Friday, 29 January 2016

The Simple Sampler

With the term in full swing and the busy January weeks of first classes now all up and running I can draw a breath! I love the bustle and excitement of a new term, new students and old all equally excited by a new project - so much fun choosing a new fabric palette. It's such a privilege to get to join in with the intensely personal process of choosing fabric for something as special as a quilt. Our jobs are such fun, we get to hear about all the new babies and grandchildren as soon as that scan picture is public as that's when quilters start sewing! We hear all the sad stories too about people in your lives who need your care and help and often that is expressed as much through the time and attention you give them as through the handmade items that our customers turn to to express their love and thoughts.

It is a special gift to be able to take a little piece of your feelings and to stitch it into something precious for a loved one. Sometimes when we are swept up in the excitement of new fabric and fun of a new project we forget to stand back and reflect upon how special the time that we lavish on these creations is when you look at it in the cold light of day. Because we are all sewers and quilters it's 'normal' (!) to us to spend 6 months hand sewing a gift for a new baby. The sewing is as much about our quiet anticipation of that new life as it is about the stitches. But I'm always so warmed when we get a 'newbie' in who ohhs and ahhs with the real reverence that these special gifts should elicit when they look at how much work has gone into a new project.

In the darkest, coldest and most unforgiving months of Jan and Feb, as the first daffodils valiantly try and cheer us up, it's a very special hobby to have...a way to ward off the January blues that others feel - we bask in the 'sunshine'; glow of the promise of new fabrics and new projects and are warmed under our quilts or sewing at the machine or in front of the fire as we plot our sewing year.

My Simple Sampler class is my all time most favourite class to teach. I have taught this probably 20 times or more now to rooms full of expectant new quilters and people sometimes ask if i 'mind' teaching it again and again. The funny thing is that I adore it! I get to feel each time like a parent on Christmas morning with the BEST present all wrapped up under the tree. I know that the gift of creative expression with fabric, of making a quilt, of sewing by hand is a special gift that I get to give my new students each term and with their excitement and wonder as their quilt grows I share their excitement!

Every 2 years we have a Simple Sampler reunion and 2016 is a reunion year! The reunion is usually in he autumn term but already i've heard so many times this month...i'm getting it done for the reunion!

If you'd like to join the exclusive 'club' that is PlainStitch Simple Sampler Graduates do join us for our next classes starting in April, morning or evening classes through until early's the best present you'll give yourself, we promise!