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Quilting Tibits & Stories - by Ms. V

I saw my mother's five sons for the first time again
It took a lot of planning and all my energy but I did it.  Seeing all in a year.  When I looked at them I could see I had aged. 

Oh nothing in their eyes, rather it was the creases I saw through when looking at their eyes.  Nothing in their walk, but in mine as I tried to catch up or slow down to walk with them. Nothing in their speech rather in my listening, hearing, comprehension, memories of, and references to, that had shifted.  I looked at their children, grandchildren or pictures of them and wondered where the years between us had gone.  So many minutes we had spent together when young, so few in recent years.  We have all gotten on with our lives and are all traveling different paths. Paths for me that rarely intersect.

Never once as a child did I think it would be so. Never once would I have believed I would be so. Choices and decisions, likes and dislikes, habits and training made or received when we were young have reached their long tentacles into my present.  Some I can remember why others are now an inkling, a mystery.

I believe I miss my brothers, yes I am not sure, my memory isn't what it was so many yesterdays ago, not so much for the time spent apart, but for the times I have or am forgetting. We were magical, rough and tumble, hard headed and smart mouthed to each other but there was something to it that has and hasn't spanned the test of time. Brothers I pray your strength in your highest power.  May you live well and reach your goals.



Home For the Holidays?

I  called my mother this year and said Mom I think I am all grown up!  I am not shopping, cooking, or cleaning this holiday.  Oh and no guests.  Wow she said, no guest?  Nope, not a one.  The best plans no matter how well laid will be disrupted by a loving and well meaning grown up kid.  I thought, finally, I was off the hook, but noooooo. I now have Great children who want to Share their children, and dogs, and memories of Christmas past.  Ouch!  But I was all grown up there for a moment, and I had plans to have no plans, and I did not want to spend my wee bit of free time doing anything but what I though I might do as I lay in the bed with the tv on, knitting, on my knee, my laptop on it's holder to my right, my note pad to my right just beyond the laptop, and my ice pack slipping off the inflamed area, popping the appropriate medication at the appropriate time. Shoot.

I want to rest, relax, retreat, not think, not cook, not read, not knit, not type, not answer questions or kid proof the house.  Didn't I just do that for Thanksgiving?  I just got my junk spread out where I could find it again.  Rats, darn, dash it all.  Of course once I see those little eyes and hear the chipper voices I will change my mind.  But for right now I am holding fast to nooooooo.  After all I will have to try to find all the little gifts I bought all year that I hid. Rats.


Now Where Can I Hide It?

You know you are losing what few marbles you have when you start hiding quilt supplies from yourself. Oh wait, and loosing scissors when you know you have at least twenty pair. I spent the first ten years of marriage not buying fabric because I believed everyone when they said I had enough and I needed to save and spend on the family.

I spent the second ten years of marriage, having decided 'they' were wrong, hiding fabric in every nook and cranny, in the back of the car, on hangers in my closet, unpacking quickly when the hubby went on an Army Reserve Weekend tour, and even using the basement and the top of the kids closets. Now why do we do that? Especially as the dining room table was my work space and I had to disassemble it every Sunday for the family dinner and packed everything up in plastic bags, never to be seen again as a new project emerged...with new pins, scissors, fabric, patterns...sound familiar?

I have spent the last ten plus years trying to find all the wonderful fabric, rulers, and scissors. I found 22 pair, must have five duplicates of some and have relegated others to the paper cutting bin. I have decided as I am getting close to 36+ years with this dear man, that I have finally grown up enough, or found my right mind, or had an epiphany, enough therapy, or just felt one day, what the heck I work every day, I deserve to do, be, have, or some such nonsense, my art work and supplies without hiding everything worrying about someone else's opinion, his, theirs, mine upsetting my artistic flow. Especially since every time I packed up my things and put them away it took a shopping trip to reenergize myself again...am I rambling? ?Well at least I am not shopping. LOLROTF.

