Monday, January 16, 2017

2017

Beginning of the new year has always made me wonder about time. How I measure it, how I use it and how I remember it. Year 2016 brought so many changes, series of exciting events and unfortunate events, some until the last day of the year and also at the beginning of this year. 

I have missed blogging this past year. Blogging keeps me on track, writing keeps in line with my thoughts and creative process. Writing a blog post most often worked as soul searching. I wrote most when I felt connected with my friends in this blogsphere. It also kept things exciting as I shared stories of my life, my garden and occasionally my family and kitchen. 

In 2016 I wrote very little on this blog due to time constraints and found myself relying a lot more on Instagram and Facebook.  

Speaking of Facebook, recently someone used my picture for promoting her website. I was first puzzled, upset and disappointed on why a quilter would choose not to use her own image for her business. I sent her a message and she removed it instantly but it left me sad for her. Why would she not be proud enough of her own work to use as new year's greetings to sell her website? It prompted me to write on my fb page this message - Be proud of your own work because if you wouldn't, nobody else will.

And that brings me back to blogging. I was proud of writing my stories on my blog. I took a lot of time taking pictures and making sure that work I was doing was inspiring at least some people out there. As I continue to teach, I should be here sharing my stories about my travels and teaching.. but I am not. Why? I wondered. I have searched answers for this questions many times in the past. 

Some of which are -
Not enough time - This is true
I am not making any new quilts - True, just starting them
Just starting a project and not finishing it - It takes a long time for one to finish, we know that.
Who wants to know about three blocks I made last week? Hmm..
Who cares about who I meet and what I am doing next? Hmm..

I needed to do a lot of soul searching. I am no different from that girl who used my picture. I should be proud of what I do. It is no longer just a hobby but also a job. Teaching at various guilds and organizations, giving talk about my personal story as a quilter is something to be proud of. Don't get me wrong, I am very proud but it feels too much of bragging when I talk about it here. 

You see, I had always used this space as a meeting and gathering place, a place for friendships to grow and ideas to share. This is where I found friends from around the world, with whom I am still connected to. So I am not being true to myself if I don't stay true to this space. 

So here I am..
Sharing my stories once again.

I started this quilt almost two years ago. I wanted a different version of Lattice Quilt for my collection. One that would tell my story. Colors were inspired from the book, Unconventional and Unexpected Quilts. The only person I shared the picture of this quilt was with my friend Kate, who needed some colorful distraction and inspiration. I shared a picture in a private message to her, I wanted to have it finished for a magazine but it was never picked up (talk about feeling rejected). 

Kate and I talked about this quilt and related topic for a while on messenger (I had forgotten about that day until this moment as I write this). The top stayed in the pile for a long time until I pulled it out this past November just before leaving for India on a family emergency. My mom suffered from a stroke in mid October and I had planned to stay with her for a month to help with her recovery. At very last minute, on the morning of my flight, I decided to baste it and take along with me.

This quilt has recorded every conversation I had with my mom. Time I spent with her as well as time I spent alone inside my head, all the worries and frustrations that come along taking care of a loved one is well documented. 

My mom is doing well with her recovery. I am thankful for the time I have had the chance to spend with her in India.

You see, time can be measured in so many ways. I measure it in stitches, sometime perfectly and other times not so much.


I do know one thing; this right here and right now is time well spent. 

Happy New Year!
Sujata

67 comments:

  1. Beautiful. How I love reading your thoughts, sharing in your journey. We're all on a journey, together. I hope you will continue to share. Sorry to hear about your mother, sending love and healing her direction! And to you too. You sound a little sad, a bit off course perhaps? Keep stitching, it's something that helps us feel grounded during these times. xo

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    1. Thank you, Chris! I hope to continue on this path. I already feel so much lighter having written this post. I would describe my tone more of a void than sad. Definitely off course. I have missed this platform for sure. Keeping it going is my goal. I may post less on other social media and more here. There is only so much one can try to do and achieve. xo

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  2. I love your stories. I love when you share process and thinking even if it is just a couple of blocks. It helps me enormously when I can see what is in someone's head get worked out. It is a hard process and I am grateful when you document it. My blog keeps me going and pushing/pursuing the process of creating.

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    1. Hi Linda,
      You are right. It is the process that's more important. I remember the thrilling feeling of sharing new combination, a pattern and how exciting it was to share it all. It is actually easier now that i can post pictures directly from my phone. Writing should come naturally and hopefully it will with this renewed interest. Thank you so much for your sweet words. They mean a lot to me!

