Out of My Mind - November 9, 2005

How can the holidays be almost upon us? Thanksgiving is just around the corner and then we make the very short slide to Christmas and New Year's Day. Does anyone else think that 2005 was very short?


While I did lots of audio books while quilting this year, I did find two "regular" books that I took time to read and thought I would pass on here. The first is "Forever Ours" by Janis Amatuzio, MD. It's a book that makes you think, makes you cry and gives you hope that we will once again meet our loved ones in Heaven.


The second is a wonderfully funny book by Judy Reene Singer: "Horseplay". There are places that you just have to laugh right out loud!


I am looking forward to Jennifer Chiaverini's Christmas book and to Earlene Fowler's "The Saddlemaker's Wife". Earlene's book is a departure from the Benni Harper series we so love; I can't imagine that it won't be equally as good.


In trying to finish a quilt by a deadline, I think I must have qualified for the Quilting Guinness Book of Records--I hand quilted for almost 21 hours straight! And I made the deadline! And, no, my hands and wrists were not crippled for life--that's the beauty of my quilting technique! I'll keep you posted on how well it does at the show.


Be sure to check out the Gallery section for new pictures of student quilts. They are all fabulous! Remember that you, too, could send me a picture or two of something you started in one of my classes and I'll put it up. Or not--you can choose--but I do love to see what the pieces look like--finished or not.


Here's some food for thought--Unlike pioneer days, most of us are not making quilts to keep our families warm. Yet, there is a trend to do everything faster. My question is "Why"? I find myself more and more drawn to hand piecing--I've always loved hand quilting and hand applique. It's wonderful to just sit and visit or listen to music or audio books and yet accomplish something. Don't get me wrong--I love to see all techniques flourish--but I also don't want the hand skills to be left in the dust. I know it's hard to believe, but you can get quite a bit done in a short time with hand work. It fits into found bits of time--while waiting at a doctor's office, the few minutes spent waiting for school or a game to let out, at the game itself, while sitting with the family in the evening. And, for those who may think I've gone over the edge--I love piecing the blocks by hand (that's where all the fun of set-ins and sharp points comes in) but I see nothing wrong with setting the top by machine. The best of both. I'd love to hear what others think--e-mail me at sharon@sharonstroud.com.


That's about it for now. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. And I will be thinking of you as I, too, try to get just one more Christmas gift done before THAT deadline!