I’m not naturally crafty. I can’t draw a straight line and I have no sense of space when it comes to centering something or general use of scale. In college, I took notes on graph paper so as to force order upon myself. Food (and writing?) is the only arena in which I can actually make something. From scratch. With little to no instructions.
After the miscarriage, as you may recall, I went on a “doing stuff” bender. I took a sewing class, I ran a 5K, I made a skirt, some pajama pants and a duvet cover, took a knitting class and am still working on my scarf. I was entering the land of learning how to make things. In September I even signed up a for a quilting class that happened to fall a few weeks after my would have been due date. It seemed like a good idea, to have something planned so the arrival of March could be more than just a chance to freak out about not yet being pregnant when I should have had a baby by now.
Last Saturday, I arrived at Juniper Moon Farm to learn how to make a quilt, care of the fabric designer Lizzy House. As I joined the other students, all of whom were staying at the farm, someone casually mentioned that they had a hard time deciding what to pack, knowing that the weekend would end up on the internet (so far here and here). My make-up-less, cardigan-clad self took a quick inventory of the SLRs all around and thought “Oh shit, I am surrounded by bloggers.”
Lizzy House is amazing. She designed a quilt especially for the occasion, walked us through the basic assembly and sent us off to work on cutting out our pieces. Her sample quilt had eight-point stars made from her Hello Pilgrim line, and I instantly coveted the Lots of Leaves print. The whole collection is en route to my house as we speak. Must. Stop. Buying. Fabric. But back to Lizzy – I was one of two folks who’d never made a quilt before and she was an endlessly patient teacher. Honestly, everyone was helping each other in that way that makes me wonder why I don’t spend more time in the company of women occupied by the communal making of things. It was nothing short of wonderful.
Susan, the founder/shepherd of Juniper Moon Farm, was an incredibly gracious host. She was inviting and funny, and made it easy for me to walk into a room of people I didn’t know at all and feel like I left with friends. That is a gift. The talented Zach cooked us fantastic meals and Caroline was a joy to meet. Flipping through their catalog and seeing the knitting patterns she designed was unreal. I was surrounded by people who don’t just make things, but are really damn good at it.
The internet can be a weird place, but if not for the fact that I follow Susan’s blog because hey, other people raising sheep in Central VA, how cool, I would not be in the middle of my first quilt. I would not have met these wonderful women. I would not be on the path to learning to make and not just to buy. And I’m growing rather fond of this having of hobbies. So much so that I can’t even remember when exactly my would have been due date was. Mission accomplished.