It has been so long since I blogged last that I am not sure I remember how! Good grief! Where to start? I suppose it depends on what you are working on, but I’ve found when it comes to walking, scrapbooking, genealogy and writing, it is usually best to start where you are. So, here goes…
The Stash Bash. Yeah, you heard me, I got to go. Jealous? Well, you should be. It was stinking fabulous.
So, first, you must know that I couldn’t have been more anxious about this event. I found these gals online through Instagram, but I did not know a single soul that was attending. You know how this normally goes, most of us don’t go to things like this without a sista. Or two or three. I went alone. Not only that, but I had the dates wrong on my calendar and almost showed up two weeks too early. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I emailed the host, Chris Warnick, to ask about directions the night before I almost packed up and headed to the event. Her return email politely informed me that the Stash Bash would take place on April 24, not April 10, and could I please reply and let her know that I was aware of the correct dates? Oy. Way to introduce myself. “Hi! My name is Angela, and I am the idiot that can’t figure out what day I am supposed to be here.” Thankfully I live 15 minutes from the venue and didn’t buy a plane ticket. Or start a 12 hour drive. Or whatever.
So, once I got the dates figured out, I packed all my shtuff and headed over to the Calvin Center. This was the view we had from our workroom, which I totally appreciated on the first day, but honestly, barely noticed after that.
And this was where I “slept”. We had a choice between bunk rooms and hotel-ish rooms, and I chose bunk. Partly because it was cheaper, and partly because I wanted to check out the quilts on the other bunk beds! Besides, you don’t go to quilt retreat to sleep, so I actually prefer this kind of set up, albeit a bit on the primitive side. Sadly for my roomie, I had a touch of something-or-other and ended up hacking all night, which of course she said didn’t bother her one bit. She was kind.
Then there were snacks to go with the swag.All from all those guys. Yeah, tha’s what I’m talkin’ about. Are you an Instagramer? Check out #thestashbash (not #stashbash, although there are some good looking mustaches on that one) and #sponsorlove. Then go buy stuff. The plan was to work on this little nugget, but you know what they say about the best laid plans, so that didn’t happen. So, what did happen?
This happened. The Sew Together Bag by Sew Demented. (You may click here to buy the pattern!) Now, in case you didn’t notice, let me tell you a few things about this bag. Number one- it’s a bag. I don’t do bags. Number two- it has zippers. I don’t do zippers. Number three- it has 4, count ’em, 4 zippers. Did I mention I don’t do zippers? Let’s just say I now know how to do these zippers. And I really loved making this bag.
So, in case you’re keeping track, I was wrong about dates, miserably nervous about going alone, and didn’t get anything done that I had planned to work on. Well, that’s about where the list of disappointments ends. (Except that the really nice guy that used to be the cook at Calvin was gone, which was pretty sad, but I didn’t go there for the food.)
I had a fabulous time. I mean fabulous.
I learned a lot while making that bag, including that it was actually possible for me to make a bag, with the right teacher. In fact, I may even make another one. Maybe even a different kind. Who knows, I may become a bag making machine. Or not. Either way, by the end of that project, I believed all of that bag making business, and I wouldn’t have without Kristi McDonough’s guidance. She is awesome.
Then there was my roommate. And my table mates. And my dinner mates. And all the rest of my retreat mates. I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed. There was no drama. When I said “hashtag” they knew what I was talking about. When they spouted off names of designers and I didn’t know who they were talking about, they seemed to be okay with it. No one seemed to care that we were in a room full of creators that varied from 12 IG followers to well over 2,000 IG followers. And I was finally able to define what it means to me to be a “modern quilter.”
Honestly, for a long time I have believed that “modern quilters” were defined by two things- age and style. I stand corrected. From what I saw at the Stash Bash, I’d have to say that it is way more about technology and community than anything else. There is just something almost explosive about how technology has facilitated a flow of creativity and know-how that we have never experienced before. It changes the way we see the world and ourselves, thus changing the way, and even what, we create. What a fabulous time to be a quilter.