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  3. I always enjoy seeing a few blocks someone has made. It is color combinations and line and design even at that point. Every post doesn't have to be a finished product. If that is the case I wouldn't be posting every day and I would miss posting SO MUCH. I'm glad to see you back.

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    1. That's is so true, Wanda! I have always loved your dedication to not only your blog but what it brings to the readers as wells as yourself. I remember asking you long time ago how you manage to post every day. Your simple answer is still in my head. "You will miss it" is what you had said. You have been so true to the creative process of quilting. I consider my hand quilting similar to posting blocks. After all, quilting is all about one block at a time. Here we are! You have made me realize how much I have missed these conversations!

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  4. Always good to see a blog post from you. Happy New Year!

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    1. This really feels like a new chapter of my blogging life. Thanks for being there all this time!

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  5. I am also so happy to see you on the blog again! It is a place that we can share the full stories, unlike FB and IG. Taking the time to write does help us put everything in perspective. This is a beautiful, contemplative post. AND it's a beautiful quilt! The stories that a stitched in are so precious.

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    1. Yes, LeeAnn!

      It's going to be all about slow stitching, process, travels and some family and friends stories.. I am finally feeling my space around me for what it is. I am energized and inspired too! So funny it seems as if I had forgotten how much I love writing and sharing stories.

      Hugs,
      Sujata

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  6. I'm so glad your mother is recovering. This is the time of our lives when family emergencies arise and seem to be severe. Aren't we fortunate to be able to drop everything at a moment's notice and help our families. Not everyone has that luxury.
    This is also the time of year to consider our priorities. I decided to remove myself from most social media and do not miss it at all. I am fighting "the rush" to produce but like the conversations on blogs. Still trying to sort out a frequency and amount model.
    So glad you're back!

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    1. Thanks, Ann!
      You couldn't be further from the truth. I do feel privileged to be able to pick up and go. How much life has changed. There were some years of my life I could not do that.. kids, wrong timing of things, money.. so many factors were to considered.
      as far as social media, I may just lay off one or the other for a while. I will try not to repeat the stories and keep them interesting for myself. When they get uninteresting.. I will let go. It is all about having fun. Got to keep it just that.

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  7. Sujata, I love the stories, but don't sell short the process. There is something magical about seeing the process of another person....what's the same, what's different, how problems are solved. That said, I know how much work blogging can take and sometimes IG is easier for that.

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    1. Hi Ella,
      There is no chance of me selling short on process. It is what i like the most about a quilt.. all the way to the last stitch of binding. I love sharing my thoughts over the process. I guess I did not mean how I sounded when I wrote about sharing of the blocks..I have shared few patterns in the past hoping to get people inspired and I am ready to do that all over again. Thank you for following this blog even when it stayed sleepy for such a long time! xo

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  8. I read your blog and love progress small or big. Blocks can trigger a memory or spark an idea. So don't stop. You inspire me.

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    1. It means a lot to me to know that you are inspired by this blog. In many ways, this community of us bloggers have made quilt making process so much fun! Let's continue that.
      xo

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  9. I hope mum continues to improve. I'm very glad you're back here on your blog, I've missed your posts. I very much enjoy seeing whatever someone has been working on, big projects and small, small incomplete ideas, small blocks that over time add up. I love the realism of it! I like the tiny nugget of inspiration it can give, I follow lots of blogs, just a small update every few days is just lovely for me! Today I got three colours of Kraft-tex delivered, I've googled and found a blog/vlog about soaking and scrunching it, I'll watch it then I'm excited to dive into some kraft-tex projects:) I'm also trying to make a yoyo a day for 100 days! And today I've seen up two stockings from sew fresh quilts quilt along!! All ideas from blogs, all inspiration from blogs. They all mean a lot to me! I've got three little kids and my sewing time is often small, but I can read blogs and dream big!! X

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    1. First of all, thank you for following what I call my blog - A sleepy blog. I am inspired by your comment on all the inspirations and projects you have found to work on. I couldn't agree with you more,we all need a little push here and there and you never know what it may lead to. I have three kids too and all grown up but still when they are home visiting, I try to do as little of sewing as possible. My time with them is as precious as my sewing.
      Sounds like you are continuing your creative journey to the fullest. Carry on my friend and I will too! xo

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  10. I am intrigued by how much emphasis we put on a finish. I know my blog gets more followers for a finale than a process...but I love those as much, or maybe more. Granted, there are probably quilters who can go A to B.... but my quilts usually have far more interesing twists and turns.

