Stitching Times serves up stories, examples and tutorials about needlework related crafts, especially quilting and crochet. Almost all of the projects shown have been designed by Kay Stephenson

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Good to be Home

It's Sunday and we arrived home from a Thanksgiving visit with family in Southern Illinois last evening. As I sat catching up on email, I took a break for a quick visit to my friend Susan's blog The Spice Garden to see what she and her family were up to. That set me to smiling about our own feast and the quirky spin that combining a large family with crafty hobbies brings about. Yes that groaning board is set up on two vintage treadle sewing machines. Never mind that these are just the two prettiest ones kept in the living room for show. The real workhorses, longarm,  and featherweights are elsewhere.
There is so much in this picture that makes me smile and remember a story. Take the stone you can see in the background. It was hauled all the way from Arkansas, where my husband's family has roots. It forms the core of the house with fireplaces on the ground and basement level (quilt studio) in this home his aunt and uncle built on their farm in the 1960s.
On the far wall there is a crazy quilt hanging on a quilt hanger fashioned from an old headboard. This same aunt is the one who I credit (blame?) from getting me back to the sewing machine and invested in quilting. At first I was just going to make one crazy quilt, but I don't think that one was even finished before I had ideas for a dozen more.
Seven years later I have made more quilting projects than I can count and actually made a bit of cash selling patterns for my designs.
Did I mention that we stopped in Paducah, KY on our way to Illinois so that I could visit the National Quilt Museum? I was blown away by the current traveling exhibit from the Manhattan Quilters Guild, "Material Witness". More ideas for more quilts.
Perhaps the best part of the trip is that I had the chance to help Pat get started on a knitting project. She has been wanting to learn to knit for some time and I've bought her books and often said I would help her, but somehow we've never found the time. This year we made the time on Friday afternoon to sit quietly in the kitchen - well as quiet as that kitchen ever is with people and dogs wandering in and out all needing something. Before I left she had completed several rows and I'm optimistic that she is really getting the hang of it. Can't wait to see the finished product and to know that I've finally been able to give back a bit of craftiness to one of the women who set me on this journey as a quilt maker and fiber artist.
It really was a wonderful trip. But now I'm taking stock of all the projects waiting for me in the studio and itching to get back at it. There are ornaments to be made for the annual holiday party, gifts too, and a holiday themed quilt that really must be done quickly. Busy, busy, busy. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, food and at least a bit of craft.

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