Road Trip Reads: “This Long Thread” by Jen Hewett

I heard about This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection late last year and have been looking for it at quilt shops ever since we hit the road, but it wasn’t until I got the opportunity to visit Gather Here in Cambridge, Mass. that I finally found it. (They also have Jen’s Print, Pattern, Sew book!)

This Long Thread is the compilation of survey responses and essays from women of color about a variety of topics–some I can totally relate to and others that are a brand new perspective for me. The book is broken down into sections relating to the politics and history of crafting, the business and teaching side of it, the personal why of crafting and more. Each provides insight by women of a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities and professions.

The way the book is divided up makes it a great road trip read since chapters aren’t long and are self-contained (though they flow from one to another beautifully).

If you’re interested in hearing more from Jen Hewett directly, both about this book and her other pursuits (including a new collection with Ruby Star Society!), check out these podcasts:

The Lisa Congdon Sessions
On Taking Small Actions and Exercising Boundaries with Jen Hewett

Seamwork Radio
This Long Thread with Jen Hewett

Beyond the Studio – A Podcast for Artists
Jen Hewett talks Pivoting Your Business, Staying Small and Sustainable, and Setting Boundaries

Check it out and give her book a read, even if, like me, you don’t find yourself in the target audience. There’s a lot to learn from listening to others’ perspectives and this book is just one of many ways to expand your understanding of the world of craft and how it affects all of us.

Happy reading,

Making the move.

Sometimes I need a good swift kick in the pants and now seems to be one of those times. To be honest, I’ve had a somewhat rough go of it the last eight months, wondering just what the point was if I couldn’t have the things that made me happy. Then I saw this on Instagram and clung to it:
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I knew what wasn’t making me happy but wasn’t quite sure what would. I re-started the Sewing for Orphans campaign and got some sponsors, made more dresses, cheered on other sewists and sent more clothes. That whole project can only make me smile, really, so it is a great thing for me to do and I’m just gonna keep on doing it as long as there are orphans to clothe and I can get the help to ship the dresses, shorts, tees and more to them.

But I needed more. A good shake-up at life. So with a little impetus, I decided to move to southern California to be near my little sister. The whole thing took about a month to figure out and then it was a done deal.

I asked my dad to fix up my little car enough to get us there. Instead he found me a new(er) car and loaned me the money to get it now.

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The little white Escort, affectionately known as Ooben thanks to its license plate, has gotten me through a lot over the past nine years, but it was time to retire. So now I have this cute little silver Focus. Totally basic, but I love it.

Then I quit my job at the trade magazine and instead spend the next week teaching these sweethearts to sew in the morning …

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and packing everything I own into a storage unit in the evening …

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By the time I closed up the storage unit yesterday morning, there wasn’t an inch to spare. It’s stacked high and all the way to the door.And there was still stuff I couldn’t fit in–my desk, our TV, dressers, couch. We’ll be replacing all of it except the TV, which we managed to fit into the back of our car. 🙂

Then we hit the road, my daughter and I, for a three-day drive to Los Angeles, first along the Oregon Coast, through Sacramento and down I-5 until we reach my sister’s home sometime on Saturday evening.

20130628-071238.jpgIt’s an adventure and it makes me hopeful and happy.