I seem to remember that my word for the year is JOY. Joy. Okay, so now, before we go any further, please grin cheese-ily at the screen. Yes, baring the teeth too, if you please.
A big grin.
That will do nicely. It is making me grin, and heaven knows one has to grin during the Year Of Joy.
It has been a trifle trying today, however. Grins have been scarce. First, I arrived home this morning after looking after the dogs, in a car which was spluttering through what seemed like a death rattle. This did not fill me with joy at all. And then I discovered that a member of the household will be making an emergency visit to the dentist tomorrow. That was not on the plan for today either. And so far, we have managed to avoid any third disaster which may have been planning to visit the house. That is, if one ignores the creaking and groaning computer which rumbles every now and then. (I think it may be alive and moaning.)
I am struggling to sit in one place for long. So computers are having to take a back seat for now. I will do my best, but my best may not be good enough. I am trying to visit you all and to make a comment or two, but it is just tough for me at the moment, and I can't walk around with this wired keyboard either. Yes, loads of people have disappeared, but I can't help that. I am not writing much and it is to be expected, but I miss the ones who have gone.
Yesterday. I went to a quilters day. This was new for me. And in the photo above you will see two ladies with coffee cups grinning at me in the middle. Annette and Sue. We got there too late to find seats together. And in the front on the left, drinking her coffee, is Glynis. You will notice that we all look frozen. It was very cold.
All the county quilting groups apparently meet 3 times a year and have speakers and trade displays etc, and I have never been before. None of us had been before. I really don't think I will go again, because I am not a social quilter, and I do not like crowds any more. There were so many people there and I am sure they all enjoyed it all, but crowds sitting in one place for hours just don't work for me any more. And I have never belonged to any kind of quilting bee.
You see, I am more the kind of quilter who makes simple quilts, and loves going into her sewing room in her little house, and making up her dreams as she goes type of thing. With the outside world out there and me inside, pottering along. You know what I mean? That is not to say that I don't like friends sewing with me. I just don't want to go and work with a group of people. And I am not a fancy quilter.
But I digress a little.
So anyway, Annette got tickets and off we went yesterday because the huge draw card was the speaker. Kaffe Fassett. Those of you who knit or quilt may recognise his name. He was great. Well. I know he was great when I was awake. The trouble was that he was the last part of the day, and by then I was past help, so when the lights dimmed and his slideshow started to accompany his talk, I sort of nodded off. Repeatedly. The body keels over when I have done too much, you see, and it tried do just that all through his talk. I had to tell Glynis to prod me if I snored. I did manage a few photos before the lights dimmed. He was rather a long way away.
I am, in a sense, more like Kaffe Fassett. (He was born in 1937, so by my reckoning that makes him 74. He is not bad at all for 74, let me tell you. Full of ideas and plans and a hectic global programme. Not to mention all the books and the empire too. (*I can't add either, can I? He would be 76 not 74!)) He is all about colour and feelings and expressions and yes, I get that. It is not intricate. (So why is he an empire builder and me not? Maybe I need to change my name. He did. Hmmmmm. Delores? Maybe I need to think this through a little.....)
I told you he likes colour and knitting, didn't I?
The trade stands were good, but I did not buy a thing. No new fabric, no matter how gorgeous, crossed my doorstep. Neither did the sewing machine, the Big Shot, the dies or the magical threading machines, scissors and other wonderful things. And I was the ONLY one not to buy, and have signed, one of Kaffe's books. But I didn't need one, because I will just borrow everyone else's, of course.
The meeting was supposed to happen in January, but there was too much snow back then, so it was postponed, and yesterday, it tried to snow all day, but nothing much settled. It is still freezing, though.The ladies in the photo above, were milling around the trade stands. I departed at this point, in search of my chair and more coffee.
I am glad I went. I am certainly glad that I saw and (sort of) heard Kaffe Fassett. And at least I know now that 5 hour events which require me to sit in one place for most of that time just are not Places of Joy for me. One lives and learns. And then comes home and starts planning some serious stash busting, because I really do need to bust some of the stash. The one thing he made very clear was that thinking out of the box usually ends up being delightful. I don't need to follow patterns. I told you he thought like me. I am a rebel with the sewing machine. I like doing things differently.
And one very interesting fact that I hadn't really thought about much before from the trade man......The thing which revolutionised, and led to a resurgence of interest in patchwork and quilting ,was the advent of the cutting board/ruler and roller cutter combination. That happened a good few years ago now. And the second greatest change is happening right now with the advent of the diecutting machines which cut so accurately, and in multiples. The Big Shot by Sizzix, cuts 8 layers at a time, including the quarter inch seam allowance, and there are SO many dies to choose from, both for piecing and for applique. Amazing. (I resisted the almost overwhelming urge to cripple the credit card at this point.)
He is right. Just as technology moves at increasing speeds, so the sewing world is doing the same. Have you looked at the new machines? Groan. Highly technical, efficient, memory sticks, digital whatsits, long arms, free arm, stitch regulators and all. I am at the stage now when I can say that in all honesty, it is all moving too fast and I doubt I will ever catch up. But you know what? That suits me just fine. I am quite content, as I said before, to batten down the hatches and potter away here in the sewing room. I am so thankful for what I already have. For the knowledge that I can go out there and make whatever I choose to make, the way I choose to make it, and good grief, I may even finally finish the hexagon quilt I started when Andrew was a baby. By hand. Andrew is approaching 36 at speed.
It could be time.