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Strategies for Coping with Post- International Quilt Festival Show Blues & Free Fabric

13 Nov 2010

It’s that time of year again. Winter is coming, and although I’m in a new locale where all my neighbors promise me winter in Boulder really isn’t that bad, I still worry I’ll go down the rabbit hole so to speak. After all, I was only home for one day when the snow began to settle in the side yard, and it was dark by 4:30.

Maybe you read this old blog post where I discussed my issue with winter and PPQSD (Post Partum Quilt Show Disorder) that I experience at the close of the Houston show every year. If you’re leery like me about winter and need a little inspiration or advice to prepare, I offer the following:

1. Get back in the saddle again (So to speak)

 Was there something you did as a kid that you’ve been wanting to pick up again? Maybe pick up watercolors? Assemble a garage band? I’ve wanted to ride again for more than two decades and I’m finally in a place in my life where I can do this once in a while when I’m not traveling or meeting a deadline. There is no happier site in my home than the downstairs closet where my hard hat and half chaps reside. And on top of that horse, my mind goes blessedly quiet, and the only thing I’m focused on is staying in that saddle (and not breaking any bones).

2. Offer to make a quilt for that modest someone in your life.

My new next door neighbor, fellow animal lover with two black labs, saw my pet portraits of my animals in my home office, and I could tell he wanted one done of his dogs. I offered to make a couple of portraits of his labs, and it was obvious this thrilled him. It feels gratifying to do this, and it will only take a weekend afternoon (...but he doesn’t have to know that).

3. Need a laugh? Try reading your local police blotter.

I get my Stow paper sent every couple of weeks to my Boulder stead and find it pretty funny for the most part. You’re going to love this entry:
Thursday, October 28, 2010
A caller from Pomposittticut Street reported that her three pigs were missing. A second caller reported that there were pigs in her backyard, possibly building homes of hay, sticks, and bricks. The owner was notified and was reunited with her animals.

I can’t make this stuff up.

4. Read a romance novel.
I read everything under the sun, but when I start to feel like I’m getting in the dumps I pull out a novel with strong romantic elements. If you like banter and good dialogue, I have a number of favorites but if you need something that will pull you out of the dumps quickly, might I suggest my top three reads: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase, Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale, or the most hysterical novel ever: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie (who, by the way, is a New York Times best-selling novelist and collage artist that has been featured in Cloth Paper Scissors).

5. Get a new studio buddy to join you in your studio adventures

Meet my new neighbor, Sophie Rubin, daughter of Luana Rubin of fame. She lives fairly close to me, and Luana promised that I could borrow Sophie now and then for my “kid fix.” I think our first activity will be gelatin monoprinting. Messy and spontaneous!

5. Plan a small, quilt chick retreat at your place during Superbowl weekend.

I did this a couple years ago, had a ball, learned some new techniques from dear friends, and looking forward to organizing again.

6. Leaf through old photos of good times at a quilt show.

I love this photo…

(Check out Jamie Fingal's blog for more photos.)

 It was taken at Gala on the Green (or Gala in the Ballroom due to cold weather).  The band played a slow song, and we all laughed and thought, “Why are they playing this when this entire room is comprised of women? What are we gonna do? Slow dance with each other?!” So we took it upon ourselves to do exactly that and slow dance like silly souls in the back of the room. It is one of my best/silliest memories of this show.

So tell me what YOU do to get through winter (quilt or non-quilt related), and you may be in the running for the following fat stash of fabric from Riley Blake! I'll draw Tuesday morning.

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coollabtech1 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 4:56 PM

I live in Winnipeg Canada where it sometimes gets to -40 degrees in the winter so it is absolutely essential to have something to get through the winter. Mostly I plan what quilt activity I can do in the other 3 seasons- ie Quilt Festival in the Spring or dream deeply about Quilt Festival in Houston.  Imagining the different workshops available, looking up hotel and air fare options and counting pennies to get me there is a great way to forget the winter conditions. The Riley Blake fabric stash is nice and summery so working with that would be a great winter-buster.

