CHQuilts: Operation Sewing Studio

Friday, August 11, 2023

Operation Sewing Studio

I have a new focus, a new way to use whatever energy I can muster at my age. I’m calling it Operation Sewing Studio.

For the last eight years, I have been caring for my husband John who had been ill for eight years. Disabled, he spent most of his time either in bed or in a power chair. Sadly, he passed away a few months ago.

During that time, I managed to steal away an hour here or an hour there for my own kind of mental health therapy – quilting. I could not have gotten through those years without it.

“Idle hands are the devil’s playthings,” said Benjamin Franklin. While I don’t personally believe in a devil, the quote is certainly not lost on me. I have spent my life working with my hands, mostly in the form of knitting and crocheting. Not only have some lovely pieces come out of my efforts, but I know of no better way to organize my thoughts, contemplate new ideas, reminisce about days gone by, and even dream about things to come.

I started quilting about 25 years ago, inspired by local quilt shows and meeting quilters who had already fallen in love with their craft. I was amazed that quilting embodied so much more than a two-colored log cabin bed covering or other traditional patterns I had seen over the years. I realized that the sky was the limit to what could be created. I’m not there yet. I haven’t yet tapped into my own creativity. I may never get there, but I will always consider that there are no limitations besides those I place upon myself. Even if I never become a quilt designer, I still see so much value in the art itself. I may remain content in the cutting and stitching of fabric into something warm, wonderful, and beautiful that somebody else designed.

When John got sick, I had already made several quilts. I decided many years ago that I would always be a quilter. I realized early on that there is no end to the challenge, skill, creativity, and absolute joy it brings to work with beautiful fabrics in every array of colors imaginable.

Whether I take my quilting to the next level, whether it is creative or if I use this medium to carve out a living I still believe I will always be a quilter.

I have made the decision to move from my small quilting area – a breakfast counter overlooking the backyard – to a spare bedroom that was in need of an update anyway. I am turning a spare bedroom into a sewing studio – a place I plan to spend lots of time in the coming days.

So far, I have purchased a new sewing machine, a Janome Skyline S5, which is just perfect for my current needs. I have ordered a sewing table in which to put it. The room will be painted periwinkle blue, a color named for a Doris Day song my late father loved. New vinyl wood planking will replace the worn out carpet that has definitely seen better days. And I have ordered a Day Bed with a trundle for when visitors come or if the cats want to hang out while I sew.  

My view will be the front yard instead of the back. And, I’m hoping the old breakfast counter will hold lots of plants in that south-facing window. These changes already make me happy, and they are still only in the planning stages. But that’s OK. Once things are all in place, who knows where my quilting life will take me. As my favorite newsie says, "Watch this space."


  1. So happy you are pursuing your passion. Quilting is a joy for many of us. The creativity and possibilities are endless. All our creative endeavors are acts of love ❤️
    You go my friend. Love you ❤️

  2. I can’t wait to see your progress. You will love your dedicated room! Those creative designs will start popping from your mind! šŸ’–