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Reprinted from QuiltEd Online with full permission
I have an old pair of quilting gloves. Made from wool, they have little beads of rubbery stuff attached to the palms. I’ve had these quilting gloves for years. Long ago, I cut the tips out of the index fingers and thumbs of the quilting gloves for both hands. With these two digits free, I can feel what I’m working on, and I have increased dexterity for picking up threads and removing pins from the work.
Cutting the tips out of the knitted wool quilting gloves meant I had to do something to stop them from unraveling completely. I had to waste precious time sewing tiny hems into the four fingers of the gloves that I had cut away.
Last spring while in the US, I bought a new pair of quilting gloves. These are Machingers. Much lighter weight and of a different material, these are noticeably cooler in our hot climate and not so thick and cumbersome as my old quilting gloves. I’ve been using them since I bought them, but today I simply could not bear it any longer.
I don’t know about you, but I need to FEEL what I’m working on, to know that the work and I are somehow connected. Also, I need to stop quilting and do other little tasks like making notes and taking pictures of the work, without having continually to strip off and re-don quilting gloves.
So–today I took the big step! I cut away the fingertips of the index fingers and thumbs on my Machingers quilting gloves. What a surprise! The rubberized tips of the gloves ensured there would be no raveling out. My quilting hardly broke stride!
Now, I’m cooler while quilting, can feel what I’m working on, grasp threads, pins and needles easily.
So–if you want to quilt like I do – comfortably and in full control of all aspects of the work, even when wearing quilting gloves, pick up a pair of Machingers, and cut out the fingertips of the index fingers and thumbs of the gloves!
People often ask me to tell them more about my “story.” They want to know more about how I came to live in Kenya, when and how I got started quilting and then teaching. Some of that information is here on my blog, on the Background page.
Nan Baker, blogger of Purrfect Spots, wanted to know more, so I told her! Read the guest blog post she published to learn more about my somewhat unusual life and work as a quilt artist and patchwork design teacher living in a remote area of Kenya. Find the post at http://purrfectspots.blogspot.com/2014/12/meet-my-guest-blogger-dena-dale-crain_2.html.
The quilt you see featured on this post, by the way, is my “Doorway to Africa.” It’s a Structured Fabrics quilt, made from checks, plaids and stripes, embellished with African “trade” beads and silver pailettes, shells and a small bone carving of an elephant (top left corner). This quilt was started in a class I took with well-known South African quilt artist and teacher, Rosalie Dace. Rosalie provided the inspiration, but the design was all mine. She and I have been friends ever since, and we’re lucky to meet up every couple of years or so in South Africa. “Doorway to Africa” sold to the US Embassy to Kenya. Take the online patchwork quilt design class, Structured Fabrics, and make your own original art quilt designs.
Nan has other great guest blog posts on Purrfect Spots. Read there articles about Benita Skinner of Victoriana Quilt Designs, Debbie Maddy of Calico Carriage Quilt Designs and Toby Lischko of Gateway Quilts & Stuff, Inc. Enjoy your favorite cuppa, and learn how professional quilters achieve their dreams and earn their places in the quilting world!
Being a quilting guest blogger on Nan’s Purrfect Spots is a great opportunity for me to tell you a little about how my life as a quilt artist and patchwork design teacher has unfolded. If you want to know more, simply visit the posts on this blog, and read about the python in the toilet, the wildflowers that bloom so colorfully in this semi-arid region, and the up-close and personal encounter I had with a hippo. Have fun!