April 20, 2013


Anytime you see pliers and spray adhesive on my sewing table, you know something big is going down. And when I say "sweatshop," I mean it in the best way possible. Think massive productivity, growth, and opportunity. Sure there are some late nights and some sweat, but mostly this has been a good experience.  The project is this: 50 antique porcelain French fashion doll wrappers, to be delivered by the first week in May (fingers crossed). In other words, I am making little puffy quilts that are meant to enclose and protect fragile dolls, 50 of 'em. Each wrapper has magnetic snaps and when folded over, they resemble a clutch.

The materials in this project are foreign to me and I feel bad having to manhandle silk and Swiss Batiste (a soft and ultra thin fabric with a silk-like finish). I love the metallic look of the silk. The batting -get this - is 30 weight upholstery batting, which makes the finished product like a padded pillow. 

I have never done anything like this before. It is production quilting defined. I am learning a lot about materials I have never used before. If I can make it through, this project is a good opportunity to push myself creatively. I like deadlines. I like pressure, it lets me know I'm alive and needed. I like sewing and quilting, so mathematically it seems this project would be perfect for me. I notice the problem is time, which in my home is limited. But I am managing my time well, and I am proud to say the first 30 wrappers have been shipped. That's a big accomplishment, I must say.

 I came to the conclusion last week that I took this job, this project, to test myself. Exactly how much do I love quilting? - that's the test. Because in the past I have not been very committed to my various artistic endeavors. I could show you the huge box of rubber stamps in my garage, a drawer filled with acrylic paints, and what about all those felting supplies. Would you like to see the crate of pottery supplies, or the big basket overflowing with yarn? Um, yeah. 

It feels safe to say, I still love quilting, so much so that I am excited to spend the next two weeks finishing up the last 25 puffy doll wrappers. After those are shipped, I am beginning an awesome custom order which will make you ooh and aah. Promise.

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