“The inspiration for my proposed Bread KC! grant had stemmed from the recent death of my maternal Grandmother… Grim, I know; but I was reeling from the loss of not only her presence in my life, but also the loss of the plethora of untapped crafty Hungarian know-how that I had never bothered to investigate. I appealed to your snacking voters to fund my proposal to travel to Maine to learn how to quilt from my paternal grandmother and aunts. The time spent in Maine would also serve as a venue for discussions of family history, secrets, and recipes (observations that would be recorded and edited for eventual sharing). The ultimate goal was to learn enough that I could return to Kansas City and teach others how to quilt/sew and start a quilting group.
I used my funds toward travel and materials. The majority of materials were purchased from small, local fabric stores. I learned how to use a sewing machine (!), how to read quilt pattern guides, and how many times you have to say “no!” to get my grammy’s toy poodle to stop running off with your fabric (answer: infinite nos.). I was able to spend quality craft-time with my family, hearing stories I hadn’t heard, taking notes, and eating cookies. I was introduced to neighbors who craft, and, eventually, became aware of the enormous importance of craft in Maine: there isn’t a DIY “movement”, there is just the Mainer lifestyle. Objects are created with precision and pride, sourced and sold locally, and the concept is not new or fleeting.
I returned to KC with a completed quilt under my belt, the know-how to continue quilting, and the understanding that quilts are objects that people create for people that they care about to express their love and to provide comfort. I started sewing again quickly when I learned that my best friend had suddenly found herself in the midst of an incredibly difficult time; the notion that quilts are more than objects of physical comfort became paramount. The quilt was completed and delivered to my friend in Wisconsin, and she, in turn, was inspired to start quilting, and made one for a friend.
I’m not going to start my quilting circle in Kansas City as I had originally planned… Instead, I’m going to start one in Portland, Maine, after I learn how to approach more difficult patterns. The time I spent up north last winter opened my eyes to a completely different culture of doing, and I was smitten. I’m transferring to the Maine College of Art to study woodworking and furniture design and plan on continuing my quilting efforts… Thank you all so much for inspiring this massive change in my life!”