DebHensel wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 4:58 PM

After all the Christmas projects are done, I have scraps. LOTS of scraps! Nothing helps get me through the dark days like pulling out all the bright batiks used over the summer, the oranges and golds used for Halloween, and the reds and greens of Christmas. I spend an afternoon sorting for all the truly re-usable bits, put some smaller bits away for spring (gotta help those birds feather their nests in March), and then I cut strips and squares for "potluck" projects. Music or an old favorite movie in the background helps the process.

jennifer1994 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:03 PM

I actually gather all my Ouilting Arts and Cloth,Paper,Scissors Magazines and some of my books . I spread them all around me and I have lots of colorful fabric nearby so I can browse thru it all!!!  I have S.A.D. and the winter months can give me the blahs!

KarenF25 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:03 PM

If anything I guess I'm suffering from PIDGTGIQFS (Post I Didn't Get To Go to IQF Syndrome), but in spite of not being a big fan of winter I am hoping for snow this year so I can snow dye again! We don't get much where I live, but last year we had snow twice and I had a blast using it to dye with.

To get through winter I hole up in the studio and create. And I highly recommend hot-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies on occasion... :)

scutso wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:05 PM

I love sitting in the hot tub, during the dark, rainy winters in Eugene, Oregon, watching the deer wander thru the yard.

LoriF@13 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:15 PM

I'm in the Toronto area, and happily although we do get a lot of snow some years, we also have a lot of bright sunny days. I make SURE on those days that I get out into the sunshine to take some photographs (to use as inspiration for quilting and multi-media jewelry) and enjoy the day. On the ones when it isn't so nice....NOTHING is better on a snowy day than a quilt mag like Quilting Arts to flip through in front of the fireplace while enjoying a chai tea latte or a hot chocolate.

Saltlakemom wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:16 PM

After living in Las Vegas for almost 20 years, we moved to Salt Lake City, UT 8 years ago.  At first the snow was exciting, but after the first few snows that first year, I had a BAD case of cabin fever.  So I decided, since we probably wouldn't be moving for many years, I HAD to embrace the snow.  We went on several "winter outings" with a group called SPLORE, who plans outdoor recreational activities for people with disabilities (my son has autism).  We went snow shoeing, nordic skiing, and took a 3-day trip to Wyoming to go dog sledding.  Now I look forward to "playing" in the snow.  I even own my own pair of snow shoes now!

on 13 Nov 2010 5:21 PM

Ah Winter.

I know it sounds crazy but:

I actually look forward to January & February & March  because no one interrupts me so I can go down to the studio and create  to my hearts content.

Hot chocolate - home made bread-hot soup  and a good book  are good wintertime  fun.

Than there is snow dyeing- there is always  a good use for that white stuff.

Best of all waking up on a  really cold morning and snuggling under the blankets and snoozing longer.

Bring it on I am ready.

tristanrobin wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:21 PM

The winter is when I *do* get into the most quiltmaking. I love sitting at my machine, surrounded by mounds of fabrics, blocks being sewn together over my lap, and watching the icy, cutting, New England winter winds blowing outside the winter.

It reminds me that winter is the time for reflection, appreciation, gratitude - and art!

... well - and chocolate

on 13 Nov 2010 5:27 PM

Ohhhh during the winter, besides curling under a heirloom quilt and reading some awesome book, I love to oogle fabric...just find my faves and then oogle it some more!! nothing better than fabric to keep me warm in the winter!!!

dzsmimma wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:33 PM

Winter is a great time to catch up on those promised projects, the ones that friends and family have been bugging for (sometimes for years!).  I usually get 2 or 3 done during winter, and always in bright colors to brighten up the dark, dreary days.  Its also a great time to do volunteer projects.  Nothing like helping out someone else to warm the heart on a cold day!

rteest42 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:34 PM

What do I do to get thru winter? I HOPE for a good old fashioned white out. I would love for a 6-8 inch snowfall ON my day off, thanks...Then I get up, go out and shoot photos and have hot chocolate...

