When we consider changing jobs during our working years we are often encouraged by pundits and pals to think about our skills in broad terms so as to see how they apply to positions outside our current realm. While it may not be possible to do this so much with sewing and quilting, it is still useful advice in terms of not disregarding potential projects.
Several months ago I was approached by a former higher-education colleague with a proposal to create a banner for the institution where she now works. It didn’t take much convincing since there was an older banner as an example, generous compensation, and sufficient time. The project itself seemed interesting, and it was clear that it would use many of my quilting skills. I’m used to working with large pieces of fabric, cutting precisely, and doing machine applique.
The most difficult part was locating fabric. Over the years the banner has been constructed by various seamstresses so there is variation in fabric, color, and technique. But of course the college wanted to stay as consistent as possible. Although I couldn’t find the ideal fabric, I did find duck canvass that worked for both colors and for the sturdiness required. I was fortunate to have access to the most recent banner seamstress, and she kindly gave me the pattern pieces she had created and used for several years. She also imparted some advice about construction order and issues she ran into and how she resolved them.
The actual construction went fine, other than the fact that I didn’t get quite enough fabric initially. Although not a difficult fix, because of the fabric width the only option was an additional purchase that resulted in quite a bit of leftover.
I’m not necessarily in the market for projects that are not quilt making, longarm quilting, or upcycling of vintage fabric items, but it never hurts to see one’s skills in a new light.