• Claudia Myers

Happy Belated Birthday!

I'm kinda old. In fact, pretty soon, I'm going to be really old, because it's going to be my birthday. Now, I'm not going to be one hundred and forty, or anything like that--although don't we all have days when we swear we came over on the Mayflower--and paddled all the way by ourselves?

So, the thing that happens to a lot of us when we get old--er, is that we think we know Everything. And, not only that, BUT, that we are entitled to tell this Everything to anyone within the sound of our creaky voices. In other words, we become insufferable, boring personages. Yammer, yammer, yammer.

Because I am basically a caring human being, I'm going to WRITE down my "know-it-allness" in this blog, rather than calling you up and haranguing you about it. You can stop reading anytime you want. See??? It won't be so bad. Here! Stay in the room! Pay attention! Sit up straight!

All right, now. I am going to tell you about a few "Truths" that I have learned along the way--mostly, they are the "Truths" that I can remember and I have put them in order of importance to me.

Here's Truth #1-not more than 1 hour after you finally find a brand of bra that fits you, that stays down around your midriff, rather than rolling up around your neck,-- That you have mastered the three-part closure of, it being designed by a panel of four registered sadists, even though it's right there in the front ! AND Said bra has made it through 2 wash cycles without shredding, pilling, splitting or losing itself in the wash cycle------it will occur to the company that manufactures this paragon of support equipment that they NEED to discontinue this bra, because someone didn't do the cost estimate correctly and they are losing money on it. Aha! You know what I'm talking about! I suppose the same could be said about your favorite brand of tighty-whities, but men just don't seem to get as worked up about things like that.

Speaking of tightie-whities, I'm going to veer off into the world of sexism, here and talk about Truth #2 and that is that--- whatever your partner is attempting to fix, they never start with the right tools. They will stand there holding two wires together, speaking through a mouth full of Phillips screws, saying "What did YOU do with the screwdriver??!". As if you had the sudden urge to drive them around the bend by hiding all the tools! So, quick as you can, you rush around locating what you think is just that right screwdriver, only to bring it back and find them standing there with the favorite one in their hot-handed fist. Every darn time! "Oh yeah, nevermind," they say. " It was in my back pocket all the time--ha ha ha! ".

AND why do they always pop their head through the door just as you're about to do something wrong--like leave the sharp knife in the sink full of water, where it will immediately get rusty and crumble away, right? Something you never, ever normally do. Or, with your head in the refrigerator, drinking the orange juice right from the plastic container, because you just didn't want to wash another glass. "Hi Honey, what are you doing?!" There they are!!!

So most of you know, by now, that I am a quilter. You may also know that when you win an award in the quilt world, the show organizers like to have

you stand by your quilt and talk to people. It's actually one of the most enjoyable things to do. You have just won a big award, probably with money attached, with the added bonus that it was for something you made---from scratch---all your own. You managed to get up on the stage to accept the check without falling down the steps, tripping over your skirt or going into shock--so far, so good. You are away from home at a quilt show, surrounded by all things quilty--your kind of stuff, among people who speak the same language--quiltspeak. And here you are, people taking your picture and acting like you might be royalty. Here are Marilyn Badger and I in front of our quilt, "Bodacious.", in Paducah, KY. You can tell by the expression on our faces that someone has just asked us a question we have no idea how to answer, can't you?

So----here's Truth #3-----THEEE very most BURNING question that most quilter or non-quilter people are just dying to find out is----HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU? If you tell them the truth, usually about 3 to six months, always they look shocked! Then they shrug their shoulders and say, "Well, I would never have the patience for that". As if they had big plans to start cutting, the day after tomorrow and now everything was all spoiled, because, Dang it! they just couldn't do it--- because they didn't -- have --the-- patience. Huh! Imagine that. What a good excuse!! Why didn't I think of that?

The other thing that people--- non-quilters, mostly, want to know is-----"What are you going to do with all that fabric?" I have several stock, smart-alek-y answers, and you are welcome to use any of them that you might need.

1. "I'm going to wallpaper my bathroom with it."

2. I heard there was going to be a shortage of blue fabric with orange and purple flowers and pink leaves on it, So I'm buying everything blue, orange, purple and pink, just in case.

