Hola – this is my new blog about quilting in Cuenca, Ecuador. I have lived in Cuenca, Ecuador for 10 months, making me a retired ex-pat here. I have the wonderful privilege of having time and space to quilt to my heart’s content. I began quilting about 3 years ago, expecting to make a few quilts and be done with it. To my surprise and delight, I love it. Yes, I get frustrated when I cannot make a block come out just right or when I need to rip out a line of sewing (or a lot of lines if I was chain sewing – uff!). But overall, it is a hobby enjoy thoroughly.
But there is some guilt. Why? OK, if you sew, you know. I have yet to meet a person who loves to sew that does not have a whole houseful of fabric.
Well, I just moved here and did not bring all of my fabric. Some is at my best friend Cindy’s in her very full garage, back in the corner where Larry does not get bothered by it taking up space he could use for fishing gear. some of it I sold at The Big Garage Sale we had before we left the US – the sale where good tools and nice pieces of fabric were selling for pennies on the dollar. But I was glad to have stuff gone because moving date was coming up really soon. And, in case you have not done it, moving to Ecuador is a big deal. People either spend a lot on a container to ship their belongings or they get rid of nearly everything and pack a couple of suitcases.
I did a hybrid of that. We had a golden opportunity to rent a little space on a very nice couple’s container. They were moving to Ecuador just a couple of months ahead of us. We brought our temperapedic bed, kitchenaid, cookware, china and dinnerware and more boxes of fabric than my husband knows to this day.
You know how most of you who sew squirrel fabric away in lots of places? Well, that is what I had done so there was a lot more than I’d expected. But it here and now much of it is made into quilts or wall hangings. So now we get to why the guilt. There is always more beautiful fabric. There are new quilt shops opening up in towns and cities all across America. So when I went back to visit in January, cindy and I took a couple of quilt technique classes and also visited some nice shops. The fabric all went into two carry-on bags. Good, right? I mean… the carry on bags weighed a ton but the airlines only weigh the checked baggage, with a 50 pound limit per bag. I thought I’d fooled the system. I thought WRONG!
When it is an international flight, the airlines may weigh your carry ons – at least if they look like they are stuffed too full with fabric. So I was BUSTED in Miami! It seems carry ons can only weigh 40 pounds max on international flights. Ours weighed in at about 48 pounds each so they got checked as extra luggage from Miami to Ecuador and an extra charge, too.
People who know fabric, understand that fabric is a guilty pleasure. It brings me so much joy to see new fabrics, the combinations of colors and texture, the sheen on some fabrics, the three dimensional look of other fabrics. I love to touch different textures and sometimes a certain fabric demands to be touched. Go ahead, glide your hand over that texture and tell me about it: what could you do with it? What does it remind you of? What memories float up at the sensory touch of it?
To take some home seems reasonable, right?
Today I live in a beautiful 3 bedroom apartment in the city. Just my husband Len and I live here. One bedroom is ours. One bedroom is Len’s office with an impressive amount of routers and computers and recent geek stuff, enough to keep him busy and happy for a few months, anyway. And the third bedroom I turned into my sewing studio. It has a view onto a lovely brick sorta patio with no door out to it. But I climb out the bedroom window and tend to a few flowering plants so I have a very nice view when I sit at my sewing machine. The room has lots of sunshine so the lighting is great for someone who is 62. It is a tremendously lovely place to work.
Another bonus is that Ecuador tends to have built in closets, drawers and storage so I have a great place, all in one room, to store my fabric. No more squirreling into the boxes in the garage or the cases of fabric stored in some other closet. Nope, its all in one room . I have quilt kits I’ve put together with the pattern and scribbled math, ready to go when I get to that one. I have some bits of fabric waiting for a plan. I have about 3 quilts partly done at all times, it seems, so its a happenin’ place. Here is a photo