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    1. It has never been about the finish for me until I take that last stitch. That last stitch is also about that last crumb on the cake platter or last grain on the most delicious preparation on the plate. I too have gotten far more interest on blocks and process than the finished quilts. I am glad to hear everyone's voice here. Blogging is all about the process. If we were to only post finished projects, we would have to stick to a private online galleries. I agree with you on sharing the process. Nothing like it.

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  11. Sujata,I love your blog and your works! I feel you are so "real"! Everytime I see something you make and it can be "only" one block,it gives me for some reason(I can't explain)so much energy!I am not living in the same country, I am not living in a big city,quite often I feel alone and when I read your blog or fb about the meetings/teaching there I feel I breath!Thank you! x Anneli

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    1. Dear Anneli, You have made me realize how important it is to continue to tell the stories through fabric and stitches. I think this is one medium where conversations continue on. It is the old fashion way of this new thing we call social media. Still keeps everyone connected on much personal level. I am so thankful for this conversation and your friendship. You were the first one who made a quilt from my book, I will never forget that. Keep on sewing my friend. You are not in a corner. Here is a place for meeting and gathering. xo

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  12. Love the quilt. I would like to do more improv quilts although I find it easier to make a traditional design I want to try more. Greetings

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    1. Thank you! I used to be a traditional quilter and I still consider myself one. I have an interesting relationship with my quilting process.. I like everything simple and effortless. Everything I do has to be fun otherwise it is useless. Do what you love. Quilting takes a long time, I choose my projects with that in mind.

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  13. Sujata it's wonderful to see you back!! Pleased to hear your Mom is making good progress now. I have always enjoyed your blog posts, watching the progress of your beautiful quilts whether two or three blocks, looking at your quilting and of course learning about your inspiration for a particular quilt or hearing about your travels and stories. I'm looking forward to more posts!

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    1. Maureen,
      You all must be wondering where have I been!It sure seems like the longest break from blogging. I may have to find someway to structure my time. Thank you so much for being a constant support. You will definitely hear more about all of the above! Hugs

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  14. So happy to see you blogging again. I haven't blogged in over a year--2016 being a very difficult year with many losses for me. The first step is always the hardest...but you inspire me to take it. I am curious about the fiber balls in your last picture. What are they? Did you make them?

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    1. Dear Hilda,
      I am so sorry to hear about your losses. Yes, it was that kind of year for me too. It takes a lot of energy to push all that away, for me I needed this time and let it be the easiest transition. Up until yesterday afternoon, I didn't even think I would write a post. But there has to be something inside me telling, I needed to reach out and stay in touch with my peers. Here I am, sharing all my inner thoughts. I hope it gets better for you as well.

      Blogging has become an integral part of quilting for those of us who do. Don't give it up, take time and when you are ready.. It is going to happen.
      Hugs

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  15. Beautiful and honest thoughts and feelings. I really like this quilt presented in diagonal. I can't seem to slow down and capture time by hand quilting but I'm trying in other ways.

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    1. Hi Christine,
      Honesty and feelings- I can't seem to write without that. Thank you for being here, always! That quilt is made for a diagonal display. I am really excited because this is one quilt that actually will fit on one of the walls in this house! You are capturing your time in so many ways! I am looking forward to hearing more about your quilts at the art studios and galleries.

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  16. Oh Sujata, this post is SO timely for me and I think many Bloggers out there. My quilt was rejected for the upcoming AQS Lancaster show and I began to have feelings of doubt of my quilting worth. I posted my feelings and somehow I felt better. By encouraging others to get out there and enter your quilts and share with the world, and don't let a few minor setbacks of a few rejections stop you. We want to see and hear about ALL your work. I enjoy your posts so much and would be sad to see you stop just because you think we are not interested in your "3 little blocks". It is the process of quilting that we are (at least I am) interested in. I love to hear what people were thinking when the worked on their quilts. It is scary sometimes what our quilts know about us. Please continue to share you work and your feelings as you journey through life. Brag and be proud. I for one am very interested in hearing about it. And, I am happy to hear your mother is doing well. Enjoy the day!

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    1. Hi Wendy,
      I need to read your post. I have had few rejections in my recent years. No worries there.. I think we need to remember, we are making these for ourselves first and then everyone else to see. By the time I complete a quilt, I am happy enough. Yes, it is important to show our quilts and also get acknowledged at the same time by others but by no means it should dictate our quilting life.
      Thank you so much for your support. I will continue on this path of sharing, bragging and showing and telling. I have shared this before how difficult it was to keep everything hidden when I was writing the book. No MORE!

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  17. P.S. And, if you can find a way to add more time in the day, PLEASE share that with the rest of us! Wink!

