Yesterday, while making my bed, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the sun shining brightly across it, highlighting here and there the color and the quilting stitches. I finished this quilt in 1981. That's thirty-four years ago. Seems like only yesterday. This quilt has been used more than any quilt I have ever made and it's still in pretty good shape....actually, very good shape. I suppose, like me, it is trying its best to last as long as possible! I can remember sitting at the quilt frame all those many hours, taking my little 'one stitch at a time" and wondering if I'd ever get it finished. This was only the second quilt I had made at that time. But, finish I finally did. So, yesterday, I stood there and admired it for a little while, thinking all those nostalgic thoughts and realizing that the sunshine and the shadows I was seeing pretty much sum up the last thirty-four years.
Lots of happy times mixed in with the very sad times....I suppose we would never know one if we didn't experience the other. How would we? Anyway, seeing the sun shine on that quilt was a good thing. A reminder of life, back then and now.
Yes, thousands of stitches, by hand, one stitch at a time. Reminds me of the hands of a clock and the sound of the ticking somehow, with each stitch marking a second of my life at that particular time.
I have recently begun to quilt on a top I've had waiting for several years. I couldn't wrap my head around stitching it while the old navy man needed me for the last few years, and didn't have the time anyway, but now...well, I'm determined to get it quilted. Maybe it, too, will be finished one day and a few years from now, if I'm lucky, I may be seeing the sunshine and shadow glorify it also.
Every stitch a prayer, a hope, or a dream.
By the way, my grandson made that heart pillow when he was six years old. We sponged painted the hearts, then he sat in my lap at the sewing machine to stitch the blocks together, with me making sure he didn't stitch his fingers! At that time, he called every piece of fabric in my stash a 'quilt.' Funny, what you remember.
I do so love the quilting stitch....
I found this quote earlier today. Not only did I think it perfect for this post, but it pretty much sums up the last thirty-four years too!
"YOU CAN ONLY COME TO THE MORNINGS THROUGH THE SHADOWS."
Last week, I visited my friend Kathy at her tiny and very special little shop in Beebe, Arkansas.
130 W. Center St.
Beebe, Arkansas 72012
It's a place I like to visit as often as I can and I always find some little something I just have to have. There always seems to be time for a visit too...which I call therapy. Her shop is in a very old gas station of all things....made adorable to my way of thinking. So....on this visit, among a few other things, I found a wonderful vintage tin, which I had to purchase right away....because I thought it needed to live on the old writing desk given to me as a birthday present many years ago by the old navy man.
Yes...this red tin here...."Penns Spells Quality" it reads and shows a pen nib. Immediately, I associated it with all the very old dipping pens and nibs I have in a metal basket on my writing desk. Perfect!
While in the shop, I mentioned to Kathy that I had a collection of old pens and nibs and I would take a photo of the tin in its new home and send it to her. This post is for her, so she can see just what I meant.
I also told her I would write something with one of the glass dipping pens I have and show that too. Here you see a green glass pen and the red ink on its tip. I do really enjoy writing by hand. No, I know nothing about calligraphy, preferring instead, to write in my own hand...as I believe our handwriting (no matter how good or bad) is actually our own little piece of art, ours and ours alone. Like our fingerprints.
Here is what I wrote:
"These days there are few things as special as words written to you by someone who cares in their own handwriting."
Our handwriting tells a lot about us, they say, so I am sorry it seems to have become another thing lost to time. Everyone is in such a hurry these days and if a person doesn't care for their own handwriting, I am sure they feel it's a waste of time to write things down, to send notes or letters. Not me. I feel it is a very special thing worth saving. I know I would love to have a note written by my paternal grandmother who died in 1918. Something tangible I could hold and read over and over again. Who wouldn't consider that a treasure?
I took this photo...just to show you that glass pen all clean and ready to write again. The spiral grooves in it beautiful even without ink.
And, here is my little collection of pens and nibs. Some still usable and I do use them from time to time. Gosh, I just love nostalgia!
I bought this very old wooden box fitted with ink bottles at a flea several years ago. And, I have a few old glass ink bottles and a lovely glass inkwell on one of the shelves of this old desk. Such fun!
And, here is a closeup of that old tin I purchased from Kathy last week. When I saw it, my little collection of pens and nibs came immediately to mind. I really did connect it with writing with ink, old nibs and such and knew it would add a bit of interest to my collection.
But, actually, it is an old tobacco tin.
I think it adds a bit of fun to the little writing corner in one of my bedrooms.
I know someone is going to ask....those three chests on top of my desk hold stationery and cards, both old and new.
So, Kathy, this post is for you....I so enjoyed finding this tin in your wonderful little shop. I hope you enjoyed seeing it in its new home.
Things have been rather strange around here for the last few weeks and for the life of me, I couldn't think of a thing to post about...but I did take some photos of the garage/studio a few weeks back and decided they would have to do til something better comes along.
Some of you may remember that I moved to a patio home a year ago August, leaving my wonderful backyard studio. It has been tricky trying to find a place for my various collections of materials to work with, so I decided my fabulous work table, made by the old navy man, just for my studio...would become the center of a work space in the garage. The table is four feet by eight feet and something I was just never going to get rid of. So...here you see what I have done. My son calls it a 'store.' And, yes, my car does live in the space to the right of the table.
I can cut out large pieces of fabrics, etc., on the table...but it is also to be used for painting fabric and making collaged canvases, well, anything I decide to do really. And, of course, STORAGE!
When I moved, I also brought along my big chalkboard. This is the only spot on the property where it made any sense to hang it....and I love to write quotes on it from time to time. These are the latest ones I felt the need to "showcase." I like driving into the garage and getting a little inspiration:
"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop."
"The best thing to hold onto in life is each other."
"Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive,
"The pieces that I chose were based on one thing only - a gasp of delight. Isn't that the
only way to curate a life? To live among things that make you gasp with delight?"
Maira Kalman, My Favorite Things
"There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain."
These aren't the best photos....but, then, what difference does it make? You get the idea.
I do so love piddling around in all this stuff...but it does make me think....so much to do - so little time.
Now, I must tell you...the place where I embroider, sew, and work on my computer is in the house.
I'll show you that sometime....just not today. It is a place that works for me because I live alone, but you may find it weird....it's my bedroom/office/sewing studio. And, then, there is also storage everywhere (thank goodness this house has lots of closets!). One of the hazards of leaving a large backyard studio is that you have to FIND places for things where they have never been before. Weird for some...but I call it Bird Nest Cottage and my own personal sanctuary. See you soon.
I am a quiltmaker/embroiderer passionately obsessive about fabrics, buttons, trims, and old photos.
I am a hunter/gatherer who loves flea
markets. I work in my backyard studio I call Bird Nest on the Ground. I have been
married for 44 years. We have two
children, Kelly (a real estate broker/artist living in Searcy) and Scott (a computer "geek" living in San Francisco) and one grandson, Tyler. My husband is retired
from Entergy and is my own personal cheerleader. We have a male cat named
Ethel who allows us to live in our house. I have been teaching quiltmaking since
1985 and have had five titles published by Leisure Arts, Inc. My work is included in both private and public collections. I love what I do!!