Last week I talked by phone with my friend Stephanie who asked me to do an episode of her popular Modern Sewciety podcast about what brought me to the decision to retire from professional sewing. As someone who had struggled with these issues herself, she felt that it was an important conversation to have, and I'm so glad she did. We spent over an hour sharing our hearts about the joys and challenges of this work. Being real . . . it seems to be the theme that's guiding this new season. Real conversations about real things with real people in real life. It's messy and difficult sometimes, but it's what we've got. It's who we are. And it's so much better to look at that reality than to try to be something we're not. So pour yourself a cup of tea, pick up your favorite slow sewing project, and settle in with the link right here for some good, honest conversation with friends.
On another note, it's been almost a year since I started working on my scrappy linen log cabin quilt (Sunny Day Supply is actually getting ready to host another round of their annual log cabin sew along that got me started on this one!), but I finally finished it last week just in time to gift it to my niece for her first birthday today. I absolutely love this quilt, and as hard as it is to let it go, I'm so happy that it's going to her.
For months, I was stumped on the quilting. I tried both machine and hand quilting several times, but I always wound up pulling the stitches out when they didn't look quite right. After getting so much wonderful encouragement from friends on Instagram to finish it up, I decided to do the simplest quilting possible on my machine, and it finally worked. The linen had to be handled carefully at times, as it does like to stretch a bit, but it came together in the end.
The back of the quilt is a Melody Miller print, back from her solo Ruby Star days, which I've always loved. I added a tag on the back with my niece's name and mine, which I embroidered by hand. It takes a little extra time, but for something special and personal like this, it's so worth it. The quilt is bound in a rainbow striped canvas print from IKEA that I've been saving for years. I like the touch of whimsy that it adds to the border, and it makes a wonderful frame for the whole project.
This quilt is absolutely packed full of favorite prints that I've been collecting since my very first year of sewing. It almost feels like a time capsule of the past eight years. I love it so much. I hope that every time my niece wraps herself up in it, she'll remember -- as I've always told my girls since they were little -- that she's all wrapped up in our love too.