Over the weekend, I finally finished cleaning out my studio. It took forever as I carefully folded and organized fabric. I scrutinized each item to determine if I really needed. If I didn’t, it was donated or pitched. That takes time and sometimes emotional strength.

In my studio, I found boxes of my kids school papers. I went through each of these and kept the good stuff – journals, awards, and special pictures. I tossed the spelling tests and math homework. I couldn’t do more than a little a day, as the memories of those times was bittersweet. They grow up way too fast. But the fond memories were a salve for the headlines in the news lately.

I found project that I started or meant to start. Some of these I will actually finish some day! With these came the realization, that my tastes changed and my skill level changed. My handwork was still better than my machine work. Both could always use honing. I am never satisfied with my work.

The last few baskets of stuff I had to sort through were papers. Paperwork is dreadful some of the time. I found old bills that needed to be filed (I follow my dad’s seven year rule for filing financial documents). I found old coupons, Christmas cards, and catalogues; all of which were placed in baskets to be dealt with another day when I wasn’t traveling or too busy to breathe.

One of the last items I found, in the bottom of a basket, was a beautiful card. The card was from some wonderful women – my partner in crime Patty and our students from a Farmer’s Wife class we taught every Sunday in Caledonia, NY. We met on Sunday afternoons and tackled four blocks at a time. We shared techniques and laughs. That class was a special time. I received the card at my new home in Aiken, South Carolina, as I had to move in the midst of that set of classes. The pieces from that quilt are still sitting in a box, waiting for me to finish it, nine years later.

Finding that card, reminded me of how much I loved teaching classes and spending time with fellow quilters. I learned as much from them as they did from me. That is one of the things that I have truly missed in the past few years. For me, COVID-19 wasn’t what kept me from my guild or classes, it was my career and the travel it required. When I realized that I was giving up the things that filled me up and gave me energy, I understood why my mental and emotional batteries were low. So I retired and started quilting and designing again. I have faith that in a while, I will have my guild and classes back too.

Happy Quilting 🙂