Sew Much Soul Conference Quilting Edition 2023

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Cecily Habimana and Tisha Thorne met by chance in the hallway of a new building they both moved into back in 2006. They soon realized that they both had a passion for sewing.

The pair noticed that there really weren’t many places where people could take sewing classes, even though there was clearly a demand for it. So, they decided to fill that void and launch Sip and Sew DC, a three-hour workshop that teaches participants how to sew and complete a project such as a clutch, pants or skirt.

The response was overwhelming with many of the classes selling out from 2014-2016. Hosting pop-up classes was a lot of work and Cecily and Tisha’s husbands eventually urged the pair to find their own space.  It was from their recommendation that pushed them to open Sew Creative Lounge in Mt. Rainier, MD.

Today Sew Creative Lounge teaches children and adult sewing classes and hosts summer camp at their home studio and satellite studio in Chicago.  They also partner with various elementary schools throughout the DC metropolitan area including Yu Ying Public Charter School, Creative Minds Public Charter School, Center City Public Charter School and the Burke School.  In response to the pandemic, Cecily and Tisha opened up an online store and began designing their own collection of fabrics.  They excited about their work and are always eager to work with their students.

Lisa Woolfork

Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory, and American slavery. She is the founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.

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Lisa Woolfork  0:11  

Hello stitchers. Welcome to Stitch Please. The official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I'm your host, Lisa Woolfork. I'm a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Stitch Please podcast, and as I say every week, this is a very special episode because this episode brings us the creative team behind Sew Creative Lounge's "Sew Much Soul" quilting conference, that will be a three-day conference from April 14th  to 17th. It looks jam-packed with so much fun, and you're not gonna believe this. It's actually "Free-ninety-nine!" So not only is it an amazing conference with highly skilled and professional educators who are sewing educators and clothing educators who do amazing work, you can learn from them for free. It's absolutely fantastic. And this project is spearheaded by the owner of Sew Creative Lounge, Cecily Habimana. Welcome Cecily to the program. Thank you for being with us today. 

Cecily Habimana  1:41  

Thank you so much. I'm excited to be here today. 

Lisa Woolfork  1:47  

It is very good to have you and we are also joined by some folks who are going to be teaching at the conference. So I'll let you introduce those wonderful folks, some of whom have been on the podcast before, some of whom are new to me meeting in this format, and I'm really excited for that. So thank you for joining us. I'm especially grateful. Can you talk Cecily, about what made you decide to do Sew Much Soul quilting? Again. I mean, I thought that this was a lot of work the last time from what I heard, it was like, you know, a little bit of work, a little bit, just a little bit. But now here you are. You're back with another edition. Tell us why you decided to do it again. 

Cecily Habimana  2:35  

Because I think our community would kill us if we did not do this again. It's something that they look forward to. We do it twice a year. Now this is our fourth, yes, this is our fourth Sew Much Soul event. The first one was in 2021, in September. It was the sewing edition. We came back last year with the quilting and sewing [editions]. And now we have a full year again for the quilting in April and then the sewing one in September. 

Lisa Woolfork  3:08  

I love options. And I can tell you, I was at that first conference that you did. And it was so much fun. I remember like jammin' to the DJ in between the breaks. Like it was like the breaks were so good. And like I love the hustle how you could step away from the computer, and you could still hear the music, and you knew that there was still a break. But then you could come back in time, and you weren't going be late for your class. It was really wonderful. It was a very thoughtful and conscientiously designed program and execution. And so congratulations to you and the team for that. Can you talk about some of the energy that you have to put into making something like this work? 

Cecily Habimana  3:51  

I think the biggest thing is that when we started this in [20]21, right, and so the pandemic was still very much at its high, but we wanted to be able to transfer our energy that we would have, if we were in the same space together, to a virtual experience. So you know, the DJ is one part of it. We've brought on people like Krystal Taylor, who came in and did just breaks just to get us up and moving. We've had you know, from lectures to classes, like all those sorts of things. So that was a good balance for the conference as well. 

Lisa Woolfork  4:33  

I really appreciate that type of attention to detail when so many folks felt like you know, so many things were out of control, that there was a place that you could go, and step into, and be guided to learn something new, to try something new. Do you get the sense that the folks who come to the conference are more interested in sewing/apparel more generally? Is that why you started with sewing and then added quilting? Or is it something that quilting and sewing together both have something that people really like to organize around in terms of coming together at the conference? 

