I don't remember a time in my childhood that I didn't enjoy crafts or crafting. Both of my grandmothers were crafty - one, constantly dabbling with knitting, crochet, embroidery, paints, wood carving and more. The other, a sewist and a quilter. So from a very young age I had an affinity for 'arts & crafts,' particularly in textiles.
I loved learning to sew. REALLY loved it. I remember my grandma teaching me to use her old Singer machine. It was electric, but old, with a knee lever. And I remember sitting on her couch, piecing scraps of fabric together by hand and having her help me turn them into little doll pillows and quilts. But Grandma lived in another state, and we didn't have a sewing machine at home. So I resorted to other crafts, like coloring black velvet posters of tigers (it was the early 90's), latch hook kits to work on, and cross stitching projects with abandon.
And then my freshman year of high school, I needed an elective class to fill my schedule and I was able to take an introductory sewing class. I was back behind the sewing machine! There were no quilts made, but I did make a black skirt which was actually wearable, and a flannel pajama shirt that had a collar, pocket, and button front. I was back in the groove! Or... not. The semester ended and still no machine at home. And in those years, I was busy with other extra curricular activities at school anyways, so sewing fell by the wayside - again.
Adulting Is Hard
Over the years I forgot to embrace this part of myself - the part that enjoys creating beauty with thread and fabric. I was too busy trying to be a grown-up - you know, with getting a job, paying rent, buying furniture and the rest. Flash forward almost 15 years and I'd graduated college, was now married, and getting interested in the minimalism movement that was emerging (pre tiny home trend or Marie Kondo). And suddenly the idea of owning a sewing machine and making my own clothes was super appealing. I must have mentioned it more than once, because in 2011 my husband surprised (and happily shocked) me with my first sewing machine: a Babylock A-Line Series Grace, (which is still my primary sewing machine). But because I was busy 'adulting' it sat around for a bit, unused, until my sister became pregnant. Light bulb moment: baby quilt! It was clearly (finally!) time to learn how to really use my machine. So I got to work and made my first quilt, quickly followed by others for friends who were busy having babies.
In late 2013 our son was born, but then 2014 was a rough year. We had a healthy, happy infant, but I was struggling with postpartum depression, my husband was struggling with a job he didn't like, and we were commuting every day like crazy. It was wearing on us and we had to make a change. So in 2015, we decided to look for new jobs in a new place, which landed us in upstate New York. We sold our house and everything that didn't fit into a 7x7 foot shipping cube, packed up our 1 year old and our dog, and drove across the country in 5 days. My husbands commute was dramatically reduced, and I swapped my corporate job to be a stay-at-home mom so our family actually had more family time. And I was going to have time to dedicate to quilting, which I hadn't been able to do in the previous year(s).
Village Bound Quilts was conceptualized when we moved from Phoenix, Arizona to a village in upstate New York. Originally, I was going to start a blog about our family, documenting our move, our journey as were headed to our new home. But as we talked about it more, Village Bound played on so many levels.
- Our cross-country trek: where we were headed, we were quite literally village bound, leaving one of the biggest metropolitans in the United States, to a population of a few thousand. We were bound for a new adventure, a small one, that would slow us down and give us more family time.
- We were going to be tied to our new village, bound to it, and committed to the family time that we were hoping to gain. We were bound and determined to find a place where we were comfortable and content.
- And as we settled into our new normal, I wanted to be quilting. My quilts are made 100% by me, by hand (and sewing machine), pieced, quilted and bound. Village Bound.
And once we got settled in and my machine came out of storage, I tackled my social media phobia and started my Instagram account - that was in the fall of 2015. Yes, I know how dorky all of that sounds, but it's a true story - my story. A story about a girl who liked crafting, grew up, got married, was gifted a sewing machine, made a few quilts, had a baby, a rocky year, and a 2,500 mile move to the country. And that's how Village Bound Quilts began. Thanks for following along on this journey!