3. I'm making curtains for Buckingham Palace.

4. "I have a sickness, a personality disorder, that requires me to buy at least 14 yards of quilting fabric everytime I go into a Quilt Shop". Okey, that last one is true.

#4 Truth

People always think someone else has discovered a better way to do something, especially if they are unhappy with the way they, personally, are handling this problem. So, when I give a talk, they always want to know--"How do you store your quilting supplies??"--fabric, books, notions, rulers, books, patterns, chocolate AND thread!! Because, of course we all have too much of all that stuff. That's part of being a quilter. We quilters love our fabric, love our patterns and books and LOVE OUR MACHINES, but up there, close to the top, we love our thread. We can talk thread for a reeeeally long time. So, here's what I always tell them:


ANSWER-There is no good way to store thread. Don't even get yourself worked up about it.


1. If you store it carefully away in a plastic container, by the type of thread--poly wrapped cotton, cotton wrapped poly, poly wrapped poly or, YES! plain cotton--but is that 60 weight, 50 weight or 20 weight topstitch?? Yes, it's all very tidy BUT you can’t see what colors you have and

you have to open every single box before you find the one you want.

2. If you mark the outside of the container with what color thread is in there, you will, ALWAYS get lazy and put every one you just used, back in the top box, until it’s crammed full and you can’t find anything----AGAIN.

3. If you have it up on thread racks on the wall, you can see it fine--and it looks pretty--but the light will eventually weaken it or fade it. But, you won't know that until you've pieced an entire quilt with it and you wonder why the seams are coming apart.

4. Some people put it in the freezer, BUT, then where do they put their ice cream???

5. If you put it into closed drawers, it immediately wrestles around, getting its’ ends all tangled up, so you have an enormous wad of blue, purple, mauve, puce and aubergine. You don't believe me? I’ve HEARD it—I KNOW what it’s doing in there.

6. You can put those little thread sweaters on each and every spool, but then you wouldn’t have time to quilt.

7. You could scotch tape the ends or wrap a rubber band around the spool, catching the tail end underneath. But--the ends know how to escape from zip ties, why would scotch tape or rubber bands even slow them down?

You can try all of those and more. You will still wind up with a wad of blue, purple, mauve, puce and aubergine the next time you are looking for pink.

AND SO--I wish you Good luck with any of those. Do with it whatever makes you happy. It won't make a bit of difference.

That’s all I got about thread. It's hopeless, period. That was Truth #4--not much help, was it?.

Here's #5--short and sweet, no question about it . The very minute you lay your exhausted head down to take a nap, the new puppy will steal and run away with your new glasses. And chew them to bits and pieces.

So that when you take the pitiful little clumps of metal and plastic into the Optical Shop to beg forgiveness for being so thoughtless and un-caring about your precious eyewear, they look at you like you are a serial troublemaker at the very least and probably were snoring drunk on the couch, at the worst. You can even show them pictures of how cute this puppy is and talk about how smart this puppy is--nevermind--no sympathy. But I'll bet they laugh themselves goofy, when they go into the back room! Don't even get me started on Hearing Aids. Puppies LOVE Hearing Aids.

#6 has to do with the strange world of finding and selling antiques, collectibles or, ooookay--junk. And by all rights, should have several chapters all by itself.

I have been an antique collector for most of my adult life, but I've been an antique dealer for only about the last ten. But ten years, c'mon! You'd think I would learn that when someone comes into the shop looking for "wall pockets" and doesn't find what they want, you absolutely SHOULD NOT rush home to buy 6 of them online, because NO ONE will ever be looking for them again. How many times am I going to do that?

Or, you try to "class up" your booth by hanging the copy of the big Sarah Bernhardt poster that looks like your mother, way up high so you practically need the fire department to get it down. Yes, you will find that the customers are going to ignore all the other artwork you have to offer and demand to know why that one is not for sale???? Of course.

Or you spend 20 minutes telling the sweet-looking, elderly lady all about the Scandinavian glass she seemed interested in, only to have her say "oh, my dear, I have one just like it. I just wanted to know how much it is worth." Or--"You know I'm trying to get rid of all my stuff. I really am not buying anything, anymore."

Oh well, it was nice talking to her, anyway. I love sweet-looking elderly ladies. As I said in the beginning, I am on my way to becoming one. Or maybe not.

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