Thursday, February 18, 2010


Thanks for all your lovely words yesterday. I wouldn't usually post about health stuff, but I figure someone would have had some similar knowledge and is good to gather info from all perspectives...

Many of your comments about slowing down got me to thinking about what that means...
Many say how much work I get done, but realize,
sit here and sew all day, that's what I do, and why I get so much done...
If I were still painting as an artist, I'd be in my studio all day.... for now I sit in front of my sewing machine working out creative scrambling to get them out of my head...

So Slowing down for me,
is trying to stay in the day, the moment, and not get wound up ,
like I did yesterday about all the stuff I have to do TOMORROW...

If I stay in today, I get a lot of work done...
Yesterday was my hit on the head to realize, today is a good day.
Enjoy it.

Anyway, back to passions....
It got me thinking about why quilting has taken over in my life...
I went to college for fine art and have a fine arts degree... Always a painter sculpture photography person at heart, I always tried to incorporate sewing somehow into my life...

From a young age, I learned to sew on a kids GLUE sewing machine!
Anyone recall those?
When your to little to know to keep your fingers out from the needle,
glue would dab down on the fabric and that is how it stuck together...

I watched my father tear apart furniture and reupholster them, and learned the 3 D design aspect at a very young age... Besides a farmer, he did upholstery...

My mother sewn quilts for cousins as they got married, and often made our clothes, much to the dislike of having to be dressed in matching outfits with my brother and male cousins!
(and grandfather! god bless him!)

And My grandmother, the crazy quilter... So, sewing was always around...

When I got to college though, I tried to keep sewing in my work as a fine artist...
I often did paintings and thought, hmm, maybe that would work nicely on fabric...

this is before special fabric paints were available to us...

I've used ink, acrylic, water color, tea you name it...
(I didn't say they were any good though!)

and my professors would give me a hard time about including these in shows, as no one was doing this sort of CRAFT, in college....

I recall trying to do a gradation project and not being able to find enough values of PINK to make the project and having the scrap the idea, which pleased my teacher...

I did at least make my graduating from college outfit!
but no quilts were in my senior show...

Had someone in college told me I could do this as a living then,
I probably would have been on a different path...
fabric design, quilt patterns etc etc... I had no idea...

And now, after years of doing my thing as an artist, I am pulled back to my sewing...
And think about why quilting is such a passion...

My favorite memories of a kid are looking at my grandmothers crazy quilts,
recalling my mother bringing home a PINK trip around the world block top that someone had made for me...
Being joyous with new baby blankets
and listening to polka music in my dad's shop while his old Singer industrial hummed along...

For whatever reason, I like the road it's taken me on....
Now, thinking back, it stirs up old memories and new quilts are born from them...

So for today, I will think about staying in the moment
but I hardly think my production level will change...

one has to do what one has to do...

BASICS Home Block gather

and keep on discovering NEW passions...

(and yes, take care of me! I'm off to the doc. )

Is sewing your passion? or just something to pass the time?


  1. I really got caught up around the holidays in the "I have so much to do tomorrow" mentality and it made me anxious and I ended up hating the process of creating and sewing. So I am slowing down too and enjoying the process much more. I play with my fabric a lot longer than I used to and the design board and I are becoming friends again. It's becoming a joy again! I too grew up around many sewers. My mom was a sewing teacher and all my aunts sewed. I always remember there being fabric around. My mom used to take us to all the fabric mills that were in MA where I grew up and how I loved seeing all those fabrics stacked to the ceiling in these old brick mills. Now there are all high tech business in those mills. Oh well!

  2. Sorry to hear you're having to "waste time" at the doc's. I hope it's all worth it and you start to feel better. Sometimes I feel like sleeping all the time, and I'm not anemic! I just get overwhelmed thinking about all I have to do, so I go to bed so I won't have to think about it. Luckily, I've learned to recognize that that's what I'm doing, and I can stop myself. That's when I take a day off and do something totally UN-quilt-related and UN-work-related, like spend time with my horses, go on a road trip, or just slash a bunch of fluff out of my calendar and start over. A cleaning frenzy will usually help, too. I can work a lot more productively in an organized space. Since Christmas I've been tackling all the extra stuff and piles I've made over the last few months. It's liberating. And don't we all wish we had more time for creating and quilting?

  3. We often get caught up in the tomorrows yet we can only live for today. Sounds like you were a pioneer during college. :o) Glad you found your way back to fabric. And yes, quilting/crafting/fabric IS my passion.

  4. I love the quilt with the tree painted on it!

    I hope that you're feeling better soon!!!! I still read you blog nearly every time you post but I know what you mean about having too much to do!

    I haven't been commenting on most blogs since Christmas because I just haven't had the time nor the energy!!!

