Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Well, hello!

They say that good friends can be apart for ages and just pick up where they left off when they finally get together again. I've found it to be true. So, my good friends, it's lovely to see you again!

I've been quiet these past months for several reasons. It's been a time of reflection, of where I've been, where I am and where I want to go. I'm still struggling with the idea of retirement. I desperately miss teaching. But I've also come to enjoy the luxury of doing what ever I please instead of chasing the next deadline.

It's been a time of exploration. Green Bay has so much to offer. I've become a serial joiner. I'm like the proverbial bad penny, showing up at any fiber related group that will have me. What a joy it's been to commune with spinners, weavers, knitters, embroiderers and lots of quilters. I've been playing with some of the artsy-fartsy stuff I've been collecting over the years, saved for the day when I had more time.

It's been a time of frustration. While I refuse to allow this blog to be political, I am passionate about the direction our country is going. I hate the name calling, the haughtiness, and general disrespect people have for folks of the opposing point of view. How will we ever be E Pluribus Unum if we can't even speak civilly to one another?

I'm frustrated with the constant "look at me, look at me!!!" that the quilting industry has embraced. The marketing part of my job has never been comfortable for me. I've always wanted my work to be my voice, not my ability to garner a zillion likes on Facebook.

I've been reminded lately, of how very contrary I am. I almost named my business "The Contrary Quilter". The more I am told that I must, I should, I can't, the more I respond with I won't, you can't make me, and just watch me prove you wrong. On the one hand, tenacity has brought me the success I've enjoyed. But stubbornness is its evil twin and can get me into all sorts of trouble.

It's been a time of growth. I've been making things. Over the summer I've dyed things, pounded flowers into fabric, strung up a few beads, colored on paper and fabric, just to name a few. It's crazy exhilarating to spend an afternoon exploring a new technique and then be able to carelessly toss the results away, making it all about the process. But most importantly, I've made some friends.

In my next post (which I am writing in this same sitting, not in another three month), I'll show you my progress on the autumn quilt shown above. It's part of the direction I'm exploring for my next big thing.

Thanks for waiting for me, I've missed you.


  1. Stephanie D.11:09 AM

    I've missed you, too! So happy to see you back. Your work is beautiful. I can relate to your frustrations--I think it comes with age to reflect and make decisions on what path we will take in our life's journey. And then we're always wondering whether we made the right decision. We're blessed to be able to have so many choices, though. So many don't have that luxury. Looking forward to your updates.

  2. I will never be a quilter but I love to read your thoughts about life (and I like to see your beautiful quilts).

  3. Oh, how I've missed your posts. I can't agree more about the direction we seem to be heading as a nation; it's scary.
    Being on the fence about retirement is another thing I can relate to. I'm a home based longarm quilter-I can't find the joy in doing it anymore; so if teaching still gives you joy, do it! Even if it's on a smaller scale. Give yourself a radius and stay inside of it.
    I also agree about the "look at me" climate in the quilting world. I've been told I have to be on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger...it goes on and on. I haven't sat at my machine in months!

    Can't wait to see where you're headed. I love your work!!

  4. You have been missed! I do understand completely what you are saying--I too retired after 37 years of teaching in June. I am absolutely loving the time and also do not miss the administration or deadlines!! I have two new pups and they are taking up a great deal of time and have joined new activities. After constantly being on the go and having so many hours taken up with grading and wishing I had the time to sew--now I do. I think you will "find your groove" and settle in nicely; if not you will find something that makes you happy--maybe you will be teaching adults, who know but do what you love! I wish you the very best and can't wait to hear more from you!

  5. You have said everything I feel very succinctly. I am still working on Christmas Yet to Come, but it has been a blessing to be able to do it while setting with my mother in nursing home. She has gone home to be Jesus, but she was able to see what it will eventually look like. I am have several names rolling in my head to honor her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this pattern and all the others you have done.

  6. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Reading your post was like reading from my diary (if I had one). I retired a year ago and dreamed of quilting all day, eating chocolate, drinking coffee, and laughing with friends. Depression got in the way, but am doing much better now. You must do what makes you happy and doesn't put the stress back in the picture. I love your work and humor and have missed it. If you still want to teach, do it in your time and local. Please stay in touch and share your heartwarming humor and inspiration when the spirit moves you.

  7. Beth, your post so spoke to me. I could have copy and paste the first few paragraphs with only a few changes.
    Funny, because today I decided to come back to my blog. I hadn’t posted anything in years, I hadn’t realize how long I had been away. I have been reassessing as to what I want to do. I can’t think retirement, but I can’t keep the pace that I did several years ago. I have been enjoying creating things I want to do, hanging out with friends and being more involved in the community.
    I will look forward to your sharing.

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  9. I am a serial commenter! I just love it, you're back and don't you change anything. I would so love to find your patterns for sale, the little tableau, the sunflower with crazy quilting I just love it all.

    I don't 'show and tell' on line because some comments are quite hurtful, I don't have FB, messenger or anything. I get my gratification from my work. I am visually impaired and have MS. My seams may be wonky or my embroidery average but to me they are precious. The other good thing is that I have been blessed with with four granddaughters who have all learned to sew, quilt, make simple clothes and just experiment and enjoy. It is precious. So welcome back I have missed you.

    Hugs x