Guest Post from Suzie

I’ve just unpacked from craft camp. I’ve admired my finished items, I’ve giggled at memories of long nights of hilarity, I’ve sworn I’ll never eat again, I’ve read the emails we’ve all sent to each other filled with the wonder and joy of our shared retreat. A first ever completed quilt left behind in the rush has been delivered home, new clothes fit for a growing baby bump have been hung up ready to wear, a seemingly endless crocheted blanket is that much bigger, a five piece batman costume has been donned by a very excited 3 year old, a new scarf has been knitted on an ancient vintage knitting machine. The scale and variety of projects my fellow campers tackle never fails to amaze and delight me.

Is it really almost two years since my first visit to Sew Journ? It seems like only a blink ago that I was following the renovations on the blog, watching the unfolding story of the birth of an institution. Before my first visit in October 2008 I had organised quite a few craft camps. I’d scoured the internet for houses for rent for groups of 5-12, not too far from Melbourne, not too expensive. Every place I’d stayed had shortcomings of fairly large proportions from unsleepable beds to zero table space to unpleasant landlords. And quite frankly the never ending venue search was pretty tiring and anxiety provoking with every camp a venture into the unknown.

And then came Sew Journ. Perfect, ideal, slice of heaven Sew Journ. If you’ve been you know what I’m talking about. The buzz of inspiration, the shared energy and enthusiasm, the sense of possibility in the air. The perfectly set up tables and lighting, the roaring fire, the handmade quilts. The stashes opened and shared to ensure just the right buttons are found, the 35cm red zip you never knew you were going to need miraculously materialised, the patterns and recipes and techniques passed from person to person.  Just yesterday someone, a complete stranger I kid you not, saw me knitting on the tram and regaled me with stories of a magical weekend at this amazing place called Sew Journ. Her eyes glazed over and she looked all dreamy and far away. I knew just how she felt.

But this weekend we moved into a whole new level. More than just a great craft camp, in a great venue. A story is beginning to emerge that exists between and beyond the individual groups who visit and it is a testament to the spirit of the place. It started out as the story of a stork in a cactus garden, a stork needing some warmth and handmade love. Leg warmers appeared first. Sometime later someone added a scarf, then a woolly fish caught in its beak then a hat. Someone’s inspired idea given life, caught fire and running away. I see the cacti are getting in on the act now and I can’t even imagine where this story might lead.

I’m already planning the next camp. I’m thinking about what projects I’ll be taking, what meal I’ll be cooking and the people I’ll be sharing my adventure with, returning campers and newbies alike. I’m also thinking about where the story of shared creative imagination might be by then and what I might be able to contribute to it.

2 Responses to “Guest Post from Suzie”

  1. trash Says:

    Come hell or high water next time I come home I AM going to Sewjourn!

  2. jodie Says:

    But the poor storks bum fell off…..

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