Carolyn wrote this question in a comment:
Judy, I’m really curious. You spent years quilting, then started knitting and stopped quilting. After knitting for years, you started cross stitching and stopped knitting. Of the three, do you love cross stitching the most? Do you miss knitting or quilting? Do you think you’ll ever stop the stitching and go back to just quilting or just knitting again? Or maybe have projects in all three at once? I knit, crochet and quilt and have projects in all of them going at the same time, so I’m wondering!!!Carolyn
Carolyn is a long time friend so this wasn’t a gotcha question or a “why do you flip around so much” type question.
Here’s a rough timeline of my crafty history.
I learned to sew and made most of my clothes through high school and college.
Mid-70’s I learned to knit. Mostly I knitted dish clothes with yarn wherever I could find it – probably TG&Y – the local five and dime type store. In 1976 I was working and one of the very fun and nice ladies I worked with . . her mom owned the knitting shop in our town and the friend would knit during her lunch hour so she helped me with my knitting. I knitted a couple of sweaters but I never learned to put them together and I paid someone to do that for me.
In the late 70’s – probably about 78, I learned to cross stitch. There just wasn’t a lot of need for sweaters in southwest Louisiana. I never tried socks or shawls or anything other than simple sweaters. When I learned to cross stitch, I put the knitting away.
In about 1982, there was a quilting shop I passed by often because it was near one of my favorite clothing stores. I worked and would go shopping during lunch so I stopped into that quilting shop one day and fell in love with an elderly lady working there – Mrs. Broussard. She began inviting me to her house for lunch on the days she wasn’t working. I signed up for quilting classes – everything was traced and cut out by scissors and pieced by hand but I loved it.
In about 1986, a Bernina shop got deep into smocking so I started doing that and stopped quilting. Chad was born in 1987 and smocked was perfect because I could sit and watch him – inside or outside, and it was very portable and basically needed a smocking plate, needle, floss and fabric.
In 1989 we moved to Texas and I was only smocking then – nothing else.
I think it was 1993 when I got divorced – that’s all kinda been blocked from my memory. I do remember setting up a sewing machine when I got back into a house (from an apartment) and I started quilting again – with rotary mat, rulers and cutter. Way different from my previous quilting.
Vince and I got married in 1997 and when I moved to Kentucky, all my fabric fit in three boxes.
We moved from Kentucky in 2006 and I had just started back to knitting but wasn’t obsessed with it. I did learn to knit socks while in Kentucky.
After we moved to Missouri (2006 still), I found The Loopy Ewe online and went nuts with yarn. The patterns were so much fun. I continued to quilt while knitting. I was doing longarm quilting as a business to pay for Chad’s college so that was kinda non-stop for a few years. But, I was knitting and quilting from about 2004 til probably 2018 maybe. Then I kinda stopped quilting. I think what happened with quilting was that I was working with a couple of magazines, did the three books and there were so many deadlines. I almost got caught in the Joplin tornado when I was teaching near the path of the tornado and staying in a cabin on a lake in 2011 and after that crazy night, I gave up traveling and teaching. With airlines, even back then, and other things going on in our life, I decided traveling wasn’t for me. But, I continued to quilt for another 7 or so years.
Another thing with quilting is that there are so many quilts in this house. There really are probably 300 or more quilts here that I’ve made. I always made and donated a lot of smaller quilts but these are bed size quilts! There are a few others that we use when watching TV or take on car trips but for the most part, we are over run with quilts. I had wanted to sell the longarm before we left Texas and Vince was sure I would be sorry. Almost two years later, it sits in the sewing room, not put together, taking up space.
In probably December, 2020, when I was living in MO by myself, I started cross stitching again and you know the rest of that story. I do still knit a bit. I have a couple of projects by my chair and while I’ve made very little progress, I do enjoy knitting and I could see me doing more of that some day. It’s kinda like quilting though – how many sweaters, shawls and socks do we need? Addie would die before she was caught with a homemade anything. Vince doesn’t want anything knitted.
So . . I cross stitch and when all the walls are full, I’ll probably move on to something else (or maybe by then, I’ll just move to the nursing home and read my Kindle all day). 🙂
Nelle Coursey says
If you need a home for one of your quilts, I can give you my address! LOL I know you do beautiful work.
Thanks for sharing your timeline – I share a lot of the same interests and have for several years. I did counted cross stitch, embroidery, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, garment sewing, knitting, a very tiny bit of crochet, quilting and machine embroidery. I tend to find old hobbies in boxes that were stored until “another time” and when I pull them out, it’s almost like Christmas.
