bringing stuff back isn’t easy, so I chose the things I loved the most, and gave the rest of my collection (along with my sewing machine) to the mother of a friend who was thrilled to give them a new home.
I’ve collected a bit more since coming back to the US in July, most significantly, the fabric for Jack’s (my new grandson) quilt. I worked on piecing it in my mother’s sewing area. I practiced quilting for it in the basement room while I was in Iowa. So when I move into our own home (FINALLY!) in February, I will have a real sewing room whre I can give my collection the space it deserves, and I can actually start creating again. I’m past the phase of having a collection for its own sake. Now I’m looking forward to having a working collection that leads to finished projects I can share with family and friends.
This post is part of JusJoJan, Day #17.