Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Turn the Page Tuesday (July 2009)

During the month of July, I began a wonderful sewing project. (IF you enjoy sewing, I strongly recommend that you NOT go to that link. You'll get sucked in and I can't be held responsible. The sew-along is complete, however, you could follow along on your own and still create a masterpiece. That wasn't me encouraging you...or anything.)

Sewing is like therapy for me (and many others, I'm told) and though I'm not in any particular need at the moment for some good "therapy", I always relish the time of creativity. I am an avid quilter and have quilted for many years.....enough so that I should probably have more in my personal quilt collection to account for so many years......

At any rate, I decided to read a quilt mystery as I was working on my first-ever quilt-a-long with a wonderful group of people lead by an amazing woman fully-equipped with great sewing skills. So, throughout the month, I read and sewed. Read this fun book: The Winding Ways Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini and sewed on this lovely quilt top.

I was able to meet Jennifer Chiaverini many years ago at the Sinnissippi Quilt Guild in Rockford, Illinois where I attended meetings once a month. It was great to see a woman who appreciated quilts begin to make it in the world of writing. At that point, I believe she had written only one book. She now has quite a few.

This book was interesting as the chapters broke down by character. Each chapter focused on the life on one of the individuals and revealed their background and current dilemma. Since the women were such varying ages and in some cases related to one another, their stories were quite interesting. And as naturally occurs in life, they were at many different stages of living.

I believe I rather found it to be a comfortable book to read. It was good to see the human nature of people and how they struggle through the processes of life. It was enjoyable to imagine a quilt retreat somewhere run by women who love their roles in the art and want to encourage others to try their hand at being so very creative. The description of the mansion and grounds left me wishing for a chance to visit or work there.

Speaking of working there.....I have worked in quilt shops. (Now I'm off on a tangent but seeing how this is MY blog : ) My mother and I first opened a quilt shop in Gretna, Louisiana, just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. That shop was opened in 1980, when people were just thinking about quilting as a hobby and avenue for art. Everything was still quite traditional and machine work was strictly piecing. I later moved to Colorado where I had a chance to work with Harriet Hargrave for several years. She was taking quilt-making to a new level with machine-quilting. Those were all fun years. Now I'm on my own, sewing on the same sewing table I bought in the late 70s and sewing on the same (amazing!) machine (Bernina 830) that I bought back then too. I can't count the number of hours of sheer bliss I have had on this machine and now I am teaching my youngest daughter to sew. We'll have our snowball quilt finished as soon as the binding is on.

It was easy for me to get carried away in my quilting happiness since the summer offers me more opportunity for sewing than the school year.

Look through Jennifer's current collection of books if you're interested in mysteries and quilting. The book and the sewing were great therapy and much cheaper than the pill/office-visit version with a great pay-off at the end.....something wonderful to stay warm and cuddle under especially if you have a good read in hand!


Adrienne said...

That sounds so interesting ... I might have to save this read for the winter when I can crawl under a quilt ;-) and get cozy!

Paula said...

I agree with Adrienne, a warm quilt, cup of tea and this book when a winter storm is pounding on the windows. Sounds so good right now. I'm adding it to my list!
I'm a brand-new quilter. Just finished my first two, both small baby quilts. Think I may be hooked...