teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Thursday 11 July 2013

"How's The Job Going?" And Maya Chaimovich's 'Travel Log' Exhibition

Let me begin by telling you all that I'm loving my new job at my LQS, The City Quilter, in Manhattan, I'm into my third week now and I'm wondering if I'll ever get tired of handling all that fabric?!!!!!  If you didn't catch my earlier posts you can read all about the store here and then catch up on my 'golden ticket' job news here :)

To be perfectly honest my back hasn't loved the job quite as much as I have, it's been a rocky start involving pain killers, ice and heat packs, hot Epsom salt baths, lots of stretching, a back belt, massage, a chiropractor, a physical therapist and, yes, I've been wearing very comfy shoes.  I think my body just went into total shock at being made to stand for nine hours instead of sitting either at a sewing machine or computer!!! Still, I'm getting there, each day that I work is easier than the last and I won't be giving in to my aches and pains that easily!

It's quite incredible just how much pleasure I can get from cutting fabric off a bolt and rolling a fat quarter.  I can create beautiful fat quarter bundles now too - oh won't they look wonderful as presents.  I've also had to learn what all these American coins are - in the two years since I moved here I just hadn't bothered to get to grips with them, I just used notes, so I'm learning fast.

One of the best things is getting to meet all the wonderful customers that come into the store.  To see how excited they are to be there is such fun and I really love the European customers, talking to me in metric measurements (strange to have been taught imperial at school only to convert to metric in England during the 1970s and now back to imperial again in America!) and with accents that it's been too long since I heard anywhere other than on the telly.  And, of course, they're so thrilled at the fabric prices - who from Europe wouldn't be? - after all there's quite a difference between £18/€18/metre and $10.98/yard (converts to £7.28/€8.42) and a yard is only 3.39"/8.5cm less than a metre!!!

And while I'm talking about work there's more news from The Art Quilt Gallery too. At the beginning of June I shared with you The Art Quilt Gallery's exhibition 'Sunshine and Shadow' by Fibre Artist, Deb Hyde.  I had a great response to the post and I did suggest that maybe I should report back on all future exhibitions at the gallery.

 The current exhibition is:

'Travel Log' by Maya Chaimovich: 25 June - 3 August 2013 
Maya is an Art Quilter born in Israel and here's an extract from her Artist Bio available on The Art Quilt Gallery website:

"Through the art quilt, which has become the main focus of my life, I learned to express my feelings and share my experiences.  I use as many types of material as I can in my work:  cotton, lace, velvet, various types of silk, synthetic materials of all kinds.  Most of the materials I use are from recycled clothes in an assortment of colors.  An important part of my design experience is the use of materials worn by people I don't know.  I give them a life of their own while designing my own creations.  A main theme and a group of colors which I choose, guide me in the creation of a new work.  The creation itself develops through much conflict, but gradually evolves into its final form."

Each quilt is created from recycled fabrics (cotton, lace, silk, velvet, synthetic, polyester), metal and multicolour threads, small pieces on fusible interfacing and finally, free motion quilted.

 'To Be Free' - 31" x 53", 2011

'New Day' - 36" x 36", 2008

'In Memorial' - 41" x 36", 2010

'Beyond' - 50" x 46", 2006

'Train of Thought' - 55" x 50", 2009

Bud' - 54" x 47", 2010

Mystery' - 40" x 52", 2006

'Moonlight Reflections' - 36" x 46", 2007

'Bride Bouquet' - 44" x 55", 2006

'The Desert' - 57" x 47", 2007

'Morning Walking' - 38" x 39", 2012

'Drop By Drop' - 31" x 29", 2009

'Under One Roof' - 20" x 47" - 2007

Maya will be giving a talk about her quilts at The Art Quilt Gallery on 17 July at 6.00 pm - attendance is free but please contact The City Quilter to register: 212-807-9451/info@artquiltgallerynyc.com

For those who can't drop in then, I hope my photos have inspired you as much as seeing the quilts has inspired me :)
This is a link to a review of Maya's exhibition from The Jewish Week and here's a list of upcoming gallery exhibitions

For details of other fabric, yarn, trim and notion stores that I've visited around the world along with the NYC stores I love, exhibitions and events I've attended and wonderful people I've been lucky to meet click the links below or in my sidebar :D

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.

