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Smart Remarks Work Out Sometimes

January 16, 2014
by Kate Myers , Emmetsburg News

Chris and I have been married for over 30 years and we have accumulated quite a few things. Our recent move made that fact painfully obvious. As I arranged my sewing area, I began thinking about how my current fabric collection got its start.

We have a rule at our house that all major purchases are discussed in advance. That works most of the time.

Chris is an outdoorsy kind of guy. He likes to fish and hunt. Over the years he has accumulated a good number of supplies for his hobbies to include the equipment needed for fishing, hunting and competitive shooting. I had no clue there were so many types of fishing lures!

About five years ago, Chris came home with a new treasure. I really shouldn't have been surprised I knew he was going to a gun show but, with exasperation in my voice, I asked him, "When do I get to buy something that I want?!" With lightening fast speed, he asked what I wanted. Just as quickly, I responded that I wanted a new sewing machine. I am still not exactly sure where that response came from, but it was out there.

I honestly hadn't done much sewing since our daughter informed me that matching Easter dresses were out of the question. Pair that with working full time, being active in our children's activities, restoring old homes and supporting both Chris' education career as well as his Army National Guard commitment. There hadn't been a lot of time for a serious hobby.

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I loved having the kids at home and all the details that accompanied them. I had dabbled in hobbies such as basket weaving, cross-stitch and stained glass. And greenhouse job had introduced me to the spiritual experience of gardening. But by the time Chris and I had the sewing machine conversation, both our children were in college and I found I had time on my hands.

It had been years since I had been in the market for a new sewing machine. I am blessed with a mother who is active in the quilt world and upgrades her machines regularly. And she shares nicely. But the timing was such that when my machine gave out, she didn't have one in reserve.

A quick web search gave me an idea what I was to expect cost-wise. I knew how much Chris' most recent purchase had set him back. So I began shopping. After a few solo trips, Chris and I set out together one Saturday morning. By the time we were done, I had purchased a new machine, was scheduled for my private lessons and could hardly wait to get started.

Although I asked Mom to teach me all she knew about quilting, she encouraged me to take lessons locally. I took classes all the time. I tried to soak up as much knowledge as my aging brain could handle. I met lots of really nice folks who shared a common interest.

Mom and I have had countless delightful discussions about technique, color and pattern instructions. At our urging, one of my aunts has returned to the sewing fold. The daughter who I couldn't get to sew a lick while a 4-H'er, has even made a couple quilts.

Turns out that my smart remark was blessing.

In my world, that doesn't happen very often.

I kick myself that I didn't rediscover my love of fiber earlier, but I have had a blast learning to quilt.

My new hobby proved a blessing when Chris returned to school several years ago. If I hadn't had my sewing room to retreat to on the evenings he studied, I would have driven him crazy. I have a bad habit of talking whenever something pops into my head. So it is best that I leave the room when he is trying to write a paper.

Now that we are living in Northwest Iowa, I am discovering all the quilt shops in the area. Although I haven't found a place to take classes, I did recently sign up for an embroidery block of the month club, so I guess I am on my way.

Also, our granddaughter had her first birthday a couple weeks ago and received a few dolls as gifts. I am guessing I will be making doll clothes before too long.

Growing up my parents had a plaque on the wall that said, "Engage your brain, before your mouth." I like to think I live by that motto. Most of the time. I am just thankful that one of my smart remarks has had positive results.



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