Cecily Habimana  5:11  

Yeah, I think the biggest thing was that it was started with my background. So I'm a garment sewer, and so that was what I was most comfortable with when we started Sew Much Soul. But I quickly realized it's like, "Ooh, it's a whole 'nother world out here that we need to bring together as well." And so that's why we decided last year, I was like, Okay, let's do it twice, because I didn't want to do the quilting and the sewing together. That would have been like a five-day ... (laughs) event.

Lisa Woolfork  5:42  

Demand. I mean, and I am people. Because I'm sure that you would have had a quilting class that would conflict with a sewing class that I absolutely wanted to take. And so I really think it's very wise to split them up by modality. So I think that's really smart. 

Cecily Habimana  5:42  

Thank you. 

Lisa Woolfork  5:42  

So, the last time I saw you was in real life in Atlanta, Georgia, back in February, where we were the top row of this screen,. Y'all if you are a Patreon supporter, congratulations. Because you get to look at us and we look gorgeous. And the top row of us were at QuiltCon, the Modern Quilt Guild QuiltCon in Atlanta, just a month ago, which really feels to me like a lifetime ago. I feel like I am still tired from QuiltCon. I feel like people were like, "Lisa, we haven't seen you on the socials." I was like,"that, QuiltCon had me fight for my life." I mean, it was a lot. And I say that as someone who was not doing what you two were doing, vending. I was not as on as you all were on, having to stand for hours and hours and hours. I was on. I was recording and doing a bunch of other work. But still, I feel exhausted. And so that's one of the things that's the difference between the professionals, like Lisa, and Cecily, that you know, you all do it, and you do it tired and you come home and you unpack that doggone truck. Thank you, Cecily, for putting some Black Women Stitch stuff in your trailer, because it was not gonna fit on the train back to DC. So we always think big thanks for that. You unload that truck and you do all that stuff. And then maybe you take a couple of days off. But on Tuesday, you're back at it. And now, a month later, you are hosting another quilt conference. But of course, one that is going to be that much better for being yours. And so I just think that I applaud your commitment and your ability to forget painful situations. I would like to work on that myself. Because I had a wonderful time at QuiltCon. But when I tell you I feel like I worked my behind off. Really, I keep looking back there. It's still back there, my behind is still back there, but I kept kicking it, you know myself, trying to get stuff ready. And now here you are with a completely new and gorgeous program. Can you talk about the folks who have joined us here today? So we can introduce them to our audience and to find out what they're going to be teaching in a few weeks. 

Cecily Habimana  8:21  

Yeah, so we have about 10 instructors who are going to be teaching either lectures or project-based classes during the conference. And so I'll just go around the screen: we have Lisa Shepard Stewart from Cultured Expressions, and let's back up just a little bit because I called Lisa up out of the blue when I found out she was vending at QuiltCon. I was like Lisa, I have not done this before. I don't even know like what I'm really signing up for, so you know I want to just take a moment to thank her for that guidance as we decided to do our first quilting conference, how would you say, it was one of the largest ones and then with a double booth. I don't know who decided that that was a good idea. 

Lisa Woolfork  9:13  

The double booth! When you said that you had a double booth. I was like this person is so ambitious. But you pulled it off and now you've lived to tell the tale, so you're good.

Cecily Habimana  9:26  

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I look forward to next year as well. So then we have Lisa. We have Carole Gary Staples. And, I didn't talk about your classes. Lisa's class is "Magic Nine-Patch Clutch." Carole Gary Staples is going to be doing a "Scrappy Black Girl Magic Mini Quilt." I'm looking forward to it. I had a chance to see Carole's work through Janet at the prior conference. And so when she recommended that Carole be a part of it, I was like, oh my God, this is perfect. So, welcome, Carole, 

Lisa Woolfork  10:14  

Thank you so much for introducing us to a small portion of a very robust and talented staff. I would love to hear more about Lisa's class. And I would love to hear, I'm going to ask, don't worry, I'm going to ask everybody about their class because I'm nosy. And I like to know things, especially about sewing things that I'm really excited about, [and] quilting things. What is this magic nine patches? Sounds like it's gonna be a really great little bag. Is that what the magic nine patch is? And what's so magic about it? Do I not have to sew a nine patch together? Is that the magic?

