Kitchen Windows Quilt

Kitchen Windows QuiltKitchen Windows Quilt Kitchen Windows Quilt

Kitchen Windows QuiltKitchen Windows Quilt     Kitchen Windows Quilt

Kitchen Windows Quilt

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

The past two years have been pretty crazy, and a constant “this is not where I thought I’d be in my 30s”: Leaving Norfolk and my home and my family and every friend I have. Going to the farm and putting so much work and hope into that, and then having it not work out. Moving near Charlottesville and loving the house and the lake, but feeling completely isolated for a whole year. Realizing that I need Community to survive. Wondering if I would ever meet cool people in Charlottesville or even if they existed. Having an identity crisis, two more failed jobs and big projects, trying to figure out who I am, what I want, and what I am willing to settle for, almost throwing in the towel, but finally deciding to move again, this time into the city of Charlottesville.

Last August we rented an apartment in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlottesville (okay, technically we are in the Hogwaller). I love being in town. We are in walking and biking distance of a lot of awesome stuff, and I have really fallen for this weird little city! In October I found HackCville, and it has absolutely made Charlottesville come alive for me. Through that place and community I have met all “my people.” I’ve started Craft Cville to build community around craft, and we’ve done a handful of workshops, demos, monthly craft nights, and a spring craft show. Both these organizations are contributing to the city’s Cultural Plan. I’m involved in a local public art project. I’m a member artist of a letterpress and printmaking community here and participated in a collaborative bookmaking project last fall. I’ve met some amazing people who live in my neighborhood and are making art, caring for the poor, farming, planning, and community building.

It took a year and a half but I have dug my feet deep into the dirt here and I’m starting to grow some roots. I still have those “what am I doing? What does my career even consist of and can I really make this work?” moments, but lately, lots more, I have been happy. I’ve been busy in that good way with my fingers in all the pies. I miss my Norfolk friends so much it hurts sometimes, but I’m almost feeling like myself again. Almost.

Blogging has taken a back seat as I fell captive to the ease of Instagram and occasionally Facebook and Twitter to try and feel connected, but I realized lately that I miss it. I have a few projects that I want to dig a little deeper on in the near future, and this may be the place to post about them.

Wasn’t this post supposed to be about a quilt?

Yes! Kitchen Windows was my first quilt project, and I enjoyed it more than any sewing project I’ve undertaken to date. Knitting will always be number one in my heart, but quilting is a close second now! Kristin at Craft & Sew Studio started helping me with this project way back in late 2011 in exchange for some website work I did. The quilt took me almost 2.5 years to finish. It traveled with me to the four different houses where I’ve lived over the past 2 years and became my “home project” that I slowly completed.

I learned a few things like that I love piecing and hate hand-quilting that I will take into consideration in future projects. I had a lot of fun picking out the fabrics and making the blocks. I want to design a quilt in the near future.

The pattern is Kitchen Windows, which can be found in the book The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker. The pictures in this post were taken by my husband, Jimmy Karnes.

More to come, friends.


  1. says

    The quilt is lovely, as are the photos. And I love this post! Glad you’re feeling it!
    For the record, I’m still waiting for that “what am I doing here” feeling to subside.

  2. Lisa says

    I love this and you! I always look forward to hearing what you have on your mind and about your life’s adventures. I know it’s been a struggle and, at the same time, just knew that you’d be okay and find your way.

  3. Kirstin says

    It’s a beautiful quilt and some beautiful writing. I’m so glad you’re getting comfortable here in the Cville. I’m only 5 minutes away; anytime you want to hang out just holla! Yeah, I’m not always around but if I am…I want to hang out!

  4. tina says

    girl i have been here for 11 years and still refer to the beach as home. its hard. where do i fit in, who am i.

    i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that i have 3 young kids, and I’m growing up with them. But I’m learning i have skills i never used before, and i love it.

    I’m glad you are finding you again, your amazing, smart, and beautiful. I’m glad your home is coming alive for you.

    cool quilt. wish i had time to be crafty lately, i am so busy with full time work.

  5. kris says

    Welcome back Amber! So glad to hear things are turning around and you’re finding your happy place! I do miss reading your blogs so I hope we all hear from you soon. :)

  6. says

    You have been a huge inspiration for me, I discovered your first blog when I moved here from NY and it gave me a slight hope that there could be a tribe here that i can find that creative bond with. I did these last few years. Like you I never feel like I’m home ever unless I’m back up north. Though My great grandmother was a gypsy in europe and my chinese grandmother dodged bombs in china.. So I figure everything that is on this path for the brave, creative, modern nomads is always temporary.. I feel that when you are comfortable thats when you start to die. And thats where you keep pushing forward for better and challenging things to make life meaningful.. You know, the usual victoria ramble after your blog posts! I miss them!

  7. Beth says

    Glad you’re back, my friend! Keep up the good work, and enjoy the hindsight that your nomadism (is that a word?) brings. Miss you! :)

  8. says

    Aww, glad to have you back and to hear that you’ve settled into a great community & space! Plus that quilt is gorgeous!