You’ve heard of quick and easy? I am a slow and hard girl. I appreciate quick and easy, and understand the attraction. “Easy breezy” is always an attractive brand. But it’s not how I roll. Just now I was enjoying the crisp crunchy sound of the fabric as I trimmed up a quilt block with my scissors when I suddenly set it back down on my ironing board and began to write.
Wow, I said it.
I’m actually starting. Now. For years I’ve enjoyed listening to podcasts and reading blogs. I was always wanting to add to the conversation, but work and family kept my life full to overflowing. When you’re a teacher, it utterly consumes all of you. Now I find myself retired,but I still have lots to say! My nest is empty, with the exception of my husband and two golden retrievers.
Here’s the story. Remember, I’m not good at quick and easy. If you read my blog, you do so at your own peril. This is the long conversation variety, not the Reader’s Digest. So I will begin at the beginning. (Ooh, remember that I said this so you can note the clever tie-in at the end.)
I was a middle child of many children in a typical suburban family of the mid century. I was born in the 50’s, grew up in the 60’s, spent the 70’s in high school and college, then became a teacher, a wife, and a mother in the eighties.
I was raised by Depression-era parents. Like my friends, I had chores after school, and had to clean my plate at dinner, but otherwise my happiness was my own responsibility. I was left to my own devices. It was the best kind of childhood. I liked watching my mom sew our dresses on her turquoise Universal sewing machine, which I wasn’t allowed to touch. She was generous with providing us kids with all manner of craft supplies. I designed and made outfits for my troll dolls out of felt and glue. I knitted and crocheted blankets and sweaters. My aunt had taught me to knit when I was eight years old.
I took sewing in high school because my mom was getting tired of having to sew all my glee and choir dresses. Also, it was the era of the granny dress. And the caftan. And hand-embroidering on the yokes of your boyfriend’s denim blue western shirts. Everyone was expressing individuality with homemade clothing. The best was when someone complimented you on your blouse or dress, and you could say that you made it.
Then the Bicentennial happened and quilting was a thing. I was in college, so my friends and I quilted matching bedspreads for our dorms. We sandwiched the fluffy polyester batting between sheets and hand tied them.
I kept quilting. I borrowed my mother’s featherweight and pieced quilt tops traditionally. I loved the history of quilting, and bought Ruby McKim’s book of 101 Patchwork patterns in the University’s bookstore. I didn’t make anything from the book, it was eye candy. I did make a quilt with matching curtains for my first apartment. It was a Simplicity pattern, and I loved it.
Then rotary cutters and rulers and healing mats and quilting in a day happened, but I was no longer sewing due to the pursuit of providing happiness for others. I borrowed (for good) my mom’s featherweight a couple of years ago, and I’m back!
I’m all caught up with the new technology of quilting, and I own the cool tools that make it fun and quick and easy. Rather than “Runs with Rotary Cutters”, I chose “Cuts with Scissors” to name my blog. Left to my own devices, I still love to play the old school way.
So now I’ll tell you what quilt block I was just working on. Well, backstory here first. I had a bucket list quilt, the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. I say “had” because I completed the top about six months ago. Go me. Done! Not so fast. My daughter thought I enjoyed the experience, so she bought me The Bible Sampler Quilt book, also by Laurie Aaron Hird, for my birthday. I will say the process challenged me and stretched my skillset, so I didn’t relish an encore.
But after reading the introduction, inspiration struck and a new challenge emerged. I would paper piece all the blocks in this quilt (I used templates in my FWS quilt). AND I would also read through the entire Bible cover to cover, using the blocks to keep my pace. Brilliant!
So the first quilt block in the book was inspired by Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning. . . “
Now you see why I dropped the completed block and started a blog. I have a starting point and a focus that will keep me from (too much) navel-gazing in future blogs! Follow along as I quilt through the Bible and if you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking with me to the end.Block number one, In The Beginning.