Lisa Shepard Stewart  10:45  

I actually have it here. This is the visual. It's very cute.

Lisa Woolfork  10:51  

Wow. Oh, that started as a nine patch?

Lisa Shepard Stewart  10:58  

It starts as the nine patch, right. And when Cecily asked me to teach, and I came up with this idea, just very briefly, she said I kind of had this idea.  And my when I teach this virtually I teach like six different projects. She was like, let's just do one of them. Okay, so we're doing the clutch this time, but in this I used batiks from Ghana, my favorite Jacquard batiks. You can use Ankara, You can use all different things. So we're gonna have different samples. And it's a way of just piecing it and folding it that you get a really nice little effect to the patchwork [unclear].

Lisa Woolfork  11:29  

That is really beautiful. It really is. [unclear] Yes. Can you talk about that charm? Is that what it's called, the charm?

Lisa Shepard Stewart  11:38  

This is an Adinkra symbol. I call it a pendant or however. It's made of brass. I import these from Ghana. And they're all these Adinkra symbols have different meanings. This one's my favorite one. It's Dwennimmen which is strength of body, mind and spirit. Because it symbolizes the ram's horns. So that's what it means. And I use it on a lot of stuff when I realized that the fabric too had that same stamp design.

Lisa Woolfork  12:00  

Oh, wow.

Lisa Shepard Stewart  12:03  

I didn't even realize when I was putting it together. I was like, Oh, that needs to be here. So that was kind of it.

Lisa Woolfork  12:08  

Oh, that's really wonderful. That looks ...

Lisa Shepard Stewart  12:12  

You just put them together and it's gonna be fun. 

Lisa Woolfork  12:15  

Oh that sounds wonderful. And it looks like it's a project that does a great job of balancing, you know, kind of quilting, but also doing something with something smaller. If you don't have time to do a large quilt, you can do something smaller, and then you can take it with you everywhere. That's wonderful. That's really excellent. Thank you so much for sharing about that project. Cecily, who would like to go next? 

Cecily Habimana  12:39  

So want to go back to Carole? 

Lisa Woolfork  12:42  

Yes. Okay. Let's go back to Carole. Hi, Carole. I see that you are making scrappy Black girl magic. Again. I'm excited now because whenever I hear the word magic, I think less sewing. So I just have to say like, is it magically done? Or does someone come along and magically unpick any mistakes I may make? I'd love to learn how this scrappy magic happens.

Carole Gary Staples  13:09  

So you magically put it together, you just intuitively take some scraps. And you just sew them all together. And I teach you how to make a little iron-on applique figure that you work your magic and work it right into that composition. And voila, there you have it.

Lisa Woolfork  13:33  

Oh, that is so wonderful. It sounds like you're inviting us to play a little bit.

Carole Gary Staples  13:40  

I am inviting you to play and to use your imagination. And it's a class that no two will look alike. Because it's just you in your style and how you like things and yeah, and there's no right or wrong way to do it. However it comes out, that's how it's supposed to come out for you. I don't have my sample. Cecily has an my sample. So I can't hold him up.

Cecily Habimana  14:10  

Yeah, it's it's at the studio, but you can also see the photos of the projects on our website. It's 

Lisa Woolfork  14:18  

 It's really such an exciting idea because I think some folks steer away from art quilts or things that they might see as art quilt. Because they feel like well, I know some might say, "Well, I'm not a trained artist. I didn't go to art school. I don't know how to make art professionally" or you know, "is it going to be good enough?" And I think that , you know, that makes it difficult to even get started. What kind of advice do you have if you have a new beginner in your class? And they're like, oh, wait, I didn't know this was gonna be art. How do you help to encourage them to to give it a try?

Carole Gary Staples  14:56  

Are you asking me?

Lisa Woolfork  14:57  

I'm asking Carole. Yeah, I'm asking you. I bet you have a good answer.

Carole Gary Staples  14:57  

Yeah, because you know what? We all have artists within us

Lisa Woolfork  15:09  

See, I told you you had a good answer.

