Sunday, January 30, 2011

It’s About Relationships!

I’ve often said that Quilting isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle….

And as I sit here in my hotel room on Sunday morning ((I’ve got an hour before being picked up for an afternoon My Blue Heaven Workshop with the Day Dreamers Guild of Prairieville, LA!)) I’m just pondering on the many different relationships that haved been blessed, strengthened and enjoyed by this lifestyle we share.

This is a picture sent to me just yesterday by Liz – She and her sister took one of my workshops at Road to California. You can view her album HERE!

In each and every class over the past two weeks there have been Mother/Daughter quilting duos, Sister duos, a Mother/Daughter/Aunt trio, a Grandmother, Mother, Daughter trio – even some cousins-many-times-removed and just discovered that they are related way back duos!

There was a Mommy & Me workshop given at the Road to California show that was just precious – and so necessary! We want these young girls to take over our passion once it is time to pass the torch! ((I’m not dwelling on that right now, I have too many quilts in the dream-pipeline to even think of the day when I can’t quilt anymore!))

I’ve had husband/wife duos ---and lots of “best friend” pairs who take classes together. I’m just so grateful to see relationships grow, fun times increase, and love and support flourish all while we are playing with our fabric and making beautiful quilts to be handed down. ((Or kept for OURSELVES occassionally!))

I hear lots of stories as I talk to everyone. Many are going through some tough times, but the quilting is the glue that is holding their sanity together. I’ve talked to Grandmothers who are now the main caregivers for too-young-for-school grandchildren. We do what we have to for our families. One lady I was talking to had experienced a stroke…..AND then found out she was going to have to alter her life and welcome in her 2 very young grandchildren. This is life changing, of course, but she has found that her quilting is the one thing she can do for herself that helps keep her spirits up.

Some how I don’t think it is the quilting in itself, but more the fellowship that she gets from being in close proximity of the other nurturing women in her guild. We can all stay home and sew in isolation, but it is much more life affirming to quilt with FRIENDS!

It is also much more fun to quilt with more KING CAKE! LOL!

louisiana 2011 100

This one came from a local bakery ((I don’t remember the name)) And it had a cinnamon/pecan filling…OHHHHHH!!! You will also notice it is not covered in thick icing like the previous one….the dough also appeared to be whole wheat. We justified ourselves that this therefore qualifies as a HEALTH FOOD and we had no guilt in eating the WHOLE THING. Rolling on the floor laughing

Yesterday was also another braid class. I hope you are not getting tired of seeing pics of braids --- it’s the 3rd time I’ve taught it in a week! We are going to cover the lower half of the USA in colorful scrappy braids, and everyone has a great time in this class trading rectangles with each other for more variety.

I start out with one braid, using the light rectangles and the red squares as leaders & enders so they kind of get into the habit of keeping piecing continuous. It’s not easy when you are used to just ripping your work out of your machine at the end of a seam! From there, when they have enough rectangle/square units made ((I call these match sticks)) in between the lines of piecing, and they feel they are “READY” to add one more ball into their juggling act, they can start a second braid and start building two at a time. Fun fun class!

I’ve received several comments telling me you love the slide shows and photo albums! This is a little feature that comes with writing my posts offline using Windows Live Writer. There is a tab for “insert” at the top of the page, and I can choose to insert either a table, photo, hyperlink, photo album, video, map, post tags or emoticons and plug ins. I haven’t played with the maps or the plug ins…but everything else has been really handy.

I’m being picked up in 20 minutes! I guess I better end this here and get a move on!


  1. HHMMMmmmm.... I wonder how many miles could be covered in the Texas braids you've helped create in just this one travel adventure?

  2. The first part of your post is lovely -- not that the rest isn't, but that first part really resonated with me. Quilting really IS a lifestyle that connects all of us. I have made so many friends, have been enriched so much, by those people I have met through quilting -- it really does make you want to "pay it forward".

  3. Tired of Quilt pictures?


  4. Very true... quilting is more about relationships than anything. Whether we give away the quilts as presents or keep one for ourselves... it's all about relationships. Wish I had some "real life" quilting buddies but the only guild here meets in the morning during the week. Well, I'll be retired one day... in the meantime, I have virtual quilting buddies!

  5. Ah King's cake...I made one years ago. Didn't try and make it healthy at all but it was so good (if I say so myself!)

  6. Gee, I really need to take that braid class. I don't use the leaders and ? like you do so haven't gotten that habit.

    Loved your first part about the friendship of quilting. I don't know what I would have done this past year without it. I lost my hubby of 61 years this past May and at least I had quilting to occupy my mind.

  7. Add my vote as another who really enjoys the slide shows and the albums that you add to your posts.

    Yes, quilting can keep us distracted and focused when the other parts of our lives are challenging or intolerable. I was a relative newbie quilter years ago when our son was flying helicopters in Iraq. The quilt I made for him during those months and the quilt I made for his girlfriend during that time were healing and distracting at the same time. We all have our ways of dealing with the tough times, and quilting certainly helps many of us cope.

  8. Being in a local quilt guild has taught me that quilters are wonderful people. Some members don't even quilt, but come anyway because they are welcomed like family. You're right, it's about the fellowship.

  9. Bonnie, it really is about the relationships. When I moved from Idaho to Michigan, I was so lonely at first, because I missed my quilting buddies. I knew they meant a lot to me, but I didn't realize how much till they were gone. It took me a year and a half to really start forging quilting friendships here in Michigan, and it has helped me immensely. They'll never replace my friends from Idaho (make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold), but they have started to make me feel so welcome and happy here. I never was one to have lot of friends in school, so I've been amazed at how much this has meant to me as an adult.

  10. Moving to Maryland was the beginning of my quilting, and the quilters that invited me to that first meeting were the blessings that helped me to adjust to living in a new place. Like Mama Pea, above, I was more a loner in school and don't always know how to reach out when I move to a new place. Quilters helped me to feel welcome and part of the community! You are so right :o)

    I wonder what they will be writing in future books on quilt history? Maybe something like this, "Braid quilts seemed to be very popular in the winter of 2011. The proliferation of this type quilt was led by a gal by the name of Bonnie, who like Johnny Appleseed, traveled the country far and wide, teaching scrappy braids". Yup, I can see it now.

  11. YES! I love how you express sentiments that I share...quilting is about community. Loved reading your post today...and of course, the photos are always inspiring!

  12. Oh Bonnie, how fun that you posted the picture of you with me and my sister Isabel. We have had such fun taking classes at Road and yours was another memory we'll have forever. Thank you for sharing your quilting with us.

  13. Excellent post about Quilting and fellowship - it is so true. My own mother says it saved her sanity after my father died; it has helped mine when moving countries and having to make new friends. Quilters really are welcoming everywhere you travel. I have to be brutally honest though Bonnie, that cake or whatever it is looks pretty unappetising from this side of the pond...LOL! Alison


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