I have enjoyed watching your show and reading your magazine. The ideas and inspirations are absolutely wonderful. I can't tell you how many times I have turned to your magazine to get inspiration for new projects, or gifts.
This hobby has been a godsend for me. First, I learned to sew in 2002 when my husband deployed overseas for a year. I decided if I couldn't sleep, I could learn to do something constructive. Well, I started and haven't stopped. In November 2006, again my husband was deployed; I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The diagnosis itself was devastating. By this time the disease was progressing very aggressively and I was already experiencing problems with my eyesight. This aspect of the disease terrified me. Many things that give me enjoyment require my eyes. I wanted to be able to see my children and husband, but I also wanted to be able to sew. My sewing and quilting provided me the escape from this horrible disease. Granted, I couldn't spend the non-stop hours in my sewing room, but I could still work on different projects.
It has now been four years since the initial diagnosis. My health isn't the greatest, but I still try to work on different projects. I am resigned that I am not able to work as quickly as I once did, and maybe the workmanship isn't ready for the judges, but I am able to create and enjoy. This is one area of my life that I try not to let the disease win.
A few years ago (before I was diagnosed), I remember watching one of your television episodes featuring the Cathedral Windows quilts and machine stitching. At the same time my great-aunt was also showing me the same technique. I love this pattern and made my first one back in 2004-2005 for a friend of the family. After making her quilt, my husband said that he wouldn't mind having one for us. The color style is a little different than that of the traditional Cathedral Windows, but it is a great stash buster! The second Cathedral Windows quilt I made was completed within 4 months (estimated 300 hours) and used only the fabric from my stash. Once completed, it contained approximately 70 yards of fabric, 625 background squares, and 1,250 windows. The size of the quilt is 119" x 119" and weighed in at 12 pounds!
I completed this quilt on St. Patrick's Day 2010 and it has been on my bed every day. What's the use in having a quilt if I can't use it?
You ladies have provided a great deal of enjoyment for me over the years, and I look forward to each and every new issue of the magazine. Again, thank you for sharing your project ideas and creative inspirations.