Carole Gary Staples  15:11  

Yeah, because you remember when you're little, when you first learned how to use your crayons? We all do our pictures and we were all really happy with them. And then just later on as we go through life, and then we look and we learn about perfectionism and stuff like that, that we lose it. But at one time, yeah, we all had it. So, you know, I'll bring out the artists within you, because it's within everybody. And especially what I do. Because Janet, who you will talk to next, calls it improv, which it is, but I just call it putting scraps together. That's less intimidating. Don't tell Janet I said that.

Lisa Woolfork  16:04  

Black Women Stitch and this Stitch Please podcast is grateful for all the support that made Sew Black possible. Special thanks to our underwriters: Spoonflower. Thanks also to Moda for generous sponsorship. Thank you Bernina for your wonderful support. Thank you also to Amtrak for partnering with us. Special thanks to those who shared resources to equip the space. This includes AccuQuilt, Aurifil, Crimson Tate, SewEzi, Ruby Star Society, FreeSpirit Fabrics, Kaii Scissors. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Special thanks to Focusrite for making the live recording possible through the donation of an audio interface, theFocusrite 18i8. Thanks to The Bridge PAI for the initial funding. And thanks also to the Modern Quilt Guild for their generous support. Thank you all so much for making this possible. 

Sew Black is made possible by some amazing people on the Black Women Stitch team. Kristina Gifford, Jenelle Velasco, Latrice Sampson Richards, Naomi P. Johnson, Shana Jefferson, Jill Bates Moore, Nikki Griffin, Coco Springer, Alicia Turlington and Adrienne Dent. And in full Snoop Dogg style, I'd like to thank myself for pulling this together and believing in me, let's give it up for Lisa Woolfork. And if you want to find out what's happening next, follow Black Women Stitch on TikTok and Instagram and sign up for our email list. Check out the Stitch Please podcast with new episodes every Wednesday, including episodes from QuiltCon, coming out soon. 

I love that, I love the scrappy, because it gives us an idea of you know, of sustainability. You can use every little piece. If you have things that might be leftover, they can have a home in this scrappy piece. But also scrappy has this kind of connotation of like really kind of digging down into your own, you know, like sense of resolve, you know, like a scrappy little, you know, like just, yeah, just like burgeoning confidence. Someone you know, getting up the nerve to kinda, to do something,

Carole Gary Staples  18:41  

You'll see, personality will come out in the piece.

Lisa Woolfork  18:45  

That is so exciting. Y'all, this sounds like a really fun class. Again, we've only talked about two classes and there are apparently 10 instructors. So I'm saying at least 10 classes. That's a lot. That's a lot to choose from. I am really excited to talk with Janet Green. It is nice to meet you. Thank you so much for being here today. And Carole has already described you as improvisational. How do you respond to that? Do you accept or deny?

Janet Green  19:20  

Oh, they've dubbed me the improv queen. So I accept it. 

Lisa Woolfork  19:25  

Oh, that's delightful. 

Janet Green  19:27  

Oh absolutely, absolutely. Anybody that knows anything about me knows that, even if you give me a pattern, I'm not gonna follow it all the way. I'm gonna turn it into something else.

Lisa Woolfork  19:38  

Listen, you became a quilter because you wanted to do things your own way.

Janet Green  19:44  

I became a quilter because I wasn't making garments anymore. And I still like to sew and create. And I was going to start with the traditional pattern, you know pathway, with patterns and I had this great Africa, it was like an African vista and some other prints, some animal prints. And I've had this pattern. And I'm like, I just don't understand why I would want to cut this beautiful fabric up into these little unrecognizable pieces and put it back together again. So I waited until I found the big block quilt and I put it together. And as they say, I got the quilting bug.

Lisa Woolfork  20:26  

Oh, that is wonderful. And how long have you been ... And so when you started, do you think you began with improvisation in mind? You sound like someone who, as you said, you might get a pattern, but you'd like to put your own spin on it. You want to have your own voice, even as you were learning.

Janet Green  20:45  

Oh, sorry. Go ahead.

Lisa Woolfork  20:46  

No, no, that was it.

Janet Green  20:48  

No, I think I wanted to quilt the right way. So there's a traditional path that you go down. And I looked at the curated bundles and the traditional fabrics. And quite frankly, I found them incredibly boring.