Usually, happens ONE day, at most. Here in VA, I measure snow by time on the ground, not inches. But to get thru winter at all, cocoa, piles of books, blankets to burrow under and three cats to warm your legs are all helpful!

(Sophie has gotten SO big!!!!)

GayleMcKay wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:38 PM

I live in Western Pennsylvania, right on the edge of the snowbelt.  Since I am not a fan of winter either, I have lots of coping strategies.  Here are my top 10.

1.  Send Steve to grocery store when roads have snow on them, instead of me.  It saves my sanity and probably some lives.

2.  Plan and cut out a project in November (usually Thanksgiving weekend) that is a time consuming, interesting, difficult quilt.  

3.  Declare "jammie days".  Often.

4.  Take photos of the birds and animals that I can see out my windows.

5.  Snow dying fabric.


7.  Make lots of meals in the oven or crockpot so it gives me more sewing time.

8.  Buy frozen bread dough to pull out and bake during the really awful days.  Love the smell of bread baking!

9.  Take an online class.

10.  And my newest strategy is that I plan on cutting up lots of my scraps with my GO! cutter so that I can make quilts for charity.

wbmjam wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:50 PM

I look forward to the quiet months after Christmas.  Life slows down enough to actually finish a few projects.  

redwat wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:50 PM

I love pulling out all my magizines that I havent had a chance to look at all summer. I look for inspiration and save photos and articles.I organize my own photos too. Keeping busy with sewing and going to quilt classes are great. We have long gloomy winters in the Buffalo area so I need lots to keep me busy!

Shady wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:54 PM

I am not really a fan of the cold winter weather (esp. since I have a job where I have to work outside in it every day), so I tend to hole-up indoors and "play" in my nice warm sewing room.  :)  However, I do like to go outside on sunny/warmer days and take LOTS of photos - especially just after a fresh snow or ice storm!  :)

Susan A2 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:56 PM

I get through out long winters by baking something yummy on 'snow days' and by getting at all those sewing projects that are left over from the summer.

Skye Daniels wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:57 PM

My favorite winter activity is soup-making & piecing. So many soups to be made: chowders, vegetable, chicken, broths...Put on a pot & go grab a UFO that needs some piecing & plug away. By the time I get to the binding, I've gone through a few different pots of soup & feel a great sense of accomplishment!

Imaqltr wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:57 PM

Last winter I did Zentangles to help cope with being housebound by snow in the south.  The Zentangles have proven to calm me as well as serve as testing ground for machine quilting designs.  

Imaqltr wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 5:58 PM

Last winter I did Zentangles to help cope with being housebound by snow in the south.  The Zentangles have proven to calm me as well as serve as testing ground for machine quilting designs.  

AnnieSky wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 6:08 PM

Up here in New Hampshire we get some pretty cold, snowy winters.  It's a good time to catch up on my hand work in front of the fire with good music and my faithful canine snuggled up to me!

lois johnsen wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 6:10 PM

I love winter... I work in a quilt shop and when the snow flies, the boss calls off work and I get a paid snow day !!  Guess what I do then?  Sew, sew and sew some more.... Yay

on 13 Nov 2010 6:29 PM

1.  I make a lot of hot soups. Slow cookers are the toss in the ingredients, go to the sewing room and dinner (sometimes lunch, too) is ready.

2. I subscribe to Coastal Living Magazine. When I need a beach fix, I open the magazine.

3. My fabric stash, and Quilting Arts Magzine are my inspiration to try new things. I keep my projects small (SAS) and I use bright, whimsical fabrics.

4. I try to get some exercise, as it's so easy to want to crawl into bed as soon as it gets dark.  If I get in a good brisk walk, it's not so bad.

Kater-Tot wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 6:38 PM

Being in Chelmsford, MA, you know the snow and ice and cold that goes on here...........honestly, I am happy if I can drive on the roads safely AND we don't lose our power.  The rest of the cold days are seemingly 'ok'.  

