I’m writing to you from your kitchen table, fresh—and refreshed—from our road trip to Florence, Alabama, where we spent last weekend at the former t-shirt factory that is now home to both Alabama Chanin and The School of Making.
Our purpose was to sit and knit for hours and hours, while listening to an incredible roster of speakers at the annual symposium of Project Threadways. Our journey had other goals, too:
—Eat some form of grits every day, usually at Big Bad Breakfast (so as to check off this task in our bullet journals early in the day).
—Pay a visit to the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama, the Rosenbaum House.
—Get freshly inspired by the world of exquisite handmade beauty that our friend Natalie Chanin has created over the last 20 years. And by “get inspired,” I mean: shop for DIY sewing kits.
Why were we surprised to come home with a DIY sewing kit from The School of Making for each of us—a cropped car jacket for me and a dress for you? Haven’t we fallen down this rabbit hole before? The urge to apply miles of running stitches to hand-stenciled fabric is irresistible. (Note to Ms. Chanin: Naming something “car jacket” is an unfair marketing practice! I love car jackets so much, almost as much as house coats and their glam sisters, bed jackets.)
I was grooving so hard to the weekend’s presentations and goings-on—Gee’s Bend quilt scholarship! TVA quilts! Beach plastic! Protest embroideries! An intimate and stitching-inspired performance by Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal!—that I barely snapped a photo. I’m grateful to our traveling companion Gael Towey for sharing her snapshots, which are in the gallery up top, along with yours and mine.
It’s all of a piece, somehow: the crisscrossing threads that connect art and craft and community. I came away newly inspired to make things all day long, whether it’s stitching or supper.
And look at the progress I made on my Stepping Stone Throw during those hours of sweet, sweet knitting time:
I’m in the end zone, and getting ready for a blocking party to celebrate, as soon as I get home.