Lisa Woolfork  21:09  


Janet Green  21:10  

And so I'm like, okay, so I had made one quilt, I don't even remember what it was. But I had all these cut offs. And I'm like, this is too much fabric to, you know, just pitch. So I just take offs, and I turned it around, and I did another quilt. And so my journey really started with a series I called "Family Threads". So when I made a quilt for one person, I took something from that quilt and moved it forward to the next quilt. 

Lisa Woolfork  21:39  

Oh, that's beautiful

Janet Green  21:40  

And on and on and on. And when I got from the adults moving into the kids, I'm like, okay, now how do I translate these batiks and things into a kids, you know,quilt. And I was going to do that. So after I got all my family quilts out, then I just started fooling around with the artwork.

Lisa Woolfork  21:56  

I love that. And do you remember how many quilts you were able to make like, to you know, in terms of, it sounds like a beautiful exchange that you start with like one quilt connects to another, connects to another. It's really a beautiful way to connect the family. How many did you end up creating?

Janet Green  22:15  

I would guess I probably did maybe 25 of them. 

Lisa Woolfork  22:22  

Oh my. Wow. Yeah, that is impressive.

Janet Green  22:26  

And they are all over the country.

Lisa Woolfork  22:28  

Oh, wow. That's really that is so special. What a testament to your family, as well as the metaphor of like the thread that binds us, you know. The idea of quilting as that kind of language - that's really very special. Can you tell us about the course that you will be teaching at the Sew Much Soul Conference?

Janet Green  22:49  

Oh, sure. Actually, when they say "great minds think alike," and we make Cecily, nervous, Lisa is working with a nine patch, and I'm going to be working with a nine patch. Not [unclear]?

Lisa Woolfork  23:04  

Yes. So I guess I'm learning that there's lots of different ways to do a nine patch.

Janet Green  23:09  

Well, there's one way to do a nine patch, there's different sizes, there's different fabrics. So, they come out differently even if you're doing the same thing. And what we're going to do is we're going to take the nine patch and turn it into something totally unexpected. And if I had to give the course a name, we're talking about the shapes of improv. But when I did the first test run, I called it "Fill in the Blanks." So we're going to take a nine patch, and then we're going to fill in the blanks. That's the first class in the morning. 

Lisa Woolfork  23:41  


Janet Green  23:42  

And then in the afternoon, we're going to take that really beautiful, unexpected piece of "what do I do with this now" and turn it into something very practical and very useful. And that is, yeah, that is going to be a lot of fun.

Lisa Woolfork  23:59  

I love making things where I know, I will see them again. And I think that's one of the things about having something that's a special thing that you'll use for an occasion or for something that you know, you'll be pulling this piece out. Like you might make a dress and well you know, I might make a dress and I you know, of course I'll wear  it. But it's not like I'm gonna see it every day in the same way. That's something if I walk into this room or into this space, I know that this piece will be here. And so for the three of you all who are here, is this your first time working with the Sew Much Soul conference, or did you work with it last year as well or in the previous incarnations?

Janet Green  24:36  

I actually was on the list of instructors last year, and I did Intro to Improv, and we had so much fun piecing and cutting and piecing and doing even more of that. When I finally asked the group, I said okay, what do you want me to do with it now, and they said cut it. So I just sliced right down the middle of it. They were like, no she didn't! So as Carole was saying, it's about permission to play. And whether you call it piecing scraps together, or whether you call it improv, it's just about having fun, being a kid again. Don't compare it to anybody else's; just let the creator in you come out.

Lisa Woolfork  25:26  

That is so beautifully put. And I'm really glad to hear that illustration from [confusing audio] your recent teaching, What are you most looking forward to this year?

Janet Green  25:42  

Ooh, being less nervous than I was the first time.

Lisa Woolfork  25:48  


Janet Green  25:50  

After a year working with the batik membership group, there are probably more expectations of what's going to happen because they've seen, they know my style. I'm just looking forward to the fun and the way that we can take traditional things and turn them into unexpected and beautiful, useful pieces of art.

