I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read for entertainment. When Mama said to go to bed, I did and then carefully slid my hidden flashlight from under the pillow and my current novel from the night table for my nightly reading session. Daddy kept buying better flashlights because he worried about my eyes, but as a reader himself, he completely understood. Many are the times I read far too late and paid for it the next day, but it was worth it. Even as a young adult, I sometimes read all night, then took a shower and went to work. I was always willing to sacrifice sleep for reading. As my spouse says often, we’ll have plenty of time to sleep when we’re dead.
Reading is not just for entertainment though. Books have walked me step by step through various hobbies over the years. Approximately ten years ago I decided to become a quilter. My mother made quilts, but she never had the time or patience to do the fancy hand-pieced ones that I wanted to do. She did teach me to sew on her old pedal-type sewing machine when I was quite young and I’m thankful for that. When the quilting bug bit me, I went browsing for quilting magazines and found an intriguing sampler book. That book taught me how to make log-cabin squares, monkey wrench squares, bear claw squares and at least ten more different ones. My first quilt I made completely by hand, stitching and quilting nonstop for days on end. It was a summer project that lasted well into November. I’d probably still be working on it if it had been a king-sized creation.
One day a professional quilter on television said that people who give quilts as presents go often to visit their quilts. I pondered that statement for some time and realized how right she was. When you make a quilt, you put an unbelievable amount of time into it. Only the most special people in your life could ever hope to get one. That year I started a quilt for Calvin, my eldest, and his wife Julie. I chose fabrics of blue checked gingham with bright sunflowers, vivid yellow prints, and cheery greens. Julie loves sunflowers, as do I. I started the king-sized quilt in January and sewed every spare minute. This time I used the sewing machine for piecing the squares and the quilting, and still I finished it 3 weeks before Christmas. I’ve never been so sick of sunflowers or sewing machines in my life and have not sewn one stitch on a quilt since then. I have promised my youngest son Joshua a quilt, and I intend to fulfill that promise one of these days. Right now it makes me tired to think about it. I still have my quilting books on the shelf though, waiting for me.
For the complete column pick up your copy of The Baxley News-Banner on newsstands today or CLICK HERE to Subscribe.