Two of my uncles served in the Korean War. I once asked my Uncle Jo what it was like to be in the war. He slowly shook his head and said that he couldn’t talk about; the experiences were too horrible. His response shook me up because my Uncle Jo was absolutely the most joyous, caring and kind man on this planet. I became incredibly sad to think that Uncle Jo experienced hurtful times and memories related to the war.
Fast forward twenty years, I am blessed to be friends with many women who make quilts specifically designed in patriotic colors and designs; the quilts are then given to veterans. The quilts are called Quilts of Valor. One such quilting friend, Mimi, hand delivers her quilts all across America to the veterans. To all the veterans across America, we quilters say thank you for your service and sacrifice. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
My full-time job is at a university. In my office I have a lap quilt draped over a chair. The quilt colors, texture and design gives me joy throughout the day. A sports attorney who works at the university came to office today to discuss business. This is a tough guy. Think about it his credentials. He is a lawyer and trained to negotiated to win. He is also working in the sporting industry; an extremely competitive industry. This man knows how to accomplish goals and win. After we chatted for about 30 minutes he rose from the chair, gently stroked the quilt and said “I really enjoy seeing your quilts on the website. They are beautiful, really.” His demeanor and tone of voice were different; softer and caring. I sensed that his statement was coming from the heart.
I know that quilts comfort many people. What amazed me is that quilts have the ability to soften the demeanor even the toughest of individuals. His compliment was simple yet powerful. Quilts have been around for centuries. Originally quilts were made primarily for warmth. Today, quilts provide a source of warmth and comfort to us all.
Deciding how much to buy is a lot like the story of the three little bears. In the three little bears story, one bed was too small; one bed was too big; one bed was just right! How much fabric is enough or just right? I regularly purchase 8 yards of fabric (the same fabric) at a time. A friend of mine laughs at me because she says that 8 yards is excessive. I think 8 yards is “just right”. Many times I will purchase fabric with a project in mind; a particular skirt, quilt or dress. I don’t need 8 yards of one piece of fabric for a skirt, quilt or dress, but the fabric is SO pretty, I always end up with the perfect number – – number 8. The left over fabric is used in other projects. While surfing Facebook of other lovers of fabric, I realized that there are many people throughout the world that also purchase large (albeit huge) amounts of fabric during each trip to the store. Fabric provides visual and textile stimulation. The question “how much fabric is enough” is a trick…to anyone who passionate about fabric, there isn’t a correct answer.
I have been working with fabric since 1965. For all you math wizards, yes I am middle aged (some people may even say old). I am very good with fabric. I hope that doesn’t sound too brazen, but it is the truth. I can sew any type of garment, upholster furniture, and make draperies. My true passion however, is designing and making quilts. This is rather odd since I live in South Carolina and it is hot. How hot you ask? In August the weather is so hot it seems as if we are only a screen door away from the devil’s playground (if you get my meaning).
Back to the story of fabric. In recent years family members have talked about my sewing skills. My sister says she taught me how to sew. There is also the story that my mother taught me how to sew. For the life of me, I don’t remember anyone teaching me how to sew with the exception of (a) showing me how to turn on the machine – – one switch and (b) where the needle is located. Still, I give my sister and my mom credit for a lifetime passion for fabric because without knowing how to turn on the sewing machine, I would not be an obsessive fabric person. Did I mention that I have a slight obsessive type of personality? One day I will write about my “fabric stash”; you will better understand my obsessive nature.
If you are also a fabric lover, please let me know. I would enjoy hearing from you.
So long for now.
Color influences my mood. I use different colors to influence my mood based on the purpose of the fabric. For example, navy, yellow and burgundy (jewel tones) dominate my home. The colors give me a sense of peace and serenity. When I look in my closet, I have two color options; (1) black and (2) hot pink. Wearing black is easy and I feel powerful and in control. Black is also easy to coordinate fun jewelry. Hot pink is dominant in my wardrobe simply because I like pink and live in the South. When living in the South, wear bright colors.
One of the many reasons that I find fulfillment in working with fabric is the many color options. I work with colors that I would never – – and I mean ever – – wear. My storage closet of fabric is alive with color. Bright colors, dark colors, colors splashed in loud patterns, stripes, polka dots and abstract figures. Working with fabric allows me to go “way outside” my comfort zone regarding color. The result is typically a feeling of excitement. I become excited at the enormous possibilities of color combinations. I feel like a little kid who just received her first box of 36 Crayola crayons.
Life is definitely good! To see how I put color combinations together, click on the hyperlink and visit my website. Quilting and Embroidery