I used to spend almost half my time on the road, traveling the United States while teaching at quilt shops and conventions. Over the past year, that work travel stopped and it was a shock to the system. To all my systems.
We started weekly sewing classes on Facebook Live, so I kept on teaching (albeit it in a completely different way) and I was happy to finally be eating homemade food rather than restaurant food.
But one of the biggest revelations after months of lockdown was just how much I had loved the side benefits of seeing this country, learning its history, trying local foods and stopping at roadside attractions. I’d learned a lot in the three years I’d been a traveling sewing/quilting teacher.
So in August, Hawke and I packed up his Jeep and set out for a week (for me, two weeks for him) on the road. In the next eight days we drove through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska. I flew home from Omaha for work and he headed east to visit family. It was a whirlwind trip of campfires, open roads, and national parks.
It was also an area of the country that I had never really seen before.
On that trip, I decided I wanted to finally do a quilt series. I’ve contemplated it for a while, but had never quite landed on what I wanted to focus on, until that moment. Somewhere along the way I realized I needed to express all the things that traveling, both in general and on this trip, brought to me.
It helped that I was supposed to have a collection of quilts for the Accuquilt Gallery and I really wanted to send some new ones.
There are six in the collection as of now, with two more in progress and another dozen ideas floating around. More to come, indeed, in both travels and quilts.
I’ll be sharing more about the individual quilts in other posts, including their inspiration, meaning and construction methods.