    Here's to feeling better soon! <3!!

  5. It surprises me that fiber was not an accepted medium when you went to art school. It most certainly wasn't in the early 1960's when I did. The attitude was if you want to sew go to home economics. Consequently, it wasn't until I was about 30 years old when I realized and could articulate that fiber is my medium to make art. I've either dabbled or delved deeply into every technique to create "something" with fabric or threads all my life. Quilting has been a part of for only the last 15 years.

  6. V, I really like your Grandmothers rocking chair and the little glimpses of how you got to where you are now. I'm glad our "roads" have converged. Isn't it surprising where this "passion and obcession" that is quilting has taken us? You rock, my friend. Happy sewing!

  7. I was not trained as an artist and it is very interesting to me to hear how you think. I am amazed at how much you get done. I feel like I don't do much when I look at what you do. But then I am at a different point in my life. I used to be very busy but now I have slowed down. I take time to sit on the floor and play with my grandsons. At one time I kept a planner and every minute of the day was occupied. I would love to be more of an artist like you are.

  8. i wish I had more time to sew for fun and play around instead of sewing for deadlines (samples, clients, etc)......Sometimes I think about not doing that kind of work anymore but I do get to meet alot of interesting people thru my quilting work, just need to find a balance.....

  9. I love your artwork on that fabric! I think sometime I want to make an art quilt!! I am continually amazed at the talent and creativity people have! I think one of my passions now might just be reading blogs!!! :) I love it! So fun to see what others are up to and so willing to share.

    Sewing is becoming one of my passions. I also love photography so one of these days I'd love to turn one of my photos into a quilt. For now I am learning basics!

    Hope your trip to the doc was a positive one.

  10. Great memories of growing up. So interesting how your training evolved and now you ARE quilting art and compassion wrapped into one!
    Quilting is my obsession, but I am NOT an artist.

  11. what a heart-felt post. You had me nodding along all the way with you.

    All my life my grandmother and mom have sewn, constantly, prolifically, but for myself I seem to start sewing every time I have a nervous breakdown - hehe I realise that sounds silly, but really, every time my life falls apart I have turned to stitching fabrics together. It has been the only thing that has calmed me, and in a way it felt as though with my sewing I was sewing the disparate parts of myself and my life back together again.

    So I feel warm in the knowledge that the rhythmic feeling is available to me.

    and added to this comment, I could DIE for that top quilt. It's insanely gorgeous!! love visiting you here, stay in that moment, safe and warm...

    (for the visionaries)

  12. What a neat post. These comments are fascinating, too. It's so interesting to find out how people got to where they are now.

    My sewing history has had it's ups and downs, to say the least. The world's worst home ec teacher in eighth grade, and an ex-husband who considered my quilting a waste of time are two of my low points.

    But thanks to my mom, who taught me how to sew after my disastrous home ec experience, and my daughter, who wanted me to make a baby quilt for her second son, I found my way back. I got sidetracked again the past couple of years, but after 55 years of living, I have finally learned where my passion lies. And I won't be sidetracked again.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  13. I just wrote a post about this very thing. Art was my passion but I was on a different road than you. How lovely to be encouraged and surrounded by people who were creative and loving.
    I hope you are feeling much better soon. Sunshine today-enjoy this little taste of spring we're getting.

  14. Wonderful blog! I love what you said about "working out creative scrambling to get them out of my head". Yes, for me it is a passion, too -- and a joy. It lets me express a creative part of myself that I don't often get to express in other ways. My love of textiles started young, too.

    I think we can let our passion turn into work or a chore; however, so it takes thought and care to not let that happen.

  15. I enjoyed reading your post about how you have evolved as an artist. I am glad you found your way to quilting and blogging as I and others are benefitting from your creativity. I am definitely not an artist, but I have found that quilting has become my passion. I did take home ec in high school, but didn't sew too much after that. My college degree is in accounting and I was a practicing CPA for many not artistic. I was trained to keep track of every minute of my time and to justify that time spent. That is not conducive to creativity. It has taken me years(decades?) to get over that mindset. I hope all went well with the doctor's appointment.

  16. I hope your appointment goes well...loved reading your post. All that art training/background is evident in your work. Confident is the word that comes to mind when I think of your quilts. That is a good thing!

  17. I love Thea's comment about stitching things together when life falls apart. Making things is certainly healing to me. Ideas seems to bubble up from inside and then when it is expressed or put into the physical it is extremely validating, reassuring, nurturing.

    Passion's a complicated word for me as I've often used it to focus on one thing and ignore others that are equally (or even more) important. So I'd say quilting (and just creating) is meaningful, purposeful. It is one expression of things that matters most to me like beauty, creativity, comfort, nourishment and connection. Hmmmmm....sounds suspiciously like a passion. ;)


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