We had SUCH a good time Friday night with all the bolts in the shop that we held it over to Saturday, and I was pleasantly, delightfully surprised by the enthusiasm from everyone who visited.
Not only did we have a steady stream of traffic, including former students checking back in and sharing news of all the amazing sewing they’ve been up to (plus some deeply awesome celebrity visitors–how cool are they?), it was such fun to see all our fabrics in a different setting and through everyone else’s eyes. Really, what a cool weekend.
I’ve had a LOT of requests to do this again, and can tell you for certain that we WILL. I can’t promise, however, that it’ll be all the time. I don’t often write this here, but one of the things I love about our space inside Beehive is it allows me to share Whipstitch while still making my family the most important thing in my life. I’d love to hang out all day with everyone who comes through the shop, but these early years while our little ones are still young are so important to me–so for now, the plan is to keep the bolts in the studio for the majority of the time, and bring them out to play every month or two. If you’ve got suggestions or requests, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
As I’m waxing philosophical and pointing out the really important things in life, it’s funny to notice how I feel that I’ve come full circle. Every five years or so, I look back on my life and I have a good laugh–you gotta laugh. Looking at all that’s gone on in the past few months, all the changes and excitement and fear and anxiety and new friends and old friends, all of it–I’m actually reminded of a piece of art I did in college. If ONLY it had survived the Great Water Heater Meltdown of 1996… I took a Drawing for Non-Majors class, and wow, but did that describe me: NON-major. Drawing has never been my strong suit, and most of what I produced in there was reflective of that. But it was also the first time I had ever, ever in my life done art when no one was picking on me or correcting me or telling me it sucked, but rather saying it was OK to experiment and see what happened, and if it wasn’t what I had hoped, that was OK, too. More of the Thomas Edison approach to art, and for someone who tends to be SO detail-oriented and perfectionist that I often preferred not to even try than to try and find that it wasn’t what I’d hoped, it was a refreshing change.
My black-and-white pieces were seriously flawed, to put it kindly. But the first time we did color, working with oil pastels, I was deeply inspired. I remember working feverishly on the floor of my kitchen, creating a piece that was a maelstrom of darks and black and swirls of anger and hurt in the upper half of the piece, and dividing the paper with a flowing line. Below that, peaceful blues and greens and creamy whites, with a giant sea turtle floating lazily across the swells of color. In text, across the top, a Maya Angelou quote: “There are years that ask questions…” that was completed on the bottom: “And years that answer.”
That drawing was such a reflection of where I was then, and I am surprised and startled and thrilled and frightened that it is so relevant to how I feel right now. I started out with Pretty Jane three years ago, and was never truly fulfilled, spent so much time thinking that it wasn’t where my life was meant to lead. I find myself today feeling as though Whipstitch is EXACTLY where I am meant to go, and that I am doing just what I was created to do–that all my strengths and loves and passions and skills and experiences are just what are necessary for me to do what I am doing right this instant. What an amazing sensation, to know that for years I was asking questions, waiting–sometimes anxiously, sometimes patiently–to hear what came next. And now I am in a season where I feel total confidence and fulfillment, unexpectedly but so thankfully.
The support and encouragement from each little experiment I run at Whipstitch is confirmation of all this. It makes me so grateful for every single person who has come through the shop–virtual and on the ground–and who has taken a class or written a comment or reached out and made me feel welcome. Thanks again for all the continued and amazing love and support, everyone. You make Whipstitch such a very cool place to be!