I’ll work on a couple of old projects, work on them for a bit and then pick out something else. For me, I think I get bored working on the same things and need to move on to something else.
Again, thank for sharing your timeline.
… I have done “crafts” at various times – quilting, sewing, knitting, cross-stitch, needlepoint, and so on.
I’ve been reading Jo’s Country Junction since the cross-stitch SAL started. I’ve noticed that she gets lots of quilt tops, blocks, fabric from people who appear to be decluttering their sewing rooms. And, she sends them along to quilters and finishers. So, for this winter, I have a goal to start reviewing my UFOs and finish them for charity quilt purposes as well as finding someone (maybe Jo) to get the blocks and extra fabric for their work.
I am looking through my quilt magazines to find quilt ideas so that when I find some fabric, I can start working on the tops. I read that we are going to have cold, snowy weather this winter though the start date varies from mid November to early January.
Donna in KS says
Several friends have seen picture of the top I finally have finished. It’s the mystery you sent out for people coming to the Shipshewana Retreat. I’ve been asked for the pattern among the compliments and “I’ve never seen that pattern”. “Where did you get it”? Nice pattern, as are others you created. Of course, Bears in the Farmhouse, is my favorite; from that pattern I made Pause in my Tulips, which I love!
Thank, Donna. I loved playing with the designs.
Glenda Fletcher says
Hi Judy, I have been a follower since I did the “Blessed” cross stitch. That was my come back to cross stitch as did it in the 90’s. I also did sewing, quilting, little of knitting, crocheting. I use to have a garden and canned a lot too. I still quilt. I have found so many cross stitch patterns that I like. I am starting to build up a stash in cross stitch patterns! Do you acquire cross stitch patterns? Fun though. We live in SE South Dakota and are in quite a drought here. I water my flowers a lot. I enjoy reading your email/blog.
Thanks! Glad to have you here with us. I think it’s great that we all love a variety of crafty and creative ventures. Hope your drought ends soon. I never realized how bad they were til we lived in central Texas through a drought.
Cindy F says
Thanks for sharing your creative journey! I’ve always been interested in “crafting” and being a maker. When I was a military spouse traveling the world, I tried stained glass, pottery, ceramics, tole painting, quilting, even woodworking. I’ve done wheat weaving, calligraphy, and belonged to groups that did a monthly craft. I was always looking for something to try. I remember the Carol Duvall show and would try stuff from those kinds of shows. I took up cross stitching in the late 80s, set it aside in the early 90s. I bought all kinds of jewelry supplies to make earrings, etc. I quilted off and on over the years and found you during the time you hosted design wall Mondays I learned to knit from following you. I started gardening after following you. Sourdough, also you. Started cross stitching again (after seeing you and Jo) and set aside the quilting (sewing room was a mess). I started collecting vintage sewing machines (don’t ask me how many I have!) and I need to start getting rid of some since I don’t think I will ever work on all of them. I belong to a Facebook paint group which I’ve paid for but never seem to find time to participate even though I’ve thoroughly stocked my craft area with all kinds of supplies. I finally cleared off the longarm table a couple of days ago (I only work on quilts I make) as I have a stack of quilts that need finishing. I also started on a new quilt using a pattern that I’ve had for over 10 years. Some things need to germinate! lol If I were more organized I’d be able to do everything I want but I seem to be able to only handle a couple of interests at a time. Anyway, long way of saying I’ll always be a crafter and so happy to have found you!
I chuckled at the comment about your granddaughter. I think she might be close in age to one of my granddaughters. When I told her we used to make our own clothes back in the day, she looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, “and you WORE them?!?” Haha!!
That’s funny. Yes, we wore them! 🙂
Judy, thank you for such a detailed response! I’m like you, did many of the same crafts in the same time periods, but also did needlepoint, crewel, macrame and taught calligraphy for many years. I still love all of them (except macrame, that was hard on the hands!) and do most of them to this day. Glad you didn’t think this question was a gotcha type question! I really wanted to know and I’m so glad you’re enjoying all of your crafts!
I knew you didn’t think it was a gotcha type question. It’s a very legitimate question. I my mind, I ask myself similar questions each day. We’ve been online friends long enough that I know you’d never be mean.
I was wondering the other day how long I had been reading your blog. Now I know it was at least 11 years because I do remember your posts about the tornado.
I knit, quilt, and stitch but can’t juggle at three and work. So I mostly cross stitch and there is a bit of quilting thrown in. Knitting is at the bottom of the pile right now.
Yep, the tornado was in May of 2011.
There’s only so much we can do and I’m sure working does take a big chunk out of your day.