Not bad for a fat girl


If Only I Would Listen to Myself

One of the beautiful things about having a blog is that you have a record of where you’ve been what you’ve been thinking about. I know where I am now, and honesty, I’m not exactly thrilled about this place. I’m not entirely certain how I got here or why I’m here, but regardless, here I am.

I’m at a place where I know I need to get my butt in gear (again) and overcome inertia. It’s a familiar place, and in some ways it’s comfortable, but it’s unproductive, and I know it. So what to do?

Well, for one thing I just managed to give myself a quick little motivational pep talk (is that redundant? I don’t care.) by simply reading some old posts. mn016WordPress does this brilliant thing where they take the content of a post and guess at some other posts that might be related. Today, as I was making an edit to yesterday’s post about my physical, I not only noticed the linked articles, but I clicked on one. I’m glad I did.

It took me to a post I wrote when I was in a similar situation to the one I’m in now. I was dealing with all time highs on my medical chart and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Some old, same old, right? Except that I had some good advice for myself. I came to the conclusion that I should treat myself at least as well as I treat my friends. I don’t beat them up for their mistakes. I don’t love them less if they’ve gained a few pounds or missed a couple of doses of medication. I love them anyway, and I support them. I can do that for myself too. I need to. And so do you. We need to be our own best cheerleaders, focusing on the positives and bolstering ourselves up when the going gets tough. Cheerleaders don’t quit when their teams are down, they redouble their efforts to encourage them. Let’s do that for ourselves and each other. Are you ready? Go Team!


Too Many Posts?

computer-too-much-informatiI’ve been posting each day during the month of November. It’s not because I’m simply bursting with information and ideas which I absolutely must share with you all. I mean sure, there’s SOME of that, but that’s not the real reason. The real reason is NaBloPoMo.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve made a commitment to blog every day during the month of November. I did it last year, and really enjoyed the process, so I figured, why not do it again?

I love blogging. I tried it out just for the fun of it, and wasn’t really sure what to expect. BulgingButtons is actually my second attempt at blogging. I figured it would be a nice outlet for some of my thoughts, but honestly, I didn’t think I would stick with it for long. I figured I would write a couple of boring posts that nobody would read, then pack it in due to lack of interest. After all, that’s what happened with my first blog.

I was so wrong. I haven’t lost interest, and neither has my audience. It has steadily grown, which I love. I love that there are people on every continent who have stopped by BulgingButtons, and that there are loyal readers in so many different countries. I can count on people in France, India, Greece, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, The Bahamas, Vietnam, and several other countries to stop by regularly. Not only do they stop by, they leave wonderful messages.

Of course there are lots of readers here in the USA too. I feel like many of these readers have become friends in a way. I read their blogs, if they have them, and they read mine. We reveal bits of ourselves through our writing, and we recognize commonalities. We also appreciate and respect our differences. We cheer each other on in good times and offer support in bad times. We have formed a community. What an amazing outcome.

So what’s the issue? Well, I’m wondering if posting all this content is just too much? I know I don’t read nearly as many blogs as I would like to, there just isn’t enough time in the day. When I post brand new content each and every day, I feel like a lot of what I’m sharing is being passed by, even by loyal readers. Most people have limited time to poke around any one particular blog, so they’ll read the most recent post, then move on to the rest of their life. I get it. I do it myself. But what if yesterday’s post was the one that you really needed at this moment?

Posting everyday hasn’t been difficult for me. There’s usually SOMETHING on my mind that I can write about. But I wonder if I SHOULD post everyday. Am I leaving people in the dust and fumes of my high speed blogging? Come December I’ll slow it down somewhat, but how much remains to be seen. I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Please drop me a line and let me know if you take the time to read old posts, or just read the newest unless something really grabs your attention. Thanks for the help, and as always, thanks for reading.



Going to the Show – The Quilt Show, That Is

When I first moved out west I was working as a substitute teacher. I moved from school to school, grade to grade. I was seldom in the same school twice in a month. This type of existence didn’t allow me to make connections with others. I was a nomad. The only person I knew was my then-fiance, now former husband. I felt rootless, and it made me a little uncomfortable.

I had left behind my family and lifelong friends, and now there was just the two of us. We were more or less broke, so we weren’t exactly living the high life, but that was ok. What wasn’t ok was the sense of isolation that was starting to creep in. In those days the internet was in its infancy, and we certainly didn’t have it. Long distance phone calls cost a mint, and nobody had heard of texting. We were on our own.

I had always liked creating, and had taken an introductory quilt class from the adult ed department of a school district in my hometown. We did everything the old fashioned way, by hand, and I learned a lot. I decided that I would expand my horizons and head out to the local quilt shop in my new town. suzyLittle did I know that I had moved into a quilting mecca of sorts.

I walked in the shop and was awed. The bolts of fabric were proudly displayed around the perimeter of the store. There was display table after display table piled high with fat quarter bundles and baskets of goodies. Stunning quilts lined the walls and hung from the ceiling. I loved it. I was home.

I spent a long time going through that shop. I fondled the fabric, and browsed the books. I examined the samples and ogled the threads. I had been a sewer for a long time, and had all the basics, including a sewing machine, but I didn’t have a scrap of fabric.

Not my actual quilt, but very similar.

Not my actual quilt, but very similar.

As I said, we were on a budget, so I carefully weighed my options and eventually purchased a package of precut squares. They were a nice variety of prints and tone on tone fabrics. I also purchased a small amount of unbleached muslin to patch them together. I was delighted with my choices.

I went home and played around with those pieces until I was happy with their arrangement. I sewed them together with my sewing machine, then headed to the fabric store to find material for the outside border and back, plus some batting for the inside of the quilt. I purchased a deep green tone on tone print that I love to this day.

I quilted that first little quilt by hand, then bound it. I was hooked. I went back to the quilt shop and signed up for a class. It was incredible. My horizons expanded greatly. Then I learned that there were quilt groups that meet all over the state as part of a state wide quilt guild. I looked up my local chapter, took a deep breath, and walked in the door.

At that first meeting I was immediately greeted and warmly welcomed to the group. I jumped in with both feet, joining swaps, signing up for secret sisters, participating in workshops, and eventually becoming the chapter chairperson. I volunteered to serve as a traveling teacher, visiting chapters all over the state to teach them I project I had designed. I also joined the board of the state guild. It was busy and fun and I made so many friends. I also made a connection that led me to a full time position at our local university, which I held for seven years before returning to teaching.

Quilting saved me. It provided me with an incredibly fun and creative outlet, while also furnishing a way for me to connect to many other people. I formed lifelong friends, I took on challenges of organization and leadership that helped me to grow individually, and I made a heck of a lot of really nice quilts.

After my son was born, I had less time for these activities. I was a full time working mother, and I spent more time at home. I also returned to life in the classroom. I did still make quilts on my own, but I drifted away from the busy life of the quilt guild. From time to time I visited, and I was always warmly welcomed. Many of the same friends remained, but many others had moved on, and new friends awaited.

That’s one of the remarkable things about the quilting world. It doesn’t seem to matter where we’ve come from, or what our current situation is, when we get together we have a common love of quilting that bridges any divides between us. We come from all cultures, all different backgrounds, all educational levels. We are young and old and everything in between. We are wild independent spirits or traditional matriarchs. We are a cross section of people, primarily women still, at our best. We are creative, warm, open to learning, and generous with our talents. I am proud to be a part of that community, and today I look forward to walking amongst my fellow quilters, admiring their work.