Week 1 - I visited Kathy Albright in her home. What a wonderful afternoon I spent with her.....and getting such inspiration from her!
My 1st memory of meeting Kathy, at Hip Stitch, was when she brought in some things she had made from the Softies Kit. I remember being awed at the detail of her hand stitching - it was just simply perfect.
As she shopped at our store more often, she'd share quilts she'd made with our fabrics, and our friendship just evolved into her teaching quilting classes - every quilt you see hanging at the store is made by Kathy!
As I toured her sewing space, I found myself seeing her 20+ years ago - an owner of a store here in town called "The Dancing Needle", which sold fabrics, notions, patterns, wool felt and more, and offered classes, too (sounds familiar, huh?) She was featured regularly in magazines such as Crafts 'n Things, and Country Handcrafts. Her handwork was exquisite (still is) and I got to pour through things she made then, and still has - small purses, sewing kits, shadow applique.
Her sewing room - separate from where her machine is - was filled with treasures. Here are just a few:
an antique thread holder, which I found just fascinating
a treasured little dollhouse, with all the teddy bears, and furniture, handcrafted from kits that were sold at her store:
Her fabric, all stored neatly in pull out drawers in the closet....
or bundled together as scraps leftover from quilts, organized by color/coordinates:
The ribbon and the thread - oh just look at them!
And her machine - a Singer featherweight. So dainty, so quiet, so lovely:
I asked her what she likes to listen to while she sews. She says either movies on the Turner Classic Movie station, or music from the 50s and 60s. Favorite sewing tool? The Chalkoner. (we're trying to see if we can carry it at the store)
Here's a sneak preview of what she's working on for fat quarter classes she'll be teaching this summer at Hip Stitch:
I realize tonight that I didn't take one picture of Kathy herself! Well, if you don't already know her, you will if you shop at the store - especially on Saturdays, when she's likely to be found teaching a class.
I must admit, I feel a special connection to Kathy - she has 2 daughters, I have 2 daughters. She was a teacher, I was a teacher. Her passion is sewing, my passion is sewing. (We also share a political party affiliation, but I won't go into that here....!) She's made sewing a timeless craft, and I appreciate that. Styles come and go, so will colors and themes, but the art of handstitching, of making something that will last a lifetime, never will.