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    1. Ha...Ha! Go to bed early and wake up early. I find I am more productive in the early hours of the day!

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  18. SO pleased to discover your post here -- I, too, have struggled with the multiple platforms but know in my heart that blogging is my #1 because it allows us to share stories as well as our process. Your words and images here always warm my heart and I'm thrilled that you want to spend more time blogging. Sending all sorts of healing hugs for your dear mother (I had a stroke at 37 and the prayers and well wishes from so many absolutely helped me with my recovery). In so many ways, welcome home!

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    1. You know, I discovered that I wasn't spending lesser time on other platforms either. In fact, it is sometimes more distracting than sitting at the desk for half an hour or so and turn off everything for rest of the day. Let's see how structured I can stay with this.
      I did not know about your stroke! Wow! That has to be so scary at such a young age! Thank goodness for all the love around you!
      Thank you for your support through and through and also your friendship. xo
      P.S.I hope to see you again at some point.

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  19. I'm glad you're back; I miss your voice (quilts, colors, designs, etc.) when it's not here but I also want to affirm the value of taking time for family and for tending to your own needs for rest and recovery when going through demanding things - like caring for a parent with a serious health condition. There's more to quilting than finishing... the process tells it's own story along the way, a story very much worth sharing as time and resources permit.

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    1. Hi Kimberly,
      You are speaking my heart, thank you for that! This past year was definitely challenging to balance it all. I am glad I am back here and hope to continue as time permits.

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  20. Your blog has always been one of my favourites so I'm pleased that you'll be writing again. You've raised so many interesting points in this post -people using others photos, time management, those feelings of not wanting to brag and those of "Is anyone interested?".
    I love you're beautiful quilt and the wonderful story stitched into it.

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    1. Dear Rachael,

      When questions arise, they are worth addressing because you never know what answers you will find. As I was writing this post, it already made clear that I need to continue writing. It felt so good to write after all these months. It did more good to let it out.I took a sigh of relief that my silence is broken. xo

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  21. I love your blog, and have missed you. Reading the blog is almost as calming to me as being with you in person. Looking forward to seeing you in May in WA, and at Sisters in July. Hugs

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    1. Thank you, Dorothy!
      I am so happy to know that you will be at Port Gamble and Sisters! See you soon my friend!
      Sujata

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  22. So glad to hear your voice in this space again... It is a privilege to share part of this journey with you.

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    1. Hi Kathleen,

      I hope to continue writing, with you and many others in mind. It has helped me a lot to get this much out of my chest. Now the new chapter begins. Thank you for being here! xo

      Sujata

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  23. Dear Sujata I'm so glad you are back I'm only on Facebook and email. I love reading your posts, your lovely colourful blocks, one, three, five, an unfinished or finished quilt it does not matter, all your work inspire me, make me want to do the same, I'm always learning something from your posts. I'm a very slow quilter, I have a lot of UFO's. Working four days a week don't always help. I love your hand quilting, it is on my list to start hand quilting this year. I'm Happy to hear your Mum is doing well and for the time that you spend with her, always precious times. Looking forward to more of you posts. Christa from Australia.

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    1. Dear Christa,

      Thanks for your generous comments. And so happy to know you are also a slow quilter. I would love to see youe hand quilted projects. I have a feeling this year is going to be of lots of UFOs for me as well. My head is full of ideas and not enough time. 2017 schedule is full of travels but I sure am going to have those mini projects inserted in between those dates. I look forward to continue these conversations.

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  24. Time...hmmm...after the death of my husband and mother...the care giving of my three grandchildren....etc of family trauma and crisis..I have been saved by quilting and by stories..sharing my stories on my blog and the reading of the stories of others. The sharing of stories is the guts of life..We learn from each other and we learn to love each other When ALS stole my husband, you sent me a lovely note. I was grateful. Was that more important that you lifting me up with one of your beautiful quilts...I do not know. I like both. For me, blogging is not just about sharing a pretty picture, it is about sharing this life of ours. I would think that we are all beyond the sharing of the same log cabin, different colors. We are sharing process, color combinations, our passion, and our lives. When you started your other blog, I understood that it was about you inviting us into your living room and visa versa. But it turned out to be about how we all can do your creative work, instead of our own. No criticism here...just that I was hungry for stories of everyone., including me, with you. I think that was not your intention, but the readers. No matter how famous you are, or how many books you publish, if quilting is not about your own pleasure, you are lost....speaking for myself. Instagram will never, for me ...take the place of a blog. As my quilting life was combined with our family crisis, part of it became grief work. It is my blog. the people who have stayed with me are so priceless. I am delighted to see you back.

