Sunday, March 24, 2013

Epidemic Benefits Thrifty Shoppers

You have read the news stories bemoaning the obesity epidemic that plagues our growing population. One benefit of it became clear during my latest trip to my favorite thrift shop - LARGER men's shirts.

I thought you would also admire this beauty. It's a Pierre Cardin, size 4x. The back of the shirt measures 27" long x 33.5" wide.

And what about this!! A muu-muu like 5x,  with an even bigger back - 28.5" long x 34.5" wide. Now that is some thrifty yardage. And yes, both were half-price and are 100% cotton.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Trip into the Forbidden Room

Kitty Holey by Iris Werner
My friend Iris Werner passed away a few weeks ago. She was 85, the mother of one of my best high school friends, Lisa. Their house was the gathering place for our group of friends. It was fun - full of people and creativity. Iris painted and sewed. She made a gazillion quilts and I wrote about her quilting in my 2005 book, Quilters' Stories.

Iris had a room in the house that I never got to peek into - her sewing room. It held a massive amount of fabric, I imagined. She would warn me away from it, declaring, "It will make your eggs bad." Iris was known for making outrageous comments like that. At her funeral, she actually had a priest talking about her Kitty Holey series (like the painting at right).

This week, Lisa let me see the room.. Both our eggs are gone now, we figured it was safe. Here it is:

I imagined it as a mountain of fabric. Now there is plenty of clutter and wildness (lots of odd, stray fabrics) but nothing close to the volume of fabric I imagined. Maybe Iris thought it was a little messy, hardly anything I am afraid of. It is a light-filled room, surrounded with windows. The sewing machine sits at the far right of the photo. 

Thanks, Lisa, for letting me see the forbidden room as Iris left it. Her granddaughter Kristin will go through it now and pick fabrics she wants, how wonderful is that. I also got a picture of a pincushion on the wall beside Iris' bed, isn't it lovely. She was actually piecing a quilt for her first great-grandchild, James. All gingham blocks. We need to finish that quilt for her ...

Friday, March 8, 2013

No Rules for Me, please

A peek at the back of Coded Paragraph
by Joel Ignacio of Vallejo, California
In the wake of the first Quilt Con, we're all trying to figure out modern. What is modern? Who is modern? Will modern last?

In the scramble to define, the need for order surfaces. And that is understandable. We need order. Otherwise, life would be like driving in most third-world countries. We don't want that!

Quilting is my time, it is my hobby, my very pleasurable retreat from the cares of the world. The wonders of textiles have long entranced me, and always will.

The prospect of someone / anyone trying to impose rules on that has always made me run the other way. I will never forget going to a quilt guild meeting in Indianapolis decades ago. A very scary stern-eyed woman stood up and said not just anyone could work on their opportunity quilt - just the best stitchers. She would pull out stitches if they were not right, she warned.

I never went back. It took me years and considerable coaxing to get me to finally join a quilt guild. Our local guild is a pleasure to attend (otherwise, I wouldn't be there).

So! In our quest to define modern, let's not resort to becoming those scary old women who threaten to pull out the stitches. Let's have fun and revel in the wonders of what is available for us to stitch together today. Let's sew, let's make quilts! To use, to cherish. AND - be totally delighted that there is passion for quilting with a new audience.

Stop judging, start enjoying.