How do you Kick your Quilting Drive into High Gear?

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I know we all go through those times where we just can’t figure out what it is that we want to do… Do I pick up a book and read?  Do I take a walk?  Knit?  Sew? watch TV? Normally, I con’t have a problem with this, but I’m finding myself at home and wondering what to do with myself.  I have a quilt to work on, however it just stares at me, and I stare right back at it.  I have two furry kids who could always get more attention, I have television shows I could watch (but find boring), and I could visit a fabric shop nearby, but the only one close is JoAnn Fabrics.  I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs.  Help me (and others) with some suggestions for getting our mo-joe going, please!

 

 

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A Treasure Worth Keeping: A Stitcher’s sad discovery

If you are a quilter or a seamstress of any kind, you have probably been told that you should ALWAYS sign and date your work for future generations.  I have done pretty well keeping up with that tradition on any quilts or other fabric work that I have completed.  But sadly, not everyone in my family (my ancestors) did so.

Mom.jpgMy mother passed away in 2007.  She was raised in The Episcopal  Childrens’ Home in Pittsburgh., PA.   I always knew her to be a talented seamstress.  She sewed my clothes when I was young, and even made my prom dress.  Mom had a best friend, Alma, and they were buddies all through school.  I am the owner of a quilt that she made for Alma’s daughter after she was born.  Unfortunately, she did not sign the quilt at the time, so I don’t know what year it was made.  Alma lived in Las Vegas, and we lived in Michigan. I only saw her once.  After Alma died, her daughter contacted me and asked for my mailing address.

She wantquilt.disney.jpged to ship the quilt to me so that I would have it.   She said she had “no need for it,” as she was not going to have any children and wouldn’t need a crib quilt.  She didn’t see a reason to keep her baby quilt.  My heart was heavy after hearing that.

Somehow or another, at some point in time, my mom learned how to sew.  I don’t know who taught her, but I DO know that she taught me well.  I have her old Singer Sewing machine in my sewing area, and would never part with it.  My dear husband spent a lot of time cleaning it up so that it sews like a charm.  Mom taught me how to sew a straight line when I was quite young, how to sew buttonholes, and so much more.  Those times togeMom1.jpgther are precious memories.

As I mentioned above, mom passed away in 2007.  My father recently moved from Michigan to Phoenix, Arizona.  He is now going on 96, and is in an assisted living facility.  My brother lives nearby.  We are in the process of preparing for an estate sale at his home.  If you have ever had to do a sale such as this, you know how grueling it is.  Because his home is in Michigan, and we are close by, my husband and I are primarily the ones who are taking care of his property and the preparations for the sale.  In going through an old trunk in his home, I came across something that I found to be very interesting.

This embroidered object, above, which I believe to be a pillow cover, was found in a trunk in their bedroom.  I assume that mom made it, however I have no proof other than it has her name embroidered on it.  I can also see the precision in her machine stitching.  Mom4.jpg

Take a peek at the close-up! I also don’t know when it was made, or for what purpose.  I would LOVE to have that information; alas, I am almost certain I will never know.

Also in the trunk, buried at the bottom, were five sweaters which, over the years, were made by me for my dad.  They were never, ever worn by my father, or by anyone else for that matter.  Each was wrapped in the plastic bag in which I put them many years ago.  They are now sitting on the couch in his home, waiting to be purchased by someone at the Estate Sale.

This is a lengthy post, however it has a purpose.  Please, please, please, when you make something for someone, or even something to keep for yourself, include your name and the date on the item.  If there is a purpose or event that the item is meant for, mention that!  Future generations will want to know who you are, who the item was for, and when it was made.  If you want to add even more information, please do so!  Your work is a treasure… share it with others!

The Future is Now!

It dates back to around 1975 or 76… a strong longing for time to myself; Time to sew, to clear a space in the house in which to keep my sewing machine and ironing board set up permanently. A design wall to hang quilts-in-progress… where I can pin into the wall and not worry about the holes I create. A place where my fabric can relax in a cabinet all folded nicely – or not; arranged by color – or not. An office of my own where I can sit and write… but most of all, time. I read a quote recently that is on my mind now on a regular basis: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” The quote is attributed to John Lennon, however I have also seen it attributed to other individuals as well. But for me, the thing that puts a smile on my face more than anything is that time is now MINE. I can (mostly) do with it what I want. I am now retired! Those things that I wished for long ago have mostly come true.

I’m sitting in my office with a laptop computer on my desk. My fabric storage cabinet is downstairs, stocked with fabrics of all colors and patterns. They are “sort of” grouped by color, but could all use a good pressing. My design wall has a barn on it… a barn quilt, that is, in an artsy style. It will get finished one of these days.

I’ve been working on a quilt for one of my grandsons, piecing it all by hand. It will also get hand quilted. I made Fischer a quilt just like the one shown below.  Fischer’s favorite color is blue, so I dove into my stash of blue fabrics, all selected randomly and put into place with no precision. His little cousin Carson will get one almost identical for Christmas this year. I know he will also love his quilt  and use it daily.  And both little guys will help me use up my stash of blue fabrics.  YAY!  

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So, my friends, welcome to my future! I’m loving it, looking forward to designing some new quilts for me, for family, and… for whatever. I will be writing more, posting more, and sharing more with you. Feel free to ask what you want. I’ll respond as best I can and try to include as many pictures as possible. Please share your thoughts and your projects as well, and let’s make this future a real blast!