Threading The Needle

I have no idea where to start with this project. Normally I overthink things like this, thus tying myself in a ball of knots and I get nothing done. Not this time. Nope…grab the thread, a needle and get to work.

Egg basket, snips and the quilt. All belonged to my grandmother.

I chose a ring where the embroidery floss had broken and begun to unravel. The appliqués had also pulled away from the top and needed repair. The base must be secure before the pretty stuff is added. Isn’t that the way of life? If we rush in, just fancy up the surface but don’t deal with the structure, there is no integrity and the pretty will fade and fail.

I carefully clipped the old floss and picked it out. It was kind of like weeding a garden with the exact same satisfaction as I gazed upon the nice clean edge. Lastly, I used white sewing thread to secure the appliqués.

Next will come the embroidery. Blanket stitch will finish off this inner ring. I’m excited to go buy floss for this project!

My grandmother, like so many women of her day, sewed, quilted and crocheted to decorate her home and clothe her family. My mom often told stories of her mom making sewing patterns out of newspaper and clothes from flour sacks. I still love a pretty flour sack!

While my mom did not inherit a desire to crochet, she did, however, become an accomplished seamstress. Clothes, home decor and wedding dresses are all in her sewing portfolio. And I am proud to say that at almost 85, she is still a professional seamstress. She has a thriving home decor sewing business that keeps her very busy.

I picked up the sewing mantle for a while, but eventually moved on to crochet then knitting and now spinning yarn and weaving fabric. Thanks to Pinterest, Instagram and the slow stitching movement I am rediscovering the joys of hand sewing. In addition to working on my quilt I am working on fabric collage.

Life truly is cyclical. We take who we are, what we experience and live our lives passing things along for the next generation to make it their own. The ultimate circle of life.

Have an awesome week. I’ll be at mom’s next week and won’t take the quilt with me but I’ll be back with something.


New Day, New Plan

The Quilt

I pulled my grandmother’s quilt down from the top shelf of the closet. It has been neatly folded and stored in a plastic container for many, many years. What I discovered changed my grand plan for the 100 Day Project.

Grandma Woodring’s Quilt

I was pleasantly surprised to discover the quilt is in really good shape. Considering its age and the use it has received during most of its life, it is in amazing shape. The binding around the edge is where it needs the most repair and I will certainly do that and share that here; however, there is not enough to do for one hundred days of exploration. So….I have punted.

Weaving Stories

I have changed my project to woven square stories using hand spun yarn. That, I will blog about on my business website Handspun Woolens.

So, what to do with this blog? I love the name. I love the possibilities. I have decided to embark on a journey to lovingly mend, patch and repair my grandmothers quilt and record the journey here.

Me with Grandma and Grandpa Woodring

I never really knew Willie Brooks Fryer. My family only made the journey back to Kentucky a couple of times before she passed. I was so young, my memories all come from stories and photos. I grew up hearing how much like her I am; I feel she is always with me, especially when I work with my hands.

I will leave you to ponder your thread – that thing that connects you to your past as well as the world around you.

– Until I see you tomorrow,


A Life Well Stitched

I am almost sixty two years old and for most of those years I have been in pursuit of the perfect life. I foolishly thought that once one reaches adulthood the angst of all that went before would be over. I was wrong.

I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and I feel as though I am running out of time. But I refuse to dwell on that and instead am living in dogged pursuit of that one thing I was born to do. And then I’m going to do it with all the gusto I can muster.

Externals and Internals

I suck at following through on almost anything. I have incredible intentions and then something new catches my eye and there I go, chasing a new, bright and shiny thing. One of the beautiful things about Instagram and other forms of social media is that I now know I am not alone. It can feel really lonely when I’m caught up in my little world thinking I am some kind of looser weirdo. But, in fact, I’m not a looser and I’m not really that weird. I’m just not as good at hiding all those imperfections as some people. What you see is what you get…but don’t blink. You might not recognize me when you open your eyes again.

Try Again

I have pledged to do the 100 Day Project. Apparently there are two and depending on if you click .com or .org you get different groups. I don’t know what the difference is except they are run by different people. I joined the .com group.

I’ve tried this before and “failed.” Failed only because I quit. I didn’t plan. I didn’t think things through. I jumped. I floundered. And then I quit. And I don’t even mind failing publicly. Just delete that Instagram account and move on. But, in the deep, dark recesses of my mind I know. Everyone else moves on with their life; who is going to remember an Instagram account that fell out of the bounds of their algorithm? No one.

This 100 Day Project begins on Wednesday. I have two full days to prepare. Of course, I am not doing things the way most do. I will not be making one hundred small pieces of art (although I am seriously tempted), no, I will be stitching and patching a quilt that was made by my grandmother some seventy or eighty years ago. I have never patched anything in my life and I am far from an accomplished seamstress. But I know how to make basic stitches; I am fascinated with the mindful stitching and visible mending trend; this is outside my normal wheelhouse, and each day I will record what I accomplished. A few minutes or several hours. Each day will be different and special. And I will record it all here. Every. Single. Day.

I promise to record the failures and the accomplishments. The only true failure is to quit and that is not acceptable. Some days the post might just be a picture. Other days I will feel quite verbose and run the risk of boring you to tears. But, this is not being done for you, the reader. It is being done for me. I hope that others will follow along and more importantly that whatever I glean from this process will be of benefit to those who journey with me.

Until Tomorrow,