I can remember my grandmother saying things like that, in my right mind, wait I am a grandma, now, is that what it takes??? and I thought she was a bit nuts. Well I have finally arrived and nuts is pretty good, feels pretty good, tastes pretty good, and sits well in my stomach. Not to mention the backbone I finally found, and that feels good too. Why did it take so long? Maybe it is a sign that I have matured, or finally found myself, or just given myself permission to be me. Or maybe having lived a bit I have finally decided what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I am not going to hide my ‘stuff’ or ‘junk’ or artistic equipment or paraphernalia any more. So don’t be surprised if you stop by and find my living room, dining room, and spare bedrooms converted into a studio. All the kinks have not been worked out but during my short spell of illness a couple years ago I must have grown some…or lost some, let’s call them marbles, I like balls better but my five brothers and DH tell me I don't have any, but I could swear I had some somewhere. Any who I love my things, the colors, the shapes, the inspiration I get from them and finally I am surrounded by them and I feel wonderful!

Now I am trying to figure out where to put it all. Wait, right here out in the open...LOL! He, my DH, was peeking over my shoulder when I typed this and I just found out he knew all



Me & My Stash

I have given up saying I will not keep re-folding it and re-piling it, and moving it, and placing it back in the first group to go with the first pattern, then changing my mind and taking it in another room to group it with a completely different project, and then bring it back again to pet it because it is so pretty and soft and my favorite colors.  But alas, it does not fit any ‘in progress project’ and I have not figured what to do with it yet. So I will keep on keeping this on.

I have given up trying to ‘stop making’ stacks of fabric, and stacks of rulers and stacks of scissors, and stacks of ninety different other really unnecessary things it takes to make quilts.  Oh, especially the threads, and the special needles, the bobbins, and the thimbles.  One needs numerous thimbles because they keep getting lost.  Actually I hardly use one since I began machine quilting, not even for hand work.  Ouch is right, I have pin holes in my fingers. So I will continue to Stack.

I have given up worrying about having too many projects going at the same time.  So what, I say every time I get an idea and start to cut into my stash make a new pile, or pack it in a new plastic container.  It’s better than letting it all sit, and just getting petted like a cat.  Yeah! I am one of those.  So I will keep starting.

I would promise to finish the newly cut fabric before I started another new project or go back to an old one and finish it up.  It has probably only happened once, but I kept promising.  Not sure who exactly who I promise, it sort’a goes out in the air, oh, maybe it’s the quilt fairy.  Some people urge me to finish but you know what, maybe I will and maybe I won’t, but either way I figured out I am happy doing what I do just the way I do it. This is still mostly for me.  What is it for you?  So, Ha!  I won’t promise.

I have given up feeling guilty when I walk pass a project on my design wall that is just crying out to be finished, I just lift my nose and keep walking, I will get to it one day, but not today.  And maybe never, it is fine just the way it is, and so am I.

I have started enjoying the process, my process, whatever it is at the moment.  I like chaos, in my studio, I see more possibilities, not everyone’s cup of tea, but it fits me just fine.  It’s the same with learning more techniques.  It is a necessary part of the process for me.  What is necessary for you? Whatever it is, ENJOY it.

And guess what, now that I have thought it all out,  I have really, really begun to like’ creating again, just for the fun of it, just for me, just because I love sewing and playing with fabric, paints, and dyes with all their foibles, bangles, buttons, and bows.  And truth ‘be’ told I have begun entering exhibits, not because it is necessary rather because ‘I want to see my work up in lights’ ...outside my home and hanging among others like minded artist’s works of art.
Displayed at MIT at an art show I curated.

So I guess I am changing morphing actually. Before the work was only for me, filling a need I had. Then it became a bit for my friends and family but now my thinking is changing.  And maybe my budding artist’s children and friends will flower differently because they see me out there going for it.  As the experts say, when timing, a break,  and preparation collide amazing things happen.  And they did, I had the opportunity to curate an exhibit at the NEQM.  It took all the years of preparation, my work experiences, life skills, study, relationships, memberships, and guts to go for it and see it through.  And I did it. Not alone but with the help of a few really dedicated artists.

If you are wondering what to do as you stare at your stash.  Keep going, stare if necessary! Please yourself.  Do what makes you happy, sew, cut, and take a bit or pieces from all the areas of your Life and Create! It does not have to have a meaning to anyone else, Just you, For you, By you...your expression using your techniques at what ever speed of production fits you.
         And…if you have really tried to get your work into an exhibit and it is not getting accepted, here’s an idea…get a few quilting friends together and put on your own exhibit.  There are galleries and museums of all sizes.  There are also spaces in buildings that are not occupied that can be rented for a period of time.  Think about it, figure it out, market it, make it happen…send me an invite and if I am in your part of the country at the time of your opening I will come…and so will a whole lot of other artist and art & fabric lovers.

Ms. V

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