Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Maker Spaces: My Patchwork Quilt Takes Shape in Seattle

I had so much fun Sewing in Seattle.  I like to make things (sew, bake, knit, buy, try) and when I knew that I would be spending a month in a hotel in Seattle, I wondered how I would adjust to having no sewing machine, serger or any of my crafting tools.  I could pack my knitting needles, but how many scarves can a girl wear? (Read my post about why I only knit scarves.)

When I had been on location about 2 weeks, I bought some beautiful stretch knit fabric and started hand-sewing it into a scarf one morning while I had coffee in the hotel lobby/dining room. 

My husband saw me making little to no progress over the course of breakfast and said, "This is ridiculous. There has to be a place where you can borrow a sewing machine."  He started Googling on his phone and sure enough, he found several places for me to contact.  Maker Spaces. Have you heard of them?

A maker space a workshop-style location filled with the machines and supplies needed for specialized creating.  In this case, I needed a maker space for sewing. I paid $10/hr to use the iron, measuring grids, rotary cutters and sewing machines.

I haven't found the perfect sewing maker space for me just yet, but I did visit a couple and was able to start making myself what I call a Reading Quilt (you can see the beginnings of it above). 

I wanted something that was: beautiful, portable, cozy and offered warmth when relaxing.  My favorite thing about a large patch quilt is that the fabrics have a chance to speak for themselves.  It isn't the tiny pieces and intricate stitches that capture your interest, it's the colors and patterns. I bought these gorgeous fabrics (from many different collections) at the Fabric Depot in Portland.  My quilt will be my souvenir from Portland, one that will last a lifetime.
As I worked on my quilt, I talked about it, and one of my new friends stepped in and loaned me her sewing machine! Can you believe it? The nicest thing a girl can do is lend her sewing machine to a friend who wants to sew. I designed this quilt to be patchwork on both sides and I will insert a blanket-style batting and finish it when I am back in Michigan.

When I return to Seattle this fall, I'll explore some other maker spaces I found. I want to take some basic sewing classes for fun and camaraderie, as well as create something unique at a high skill maker space.

I found one called Metrix Create that offers 3-D printing, heavy duty sewing machines (sturdy enough for leather and vinyl projects), large-scale knitting machines, lamination and grommeting tools, plus so much more. If you don't have the skills required to operate the machines, you can pay skilled labor by the hour to create your design. I was given a tour and it was so exciting. I have been trying to think of the perfect project to undertake. My mind whirls when I am in such a creative space. This was meant to be!

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