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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Where Woodworking and Quilting Intersect

Not surprising, there are many men who quilt today. It is not surprising because quilting and woodworking have a lot in common. Boards have to be mitered so that corners will set just right. Today, I watched PBS, a show that showed the assembly of a unique rectangular, upright box in which a light bulb was secured. Glass units were made that were melded together at 1500 degrees. They were diamond shapes and by using three different colors of glass the effect is "Tumbling Blocks," just like the quilt pattern made by President Calvin Coolidge when he was a youth. (Read more about that in a recent issue of The Quilter magazine.)

Today, there is less obsuring of the lines of what activities are acceptable for both sexes. Women are becoming engineers, and men are serving as fashion designers. There is no limit when it comes to choosing a satisfying career. The problem is that 18 year old children simply cannot make good choices.

We ask our children to decide what profession they would like, at an early age, before they have tasted the world and explored a lot of possibilities. As for myself, I thought I would enjoy being a Spanish teacher. I found that I liked very much being a secretary/word processor. Once introduced to quilting, I found I liked that even more - that, and of course, writing about quilts and their history; writing patterns, articles and books. We never know where life will take us. In our case, life has taken us all over New England and to meet people that we would not otherwise have met, had I not become a quilter.

I find it curious that if you speak with many quilters, they will mention that their husband either "taught shop" or are active woodworkers. The two activities, quilting and shop work, seem to go hand in hand. I can think of two items that were given to me. One is a key chain composed of different colors of wood. The other is a free-standing lined box and has a top in the shape of a quilt block. Both are beautiful! I do not have photos to share with you at the moment as my photographer is busy. Soon...

Patricia L. Cummings

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