I usually bake when I'm feeling shut in, and it's dark early, etc.  It gives me a quicker result than sewing!


Jeannie EVH wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 6:38 PM

First, thank you for the laugh! I love the 3 pigs story. I set aside the week after Christmas to develop a new project that involves learning something new. It can be sewing, mixed media, etc. While in Seattle for the holidays, I purchase supplies if necessary and head home. This usually keeps me busy until teh crocus pop there heads out of the dirt and I know spring is on the way.

dragonfly12 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 6:39 PM

Um. .....I now live in south Texas- today I planted flowers and sat in the sun. I actually get more done in the summer because it's too hot to go outside then. Don't hate- sometimes  it freezes for about 5 minutes. I will think about y'all when  I am outside barefoot in January.

marijka wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 7:02 PM

I love winter hiking, the colder the better! I also hibernate with the latest Netflix mailing, thick books of military history, and knitting. This year I'll be perfecting my Uniquely You dressform covers for mom and myself, and will attack the stacks of beautiful fabrics I've been collecting for years. Then there's all the bread baking, which begets even more hiking...  :-)

deeheit wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 7:11 PM

I live outside of Chicago and our winters are cold and windy... some weekends we head up north and make the best of the cold and go snowmobiling. Somehow I can complain about the cold going from my office door to the car, but can get on a snowmobile and go for a hundred miles and not be cold. How does that happen? I like to sew in the winter, more than the summer too. It seems there are always outdoor things to do in the garden that keep me away from sewing and painting, but the winter gives me more time to do what I love... so I guess the upside of winter is I have more time to be creative!!

lemur00 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 7:13 PM

Around here, winter can't just be something you get through, it becomes part of your life.  Either that or you're going to be really miserable for like 6 months.

Winter is the best time to sew and quilt. Being indoors, working with the different textures, all of that is very comforting.

jessicasews wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 7:16 PM

Love this post!   We've gotten accustomed to the long Winters in the Pacific Northwest, but presently, I'm looking at my first Winter along Lake Michigan.  Wonder what that will be like!  

I used to downhill ski and would love to take that up again.  Walking in the snow is a wonderful way to get some fresh air in the lungs and them warm up with a hot tea.

Winter is for everything cozy!  I'm going to look for light bulbs in pretty colors for the front room, maybe getting away from "white light" will be soothing!

Enjoy the Weekend!

jessicasews wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 7:23 PM

Love this post!

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we've gotten used to long Winters.  Presently, I'm living along Lake Michigan and about to experience my first Winter here...we shall see what that is like!

I used to downhill ski, would love to get back into that, but for now, it's walking in the snow!

Winters are everything cozy!  This year, I'd like to get light bulbs in color for the front room, I think it might add to a relaxing atmosphere...anything but "white light"!

Enjoy your surroundings!

defling wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 7:50 PM

After 40 years in the midwest, I've moved back to my beloved Atlantic coast in Florida. There's not a season that I don't love here. Keeping ideas fresh in any season is a challenge. I'm grateful for my QA subscription to give me inspiration.

DinahT wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 8:00 PM

Currently living in eastern NM, so weather in the winter is mainly cool/cold and clear (some snow). I definitely get more sewing done but cold weather puts a damper on fabric painting outside!

jabotquilt wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 8:05 PM

Well, up to Christmas I make small quilty things for gifts.

After Christmas, I sew a few tops for spring, and make some really funky art quilts.

sewkate wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 8:13 PM

As a midwesterner transplanted to central Texas, I MISS WINTER!  Really.  So, I try to create the "warmth" of the season inside by infusing the house with warm, cozy-making fragrances such as simmering cinnamon sticks and cloves in a big 'ol pot of water on the stove, making homemade soups and breads, popping popcorn (in a pan, not the microwave), and occaisionally buring some spicy incense.  And when we do have a cool evening (like tonight!) I actually get to use one of my bed-sized quilts... and there's nothing like snuggling under a quilt!

