Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hi. Do you want to come out and quilt with me?

I was born in the 60's, and really refer to the 70's as the decade when I grew up. I lived in a neighborhood packed full of kids. My suburban street alone with 8 houses had interesting demographics; 6 girls: 14 boys. Add in all their friends, boy friends, and girl friends. Loud cars, motorcycles, fist fighting, name calling, and the era right before air conditioning. I was the youngest. Use your imagination.

I spent most of my youngest years reading or playing with dolls. My mother sewed me an entire suitcase full of outfits for Amy and Jimmy, my dolls. If there was no one to play with, it was acceptable to take a walk in the nearby neighborhood, and look for kids in their yard or knock on the door.

"Wanna play dolls?"

"Okay. Let me get my stuff. Where are we playing?"

"My house."

"Okay. Mom, I'm going to...umm, what's your name?"

And that's what it was like to make friends before parents had to phone parents first, or consider doing a background check in order to socially connect their children. Oh, how the world has changed in my short lifetime.

When I was about 10, my best friend lost her father to cancer, and within a short time her family moved away. I had never experienced that level of sadness or emptiness. I was lost. My parents were convinced the pony I pined for would help, so a black Morgan named Tar Baby joined our family. She filled my years until I hit the 'teens, and then it was back to books as my best friends.

If you are a book person, like me, you realize that book are as elementary as oxygen. You like the smell and the feel of paper because you know there is a reward inside. Stories, information, even pictures. I knew as a child I could be whisked away on adventures foreign to little Sugarcreek, or figure out how to do things no one around me could explain how. Today, as a quilter, I'm a little isolated again because of where I live. Thankfully, there are online sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and blogs about quilting and other quilters. I like hunting online for new releases I haven't seen yet using the "Look Inside" feature to decide whether it would be a good buy or if I should request it at the library. Books can fill a void, or help you take off in a new direction.

You can find a quilting friend who also has a love of books, and share your book stash. Or, another idea may not have occurred to you yet.

Recently acquired and noteworthy.

My favorite go-to book on new ideas. Written by me for just me! An art diary is a good way to document your ideas for future projects. It doesn't have to be elaborate or over the top. It can be whatever you need as long as it helps you to remember your inspiration. This book was started one evening when I decided to try a hand at carving stamps, so the design on the front was one the book suggested, and not my own. I borrowed it. It's full of sketches and color, fonts and pieces of this and that. When I feel like my ideas have dried up, this is where I look.

Have fun today. Work off your list. Find inspiration.

Come on, Doxie girls. Let's go sew.


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