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    1. Dear Diane,
      You are right! It is the stories we share on the blog that makes us get to know each other and feel connected. I have read many of your stories, I admire your courage and compassion. You have made it clear to me, it's this community that matters. My life after the book got little busy, move made it even trickier to continue making quilts. When there is a gap, sometimes it is hard to come back. I have known many bloggers who stopped writing for several different reasons. I am just not ready to stop all together. I just need to get this "I hope I am not bragging and bothering" out of my head and share everything good and bad that is happening in my life. Thank you for making me see the truth.

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  25. Beautiful blog post, beautiful quilts and beautiful smiles.

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    1. Thank you Isabella, for your sweet words.

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  26. I love seeing this blog post from you. A blog is also a great way to document your life journey.
    As far as quilts, mine are humble and I put it right out there. Doesn't mean I always like them.
    BTW, My niece LOVES the windmill quilt as I knew she would.
    Prayers for your mum.

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    1. Hi Lori,
      My journey, that's how this blog started out and stayed as a journal for a long time. I just felt I wasn't progressing in making actual quilts for past couple of years and without that, it was hard to keep up with the blog. By the way, your quilts are far from humble. They are heirlooms in my eyes. Glad your niece loved the quilt. Why wouldn't she? You made it with so much love! xo

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  27. Always such a pleasure to see your quilts! Love your color usage so much and am still enjoying your book too. It's been a great intro. into Improv. for me.:)

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    1. Hi Audrey,
      Thank you for your support, using the book as a guide and actually talking about it on your blog. I hope to continue using the technique from the book for traditionally modern quilts.

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  28. Good to have you back. My mother is 94 but lives nearby. I cannot imagine the stress of worrying about your mother half a world away. I am sure your presence made a difference in her recovery.

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    1. This is the first ever emergency we went through as a family. I was glad to be able to go and spend time with her. Living in the same town as my family seems just a dream. I do have my son living in the area now. Let's hope that continues.
      :)

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  29. I so appreciate your thoughts and feelings shared in this post. Quilts connect people, maybe more deeply than any other craft, and so the stories are profoundly important. Thank you for the reminder, and for sharing news of your mom. So glad she is better. I've enjoyed seeing glimpses of India at your IG feed. The quilt is gorgeous, as ever. I consistently turn to your creations for inspiration. What you say about blogging resonates for me too, because life is so busy, even chaotic it seems, and centering in this passionate work is essential for staying whole, free, happy.

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    1. Hi Ruth,

      Quilting has made me go through the most difficult times in my life. Happy or sad, I am always documenting my life's stories in my quilts. Sometimes it is hard to share it all with others but this has also kept me socially active. It is far too easy to isolate ourselves if we are not watching, It is that addictive. I need to remind myself to take a break every once in a while and look up and away from the projects.

      I love your quilts. I think they are so peaceful and joyous!

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  30. like all the other commenters, I'm so happy to see a new blog post from you and commitment to continuing. everything you post, no matter the subject or length, adds value to our lives. even though blogs require more thought and time than FB and instagram, I know your friends and followers appreciate the commitment. if it wasn't for your blog, we wouldn't know each other! looking forward to seeing you soon! xo

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    1. and, if it wasn't for that, I would have never met you too.. Looking forward to visiting again and teaching classes in Ithaca.
      xo

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  31. I love reading blog posts but understand the pull of Instagram. Glad you will be writing again! That quilt is an inspiration for me. I saved it and the one from Riderick's book and I am going to make it. The colors are perfect. Love your stitching!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you share it on Instagram when you work on your quilt. I am sure Roderick would love to see it too! That stitching keeps me occupied when I am not busy with the sewing machine. :)

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  32. Love ❤️ you girl. You inspire all your of us and I love seeing pictures of you quilting. You may think it's boring but it reminds me to do it! 😘😘

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    1. Ruth!!!
      Thank you for your constant support! it means a lot to me! Are you planning for that cruise yet? ;)

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  33. Please keep up your blog - I like to hear about work in progress not just completed projects. I have your book and love it/
    .

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    1. Thank you! I love it when someone says they have my book or when I see one of the quilts inspired from my book. Today seems like a day for sewing.. Hopefully I will be back with a post.

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  34. Happy New Year Sujata!
    How wonderful to see you back! It has been a long time since I visited you. I was often in blog breaks.
    Glad your mother is recovering. My mother who lives in Tokyo has flu, and now stays in a hospital,thanks to doctor's well care,she is recovering. I hope your 2017 will be full of happiness.

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I appreciate you taking the time to read my posts. I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you!