Guest Blogger Month at the Quilting Gallery

Deborah Stout

“Busy hands are happy hands,” so Grandmother always said, patiently teaching me how to thread a needle, as I fumbled with the thimble. I have long since abandoned thimble-usage. My rough, calloused thumbs are proof.

My grandmother’s example as she tenderly taught me, has stuck with me through the years. I am able to stick it out as I wrestle with tangled thread and fabric without biting my tongue clear off or tearing my hair completely out. As my fingers work the needle, guiding the thread through the fabric, tight muscles relax, releasing the day’s or week’s tensions…cares easily roll off my shoulders. Ahh…I find quilting to be very relaxing.

I am happiest sewing by hand. I have nothing against the sewing machine. In fact, I like the speed and accuracy a sewing machine offers. Yet, there is something very satisfying about quilting by hand. It’s hard to explain. Go ahead and shout out if you know what I mean. Perhaps, one of you can put it into words better than I.

Is it pride? Is it wrong to be proud of presenting a loved one with a piece you have quilted solely by hand? If it is, I am guilty of such pride. Am I alone in this?

Recently, my sister-in-law in Michigan sent me darling railroad fat quarters. She asked me to make a quilt for her son, my darling and precocious 4-year-old nephew. Okay, he was 3 at the time, so it wasn’t that recent after all. (Where has all the time gone?) David calls me, “Bobbie”, though that is not my name. He gave it to me when he first started talking. David is a train fanatic! David is also thousands of miles away from me, his beloved Bobbie.

You see, I am in Queensland, Australia. Far, far from small town, Michigan, USA. How did I get here? I married an Aussie. But that’s another story for another day.

Back to my train quilt…I have grand plans for this quilt…railroad tracks leading from David’s house to mine, blocks representing the ocean separating us, kangaroos & koalas, etc…but, I am running out of time. Christmas came and went, as did David’s January birthday. Early June David will leave behind being an only child to become a big brother. I’ve got a deadline now! Four more months! {GULP}

David is a big reason why I blog. One of them. Blogging has been a wonderful way for me to keep in touch with loved ones back in America. To friends and family who may be reading this, “Hello! I miss you! Write soon! Send Hersheys! Cadbury’s just isn’t the same.”

Like many of you, I also blog to show off my handmade items. And, let’s be honest, we all hope for a sale or two (or more), as well, don’t we? Yes, we do!

I am always doing more than one project at a time. I hear you laughing…you can relate. And, in the midst of it all, I still love to browse the crafty blogs for more tutorials and patterns and inspiration. “Sew”, if you have a tute to share, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Deborah (Stout) Brine