Monday, April 13, 2009

Quilting in the South

One of the wonderful things of being a quilter in the South is that it is so warm so much of the year. When others may have hung up their hobby for a few months while temps exceed 100 degrees is one of the best times of the year for me to stock up on fabric and go on my annual search for “LBs” (Left Behinds). Sales sales and more sales! June through September (some years even through Thanksgiving!) no one seems to want to hand quilt. Go figure…who wants 15+ pounds of fabric and batting across your lap when you’re already sweating buckets with the AC cranked up in a usually futile attempt to counterbalance the 95% humidity trying to sneak in every crack your house has! Once you've lived here for an extended period of time your blood thins and what I used to think was a comfortable 60 degrees now feels like a rather cold 60 degress. We always have those Winter months to really buckle down and get everything done while it’s cold…we actually had about a dozen nights this year when we had freezing temps and several days/weeks with temps under 60 degrees, so don’t think it’s always hot and balmy in good ole Florida. Almost everyone keeps a ready stack of burlap in their garage to cover all the Hibiscus and fruit trees ( though a good freeze really concentrates the sugars of my oranges!) If nothing else, we have Hurricane Season when several times a year for hours at a time it isn't advisable to leave your house - you've seen the news, I'm sure!

While growing up in northern Indiana I found that I was able to quilt year-round. Since transplanting to Florida several years ago I have simply become more cyclical around the temps. Spending summers on purses, cutting many, many quilt kits, maybe assembling some lighter quilt tops or hand-tying then transitioning into assembly for hand quilting when the weather cools. To have spent all summer cutting every intricate square, rectangle, triangle, whatever shape, plus all of the measuring, matching, seeing what fabric ‘goes’ with what, there is something so relaxing and relieving when the weather cools about just being able to then flip through all those kits and just start sewing.
I am so looking forward to Spring and Summer to start cutting again! My fingers may be sore from the stitching through the Winter, but before long I'll be complaining about my wrists from the pressures of cutting all Summer and 'round and 'round we go...

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