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.