Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Website Tells History of Quilts

A new website titled "World Quilts" is just being launched to tell the history of quilts worldwide. It is a collaborative effort of scholars associated with the International Quilt Study Center. This announcement was made in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, February/March 2015. With any luck, photos and descriptions will advance the discussion of quilts.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Waltons' Quilting Party

Every now and then when I want to feel really good about the past I play the DVD of one of the episodes of the Waltons. The gist of the story is that grandma has been saving and collecting quilt blocks to make a quilt for Mary Ellen when she gets married. When grandma mentions that a-quilting will be at hand, the would-be recipient of the quilt gets in a stir. No, she does not want to get married and have babies, do dishes and laundry. She has her eye on more lofty things to do. She would like to do something more important by becoming a nurse.

After all of the fuss and hurt feelings, Mary Ellen "comes around" and decides to sit in on the quilting bee, next to grandma. At the end of the show, all of the family members arrive singing the song "Seein' Miss Nelly Home" (from the quilting party). Grandpa is dancing as is everyone else when they barge in the door in an exuberant fashion. It was a happy scene and one I won't forget any time soon.

I love shows like the Waltons whose themes are timeless and whose strong family values are apparent. The show may seem "old" now because, after all, the older characters have passed on and the younger ones are all well into adulthood. For me, I never tired of seeing the cast. They capture a moment in time and stories that still need to be told today!

Patricia L. Cummings

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Autumn Leaves Quilt by Tamara S.

For many years now I have corresponded with Tamara Shployanska, a master quilter originally from Ukraine, now residing in Germany where she teaches quilting techniques. Yesterday she sent a photo of a recently-completed quilt that I thought you might enjoy seeing.

Patricia Cummings

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Too Old Too Soon..."

There is a saying "Too old too soon, too late too smart." When we are young, we think we know it all and that we have already experienced all that life has to offer. That is never true especially if we count the weeds as well as the flowers. Certainly, no one is ever ready to not be able to "see" as well as before, yet many older adults are forced to have cataract surgery to improve their vision after years of use have clouded the lenses of their eyes with a "fog" like substance.

The operation is usually very short at the hands of a skilled surgeon who performs it in an operating room at a hospital. The before care and after care are vital to the operation's success. The doctor will warn against heavy lifting, no driving, and the use of specific eye drops for awhile. Friends who have had the operation state that it has had very good results for them. An artificial lens is placed within the eye and will be a permanent fixture...forever.

Some things, like memory, can fail as we age. Memory games designed to improve memory seem to be just enjoyable pastimes with no real effect on memory gain.

One thing is certain, aging is not for ninnies. It takes courage to face all of the new health challenges constantly being presented. "Too old too soon, too late too smart." Yes, in the end we know a lot more but then again, who is asking for our opinion or advice? The young already know it all! If you are looking for me, I'll be quilting!

Friday, January 2, 2015


As the old year turned to a new one, I spent some time thinking about the inevitability of change. As humans, we like to feel that we can control life circumstances. We tell ourselves that our feelings of security will increase if only we acquire more financial resources or more education. While money can help to change certain things in our lives, it is not the total answer. You see, we cannot control the destiny of our lives or the ones we love.

A friend tells me that every day something catastrophic happens on earth: a plane goes totally missing with no trace; there are cyber threats and other threats that are dealt with by a watchful military. There are fires in factories and hotels. Just turn on the television for a short time and it is easier to learn all of the domestic-related violence that is going on in your own neck of the woods.

In all of this, the good news is that we can make small changes every day that will add up to improved health. Skip the piece of cake and take a walk - easier said than done! Make resolutions but not long-term ones. One can keep a resolution for just a day. If you have a stack of thank you notes to write, prepare one a day until they are all sent.

Some changes are much bigger than us. We cannot control if or when a loved one will die. None of us is ready for such a life-changing event.

One of the important lessons of life, according to a dear friend who is 89 years old is to realize that we are all ALONE. Ultimately, we have to come to this conclusion. No matter what age we become, we cannot depend on children or any caregiver to change that overwhelming feeling that just will not quit and is all the more reason to have continued interests in the world and in current associates. The key to a happy life is involvement and ever-present education through television, the Internet and books.

My wish for you in 2015 is for you to be invested in your own life and its development. Make sure you are an "investigator" who has a willingness and openness for more learning. Best wishes for happiness and for increased health. May 2015 be the best year ever!

Patricia Cummings