BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Quilt Show, Here I Come!

It’s been ages since I’ve been to a quilt show, which is entirely my fault.

I’m lucky to live in a state where quilt makers are doing exciting work, and quilt shows, large and small, are held regularly. The largest of these is the show put on by the state quilter’s guild, of which I used to be an active member. In fact, that guild brought me my first friends in my adopted home state.19676732-5056-a36a-09e605c3f52c90e2_0eef4bd5-5056-a36a-0955fa3b9f7b852c.jpg

Quilt groups vary in size, focus, and time commitment. I think there’s a group for everyone, from the most traditional hand piecer and quilter to the digital age modern quilter who does things without regard for “traditional” techniques or “rules.” There are those who get together for the dedicated purpose of producing quilts to be donated to charities, and there are those who are committed to recreating quilts from particular eras. Most groups, however, are simply gatherings of people who share a love of quilting and enjoy one another’s company.

I was lucky to find a group like that in the early 1990’s when I moved out west with no job and no friends. Quilting was my creative outlet, and the quilt group I found was full of interesting and innovative women, who welcomed me into their circle. It was a branch of the state guild, and through that I started traveling to other groups to teach classes. I loved it!

The more active I was with the guild and our chapter, the more fun I had. I volunteered to head up a statewide charity small quilt auction one year that raised several thousand dollars, and I spent another year as our group’s chapter chairperson. Both of these experiences were positive and rewarding, mostly because of the wonderful people I was able to work with along the way.

Time marches on, though, and motherhood took more of my psychic energy than I could have imagined. I still quilted from time to time, but scrapbooking our lives became my main creative outlet, and I let my guild membership lapse, mainly from a lack of time for meetings. Add to that some of my closest quilting buddies moving away, and, well, you know…

The good news it that they didn’t all move, and then Facebook was invented. Through it I keep in touch with some of my quilty friends, and when I needed some professional quilting done on a top I made long ago, I knew just who to call. Well, that lovely lady did the job expertly, and we had a fantastic time reconnecting in the process. We made a date for the quilt show, and here it is, quilt show day!

I’m excited to see my friend, I’m excited to see the quilts and vendors, and mostly I’m excited to go back to the show. The show where I once earned an honorable mention ribbon for a quilt that I now cherish as a memory of my dad. The show that celebrates every corner of my beautiful state and every type of creative expression that could be classified as a quilt. The show that takes me back decades, but will no doubt fire a creative spark for the future.

 


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When a Dog Breaks Your Heart

Maybe it’s too soon. Maybe I shouldn’t write this. I can’t help it though. I have to. You see, early this morning my friend (who I love like a sister) had to say goodbye to her beloved dog. I know.

He was a beautiful dog. A stunning golden retriever, huge and smiling with massive paws and plumes of fur. He was a family dog, leaving behind my friend, her husband, and her two kids, one in high school, the other away at college. 17264811_10210450952442342_4921562558907777139_n

This dog.

He was beautiful.

He was clumsy.

He was sweet.

He was theirs, and they were his. His people. His family. His home and his life. And what a life he had. He was cherished. He lived well.

His passing is heartbreaking, for my friend, for her family, and for anyone who has ever loved a dog. Even a dog who wasn’t majestic. Even a dog who didn’t steal shoes from the front hallway. Even a dog that wasn’t named for an animated movie character.

For my dear friend, for her family, and for all of us who have had our lives enriched by a good dog, I am heartbroken.

You’re a good boy, Koda. You will be missed.


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All About the Story

Imagine you’re 15 and your undocumented immigrant mother has told you that the family is running away, again. You shove everything into a trash bag, and help your little sister do the same. At 3 am you arrive at the Sonoran Court Apartments, your new home. Your neighbor is a shadowy Sudanese immigrant. His ties with the supernatural world are terrifying, and he’s trying to convince you that you’re in danger. This is Daisy’s life.

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ca9f9d3cfbc6b803d582b2b79d50cb19_typingpal-computer-computer-typing-clipart_200-262.jpegI’m sitting in a workshop with Janet Reid, aka The Query Shark. I just have to say, she’s hilarious. This crowd doesn’t seem to completely realize this, but she is.
I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad I’m learning. And I’m glad that the main message, over and over, is, “it’s all about the story.”

So what that means, in short, is I have to get back to the story. Grrr. No, really, I love the story. I do. I just have to finish my revisions. You know, making the story better. The plot chasm I’ve been fretting over has a solution that I’ve been working on, so there’s that.

So now it’s time to get back to it. After the workshop, of course. I can do this, I know I can. Daisy needs me.