Four years ago I retired from a 35-year career in local government, It was hard work that was always challenging and often rewarding. Three months later, I landed my dream job - working at Glad Creations Quilt Block.
At Glad's I'm continually surrounded by color and inspiration while getting paid to fondle fabric. In four years of "quilt college" I've learned enough for a bachelor's degree in quiltmaking. As an added bonus, I've gained muscle (aka buns of steel) from schlepping bolts of cotton up and down stairs.
How does it get better than this? I'll tell you. This past spring I started volunteering with a sewing group at Little Earth of United Tribes. Little Earth is a Native American housing development in south Minneapolis that offers a number of on-site services to its community. One of those is the Domestic Abuse Project whose leader, Cindy, started the sewing circle.
We have girls and women of all ages working on various sewing projects from curtains and quilts to beadwork and dance regalia. I couldn't ask for a more interesting and fun group of fellow stitchers.
One of my all-time favorite quilt designs is the Lone Star. Since it is also a favorite (and sacred) design for Native people, we spend a good amount of time perfecting our skill in making Star quilts. As you may know, it isn't the most forgiving pattern what with all the bias edges and inset seams. But practice makes perfect.
Here's the Star quilt Cindy made for her son, Jedidiah, a returning Iraq ogichida (warrior). One of the fabrics includes a Marine Corps insignia. Cindy incorporated small flags and lettering between the star points. Isn't it beautiful?
I've found my element. For three hours each week we share food and laugh hard, learn from and encourage each other, and sew up a storm.
It truly doesn't get any better than that!