Lisa Woolfork  26:19  

That's so exciting. And it's so beautiful. And I just love the way that you and Carole are kind of turning us to think about what we used to do before we were socialized into perfection, or socialized into this idea that it has to look like, you know, somebody else's thing in order to be correct. I still remember, like coloring with the crayon. And it wasn't about making sure that the house that I drew looked exactly like my house, because it didn't. Because every picture I drew as a child always had the sun in the upper right corner. I don't know why the sun lived there. But that was where the sun always lived. But I was more happy about just the making of the thing, than, and maybe even telling the story I was trying to tell, than worried about did it look like what my sister had done, or what you know, someone else had done. And that's a really powerful option to have. And I don't think many or enough adults have that opportunity. So to offer it for you all to have such talent and such generous teaching spirits. And the conference is free. It's just It just It boggles the mind. And it's in a good way, in an absolutely good way. Carole, how about you? What are you looking forward to in the Sew Much Soul conference quilting edition?

Carole Gary Staples  27:47  

Well, so this will be my first year as a part of the conference, which I'm very honored to have been invited to come and teach at the conference. So I'm just looking forward to sharing what I do with people. And like Janet says, her nerves are better this year than last year. And you know, learning from the pros with, you know, how the virtual conference goes on. And, yeah, I am going to be in Washington. So I'm excited to come to the Sew Creative lounge and be there, and be in the room, and feel the energy and you know, share with people.

Lisa Woolfork  28:43  

That sounds really exciting. I can imagine like the backstage that requires to do all this. Must be a pretty exciting/slightly high-pressure environment.

Carole Gary Staples  28:53  

That's what I hear. It's a full production studio. So I am excited.

Lisa Woolfork  29:03  

I think to make it look as good as it does on screen. And the way that it runs so seamlessly it takes a team of people working really hard at what they are good at, you know, and I think that that helps it to go off so beautifully. And that's what I've always appreciated. Lisa, how about you? What are you most looking forward to for this year's version, for this year's conference? Oop, sorry, let more time. You're muted.

Lisa Shepard Stewart  29:37  

I'll say dovetailing on what we just mentioned about the production quality and all that I know what it takes to put on something like this. And I'm looking forward to just coming in and being just the teacher and coming in and doing my thing. And hopefully hanging out for all the parts of it, but not to have to have all that technical stuff to deal with. And looking forward to a conference that's, you know, for us by us. I've been in the industry for like 1000 years. And I couldn't have imagined that we would actually have, you know, teachers and have a whole have, you know, networks that we're building now. From QuiltCon and before that, and after it, it's just been a real experience to see, you know, see the growth, and see, like people that look like me that I never saw at shows and things like that, that I was doing. So I'm looking forward to immersing myself and, you know, just hanging out.

Lisa Woolfork  30:24  

That you get to really enjoy the conference, not host the conference, right? That you get to be a participant in that. I can imagine that relief. That relief is not something that Cecily is going to have because Cecily is ... well, I think you got a bit of relief, because you're not teaching this year, you are now just running the conference. Is that true? 

Cecily Habimana  30:48  

Yes,. so I typically don't teach; I host the conference, I'll do, you know, one little session, one small session, just bringing the whole thing together is what I'll call it. But I don't actually sit down at the machine, I try to keep that division of labor between my partner Tisha. She is everything in the classroom, and I'm everything outside the classroom. And we don't cross those lines very often. 

Lisa Woolfork  31:21  

That is very smart. That is very smart. Because without those boundaries, it is very easy to overwork. And so I'm really glad that everybody is getting all set. And y'all, this conference is coming up very shortly, a little under two weeks away. And there is plenty of time to sign up. Do you have any advice for folks who are going to be ordering kits, what would be a good time cut off, make sure that they get their kits in time for them to receive them. You all have plenty of time. If you order your kit today, today is March 30th. If you ordered your kit today, like I will put the link to the conference in the show notes of this episode. And if you go to this episode, you click it, and you order your kit today, it will very, very easily get to you in plenty of time. That is one thing I will say that seems and feels very true. Now Cecily will have more details about how close you can possibly cut it. And ideally get your kit, or you even playing those games Cecily? You're like, listen to cut off is this. 