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  1. Back pain is NOT easy to live with! I do hope it's just a temporary thing. Leaning forwards to cut fabric will not be helping. Stand up straight and stretch as often as you can.(I'm sure the medical people have told you this.) Oh... and dream you are taking all that gorgeous fabric home.

    1. I like that dream Pam and you've reminded me that the PT said to stand up straight and not lean forward over the cutting table, so I'll recheck how I'm doing it tomorrow morning in the store :)

  2. Absolutely gorgeous display of art, and quilting. Stunningly beautiful. Very dramatic, and made my heart as happy as my eyes. Thank you for sharing. I can only imagine how long that must have taken to complete. Museum gallery worthy.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Celia, I know not everyone can get to see the exhibitions so I'm more than happy to share the photos. Each exhibition is so different and inspirational :)

  3. Beautiful pictures! On the back subject - poor you! I know that you've got comfy shoes but I've been advised that a little bit of a heel is actually better than completely flat! (I'm talking under an inch) might be worth a try?) And vary your shoes don't wear the same ones every day! Hope you feel better soon x

    1. Thanks Catrin, my shoes are so comfy but I think the 'different shoes' idea is worth a shot. :)

  4. I am envious over your dream job! You much have so much fun talking with the tourists and New Yorkers alike. =) And, of course, touching all that fabric. =)

  5. Hope your back is holding up to all that fabric stroking Chrissie :) I can only dream of the prices you have in the shop!

    1. I know Fiona those prices in the Europe are a killer - I didn't bring any fabric back from Seville with me, there was nothing calling out to me and the price was just ridiculous. I'm a fat quarter rolling addict now, on Wednesday I was hard pushed to go home when the store closed!!!

  6. I missed the new job announcement, so yay for you! That really is a dream come true! I'm hoping to come to NYC in September (I'm in a wedding up in Nantucket, and would like to take the week following it for a little traveling with my city-hating boyfriend--he really doesn't want to come to NYC, but I think I will win!) and I'll definitely make the shop one of my stops!

    Good luck with the back pain--my mom started a second career of teaching, and she hurt for months and months making that transition to standing all day! Hope your transition goes more smoothly! And you're dealing with fabric, not bratty teenagers, so you've got more of an upside anyway. :)

    I find it very funny you had to learn the coins! For some reason, I love being able to pay in exact change, so I love all of my dimes and nickels. ;)

    1. Oh you have to drop by the shop, Wednesdays and Saturdays are my regular days, I'd so love to meet you :)

      My back has taken a turn for the better after I followed Catrin's advice in her comment and tried a different pair of shoes. Not my 'comfy'/'bad back' shoes but my fashion boots from Steve Madden. I wore them to travel to work last Saturday and I also didn't travel in my back belt (it was just too hot and humid to be wrapped in tight elastic on the journey!) I had my 'specially for bad backs' shoes with me but I forgot to change into them and I forgot to put the back belt on and at the end of the day I didn't have a bad back. Quite unbelievable. I tried it again on Wednesday just to be sure and exactly the same. I've got my usual 'old age' niggles that I've learnt to live with other the years but not the terrible pain I'd been in for the last few weeks. I wouldn't want to push my luck for a while though, just doing two days a week allows lots of 'recovery' time which is just perfect.

      Hope to meet you in September and that it's not when I take Flicky off to St Andrews :)

  7. How exciting to be working on a fabric shop. Sounds like a dream job. I hope your back feels better soon and lets you enjoy you fab job.
    I know what you mean about switching back and forth from metric and imperial systems. I learned metric in grade school only to switch back to imperial. But once you learn both and know how to convert measurements quickly it comes in handy.

    1. Thanks Martha and being able to convert the two systems instantly is such an advantage in life isn't it - quite surprising just when you need to use it! :)

  8. So now I understand about the back!! All in a good cause? - congratulations on the job, it sounds wonderful. Maya's work is amazing - so much stunning colour. Thank you so much for sharing.


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