Community

Are you tired of hearing about Sewing Summit yet? I know that if I hadn’t been able to attend, I might be ready to move on.

So, I think you will find some really awesome posts in different corners of blogland about Sewing Summit. The lovely Sara over at Sew Sweetness even put pretty much her entire zipper class online!

And since those ladies have it covered, I kind of feel like I can take some liberties in my sum-up. In fact, it isn’t really a sum up at all. More of a history. A ‘why is it important’ kind of post. A story that starts a few years ago before this blog was even born. I’m going to start my story in this moment:

I hope you don’t mind my going that far back. It is only (almost) three years ago. The addition of our daughter to my little family was wonderful, terrifying, and more than a little bit isolating. She was born on a very snowy night at the beginning of December. Where I live, that means you are advised to keep your littles indoors and away from groups of people, or people who spend time with groups of people. Which I think pretty much covers everyone.

I felt cut off from the world. One day, I could hop in the car and go anywhere I wanted without any fuss, and the next another little life depended on me and my decisions. I couldn’t seem to find a spare moment for going out, and even if I had, snowy Utah winters seem to keep everyone indoors. I found myself spending hours nursing, rocking and consoling my new baby. For the first time, I discovered blogs. Some of the first blogs I read were During Quiet Time and Aunt Spicy, both of whom I found through the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day. I’m not sure what inspired me to comment on their blogs. It was probably the palpable loneliness. Whatever it was, I am so glad that I did!

Amy invited me to flickr where I realized that these women were talking through the computer ALL.THE.TIME. An entire community of stay at home mom’s, grandmas, overworked singles and every other demographic was present. They were sewing and swapping and chatting and listening. It was incredible! And for a new mom, it was a breath of heaven. I suddenly found myself surrounded with ‘virtual’ friends.

And then, last year, Erin announced Sewing Summit, a sewing convention for bloggers and friends to step out from behind the screen and meet up. Can you imagine the anticipation of hearing a longtime friend’s voice for the first time? Do you ever wonder what the laugh behind the ‘lol’ sounds like?

So, if I had to share my experience at Sewing Summit, it wouldn’t really be about the sewing. It isn’t that sewing doesn’t happen there. (It does! Lots of it!)

It is just that it isn’t why I go or what I hope to learn about there. For me, it is a chance to be me, Amanda, for just a little while. It gives me a chance to be surrounded with other creative ladies, to laugh and plan and create connections. It gave me a chance to catch my breath.

And then it is gone for another year, but I find myself carrying it with me. I feel resolved to be a better mother, a better blogger, a better friend and neighbor. I want to be more kind, more sensitive, and more patient. I want to be me, but better. Do you know where I am coming from?

So I guess, more than a sum up, this is a ‘thank you’. Thank you, Erin, for putting this together. Thank you to everyone who has and is participating in this crazy, dynamic, inspiring community. Sewing Summit or not, you are an important part of the community and my life. So I’ll just say thank you. And, hopefully, see you next year!

PS: You may have noticed that I was lucky enough to have Melissa critique this little blog in her website design class. She gave me some great pointers, so you may see a little bit of remodeling happening over here. Hopefully when the dust clears, it will be a faster, quicker, foxier place to visit :)

This entry was posted in My Process, Sewing summit. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Community

  1. 1
    Kimberly says:

    I love your “recap”. SO personal. I am sure that many of the people who were there last weekend share a similar story. I didn’t get to go but I am not over hearing about it so I’m off to check out those blog posts. Thanks for contributing your POV to the conversation.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Wendy says:

    Great post, sad I couldn’t be there to hang out with you! Next year! (and that little boy just keeps getting cuter!)

  4. 4
    Sonia B says:

    Thank you. I wish blogging and such had been around when I had my first baby, because that’s exactly how I felt. Thankfully, I had that community when the last baby came around . . . what a great way to connect with the world from the comfort of your home. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 5
    Linda Fieldhouse says:

    Amanda,

    Thank you for your wonderful blog post. I totally understand were you are coming from. I had my oldest in Aug and my youngest in Jan. I found the blogging community inspiring and encouraging everyone that they can do it ie: quilting, cooking, crafts. I also found instragram a quick, daily feed of creation too. I find people who are supportive and knowable about quilting. Thanks again and continue to look forward to your blog post and instragram.

    Have a great day.

    Linda

  6. 6
    Beth says:

    I feel that isolation since we moved this summer and love reading blogs like yours to stay connected.

  7. 7
    Kelly says:

    I love the sentiment in this post. One day, I will FOR SURE meet you face to face. :)

  8. 8
    Tamie says:

    Thanks for such a heartfelt post. And may I say- what a cutie pie in the last picture.

  9. 9
    Ali says:

    Send me that picture! I’m so glad that we got to hang out this year (and finally got a picture). :)

  10. 10

    ok… I know you totally didn’t mean to do it, but I am bawling my eyes out right now… *hugs* that’s all I can say… *hugs*

  11. 11
    Georgia says:

    Such beautiful photos, Amanda! I didn’t realise before how much your little boy is a miniature version of your husband!

  12. 12
    Carla says:

    Thanks for this post, Amanda! I started quilting almost 2 years ago for very personal and lonely reasons, and have been dipping my toe in the waters of this online community. A few times I have felt a bit awkward and think, these women all know each other, I shouldn’t be interrupting their conversation! Thank you for sharing the welcome you have received. It’s a bit of a confidence booster for me :). Maybe I’ll even get to Sewing Summit someday!!

  13. 13
    Christina says:

    Such a great story to share! I wish we had gotten an opportunity to talk and have more than a passing “Hello” and “Thank you”. And thank you again by the way. :) Even if I can’t make it to Sewing Summit next year (I have plans of attending, though!) I pass through Utah usually at least once a year, so maybe on one of those trips we can find some time for a visit.

  14. 14

    Oh, geez, I’m all teary again. I have never gotten choked up as much as I did at SS. I think we needed it, huh?

  15. 15
    Alyssa says:

    Thank you such much for sharing this Amanda!!! Your family and your story is beautiful, and it makes me so excited to meet you! And I love you blog!

  16. 16
    amy smart says:

    Great post Amanda!! I think you summed it up so well took thoughts out of my own heart and expressed them much better than I could have in words. Also your pictures are beautiful – mine are always a bit blurry and yellow from SS. :)

    And, I like the blog design updates! I went home wanting to change a lot about my own. But I’m slow moving because I am a loser when it comes to html. :)

    Hope to see you soon!

  17. 17
    Kaye Prince says:

    This is an absolutely beautiful post Amanda! It was so lovely to finally meet you in real life and I’m loving that photo of us sewing beside each other (although I’m probably cursing that sewing machine in my head right there)! You are a wonderful lady and I am so happy that we’re friends.

  18. 18

    Fabulous post and I hope there won’t be too many changes – I love the way your blog looks :)
    Your pictures are totally beautiful and I completely relate to your story.

  19. 19

    I loved your sum up. It was perfect. I agree that after a while you get sick of reading about everyone’s experiences at sewing summit, but your description was captivating and I could completely relate to the isolation we sometimes feel when we are moms. Thanks for being so personal.

    Lisa

  20. 20

    I know that feeling of isolation that you had – only mine happened at retirement rather than new baby. I haven’t attended either SS, but am going to try hard to attend when/if it happens again!! Glad you found blogging and SS.

  21. 21

    It was so fun to meet you, and make the connection we have that goes back to college! I’m glad I’ve found your blog. You are awesome. Great recap!

  22. 22
    gina f. says:

    i am behind on blog reading…cute pictures!!