Cecily Habimana  32:34  

Well, we start shipping this week, everything is in studio, there are one million things to cut and pack during this week. But the first batch of them will go out during this week. And then after that it kind of depends on where you live. The West Coast takes about ... we're all on the east coast. So West Coast usually takes like five to six business days to get there. If you live in California, you may want to just go ahead and order that kit right now. If you live in DC and you want to come and pick it up at the studio, you can you know, order up until a couple of days before. So yeah.

Lisa Woolfork  33:11  

There is plenty of time. Now. Now there's plenty of time. There's plenty of time, and you can, like you said, you can pick it up, or you can have it mailed, and if you're in California, you can order your kit right now. And then you'd have a week to just sit around and look at it. You know, wouldn't that be great? You would be incredibly well prepared. But I just want to thank everybody for being here this evening. I am so grateful to Cecily. And I'm gonna go around and ask you all for a short answer to this question. The slogan of the Stitch Please podcast is that we will help you get your stitch together. I'm going to ask each of you to share your advice. What your advice for our listening audience is to help us get our stitch together. Cecily, we'll start with you. 

Cecily Habimana  34:03  

Oh, wow. So when I when I hear that phrase, I think about the confidence piece. And, you know, especially during this conference, we're not just sewing and quilting and such. We are encouraging. We have an encouraging environment. And we have to even like even throughout the conference, sometimes I'll stop classes because I'll see a comment and like oh, you know this or that, and it doesn't exude ... They're scared. They're either scared or they don't think that they can do it or that sort of thing. So I've stopped whole classes like,look, y'all, look. We gotta get this together. 

Lisa Woolfork  34:49  

You got this, you can do this. 

Cecily Habimana  34:51  

 Exactly, exactly. So when I think of that phrase, I think about that confidence piece. 

Lisa Woolfork  34:57  

That's wonderful. Yes, believe that you can do it. How about you, Lisa? What advice do you have to help us get our stitch together?

Lisa Shepard Stewart  35:09  

Two really quick things. One is that perfection is overrated, have fun, enjoy the process, just make what you're gonna make, let it guide you through and don't obsess over the, you know, some of those details are not quite as important as you think. So enjoy it. The other one is that sewing and collecting fabric are two distinctly different hobbies. So if you buy a piece of fabric, don't feel pressured to use it, just enjoy it as part of your collection.

Lisa Woolfork  35:34  

Agreed that is so wise. I agree with both, I cosign very much. So thank you, Lisa. How about you Carole? What advice do you have to help our listeners get our stitch together?

Carole Gary Staples  35:48  

The main thing I would tell them is to just trust themselves. Just trust and believe that what you're doing, is what you're supposed to be doing. And, you know, and quality comes with time. You know, in practice, practice, practice, you'll get there. If it's not perfect. That's okay. But yeah, trust your intuition. Trust yourself and say, I can do this. And trust yourself, you can do it.

Lisa Woolfork  36:24  

Wonderful. Trust yourself, you can do it. And how about you, Janet? What is your advice to help us get stitch together?

Janet Green  36:31  

Well, I'm like Lisa, I have a double thought. One is that comparison breeds discontent. So the only person you want to compare yourself to is the you you were yesterday. We're always moving forward. When you start looking around. It's like, ya know, everybody started at the beginning. And my second piece of advice, especially for quilters is, if you can't see it from 20 feet away, or at 20 miles an hour. It doesn't matter.

Lisa Woolfork  37:03  

I love that. I've 20 feet away and 20 miles [an hour], I love it. I'm gonna hold that close to my heart. Janet, I thank you. I really feel like you spoke to my spirit there. With that second piece for sure. Thank you so much, everybody for being here. I wish you all a fantastic Sew Much Soul quilting edition conference starting on April 14, I will be there - I will be there hanging out. I think I'm helping doing something, I said yes to something. So I will absolutely be there. Having a good time myself. And thank you again. Thank you so much, everybody for your time. We appreciate you.

Cecily Habimana  37:45  

Thank you so much, Lisa. Thank you for having me.

Lisa Woolfork  37:56  

You've been listening to Stitch Please, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. We appreciate you joining us this week and every week for stories that center black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. We invite you to join the Black Women Stitch Patreon community with giving levels beginning at $5 a month. Your contributions help us bring the Stitch Please podcast to you every week. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support, and come back next week, and we'll help you get your stitch together.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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