Hi! I’m Rona, aka Ribbit, and I’m the Traveling Quilter!
At the ripe old age of 6 months, I took my first airplane ride from Louisiana to Washington State. From that moment on, I was hooked. Over the course of my life I’ve lived in 5 different states, seen and experienced about 3/4 of the United States and been to 2 new countries, soon to be 3. Everything from day trips to week long vacations, road trips and overseas. You name it, I want to go.
However, when I was a kid, I hated going to the fabric store. HATED it. My sister was always the seamstress. She would make holiday costumes and clothes of all sorts. The girl truly has talent. However, I just never got that gene. Sewing was so NOT my thing.
Until… around 2010 when my sister informed me that I was going to learn to sew. As she’s the oldest, there really was no arguing this point. She was giving me her old sewing machine and I WAS going to learn to use it. So, she showed me how to thread it and how to stitch in a straight line. And that was all it took. I launched into my very first project… a quilt for my mother. To this day I still don’t do clothes. 😊
That first quilt was a nightmare. Seriously, there’s no batting, it’s not quilted together and the binding is, well, horrible. I thought I was going to be fancy and use one of those nifty pre-programmed stitches. Yeah, when you don’t keep the machine in the proper place and even let it go all willy-nilly down the edges, things don’t really work too well. In fact, they don’t work at all. Y’all, there are spots on this binding where the top and backing aren’t even inside the binding anymore!
However, with all it’s faults, my mother won’t let me fix it. She uses it to remind me that it’s important to remember where we started to truly appreciate where we’re headed.
Because I have a mathematician’s brain, quilting and I became fast friends. As a self-taught quilter, I love figuring out the seam allowances and cutting dimensions. In fact, it wasn’t until I started teaching at JoAnn Fabric that I learned quilt blocks had names!
2017 was the year that changed everything. That year I decided to finally venture out on my own and focus on writing my own patterns. And, in September, I got the opportunity to take a life changing trip to Ireland with Craft Tours and our merry band of quilters. Traveling by myself (without my husband or old friends) I forced myself outside of comfort zone to meet new people, explore a new country and begin the journey of finding myself.
I still remember the moment it happened. As I arrived at JFK Airport in New York to meet the group I’d be traveling with, the anxiety kicked in. So much so that I found myself hiding at the next terminal over watching the group from a safe distance trying to prevent myself from having a full blown panic attack right there in the airport. So, I do what I always do, I called my husband.
After a few choice words of encouragement, he helped me realize that either I face my fear and walk straight through, or I get on a plane back to North Carolina and become a hermit. I chose the first one.
Walking up and forcing myself to talk to these 10 strangers I had an epiphany moment. These people were all Quilters. Right away I know we have something in common and I could build on that. I think that’s the trick in a lot of cases, finding that one spark to just begin the conversation. That, and learning not to overthink every moment and event in your life. Easier said than done but definitely doable!!
Today I travel all over the world in search of endless quilting knowledge and fun. I also continue to design my own Quilt patterns and books inspired by those travels. Won’t you join me for an adventure?