SueBQuilts wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 8:52 PM

Living in northern New York as part of a family of downhill skiers, I get to send them off to ski and have the day (and the house) all to myself until dinnertime. During the fall as prep for the winter days, I hand-baste a stack of quilts and wall hangings to quilt by hand or machine and I make sure I have plenty of supplies on hand for whatever project I feel like starting. The basement pool table often gets covered in plastic and the paints and dyes come out! I attended the Quilt Festival in Houston once, long ago, as a quilt shop owner and it was a blast! No wonder you have the blues when it's done for the year.

on 13 Nov 2010 9:12 PM

Winter in the south gets to me in January. My friends notice that I am MIA ...I turn into a couch potato who reads books, endless piles of books.  They drag me off to quilt retreat where they listen to me fuss about paying to stay in the county i live in MINUS the view and a really uncomfortable bed.  Usually I am a happy girl again by the time  come home...hard to NOT be happy around your 15 or so BFFs with endless piles of fabric and making the sewing machine go vroom vroom vroom.  Now I have my friends bring projects for me to help them with so I dont have to haul piles of a win win for both of us... i quilt a quilt for them or thread paint for them and they haul the stuff:>

on 13 Nov 2010 9:13 PM

After Houston the first thing I do is go through all my purchases and then start using them!  Then it's off to Litchfield Beach, SC with husband and super friend to not cook, clean but relax, laugh, read, walk on the beach and stitch!  Had a ball in Houston and especially at MIU.  Many thanks to Pokey and all the fabulous staff and artists!

sarahb4 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 9:41 PM

Winter here isn't too bad! Lots of sun most days, even if snows in the morning.

I love to do a little baking to warm up! Some muffins or cookies make the house smell yummy and to up the kitchen too!

sarahb4 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 9:41 PM

Winter here isn't too bad! Lots of sun most days, even if snows in the morning.

I love to do a little baking to warm up! Some muffins or cookies make the house smell yummy and to up the kitchen too!

on 13 Nov 2010 9:52 PM

Cooking, eating and quilting.

on 13 Nov 2010 9:54 PM

Winter is my FAVORITE time of year! People think I'm crazy but I love it. Not for the cold and snow of the northeast where I live, but because I can stay inside with a nice cuppa sumpin hot, and all my quilting projects! I've already cleaned out my studio to the max and am ready for the cold to hit! I have 3 weekend getaways planned. And what woman of a certain age doesn't love the 'less-hot-flashes-season'?

PamelaW@19 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 10:01 PM

Those of us in the Frozen Tundra, as we are known in football circles, like to survive the cold, dark days of winter under the bright lights of our sewing rooms creating what the beautiful summer weather inspired us to put on the *list.* With occasional forays into the crisp air, we meet up with friends and collaborators to share, examine and discuss the latest in fiber news. From time to time we again make a journey out to replenish out stash or finding that missing element to complete a project from the *list.*

Jody Johnson wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 10:40 PM

I hunker down with a big mug of hot chocolate, a good quilt book and a quilt on my lap. I use this time to plan many of my quilt projects at the beginning of the winter season. Then I sew, sew, sew. I live in Calgary, Alberta where the weather can be quite wild.

Squidges mum wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 11:35 PM

I live in the countryside in the u.k. and I don't drive. and I have an 18 month old son. so between playing with him and keeping home tidy, there's not much else to do in the winter, as it is cold, grey and often snowing or icy outside! not that I'm complaqining, as the U.S can get so much worse... I'm fairly new to quilting, but it has most definately become my thing - so my winter months are going to be spent finishing my kingsize quilt and hopefully a little one for my son as well!  I'm also hoping to gain some more knowledge on quilting through reading everything about it I can get my hands on, so I reckon I'm going to be pretty busy.    

winning some fabric would make my day, as i'd be able to do so much more than I already have been doing!

WandaM14 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 11:39 PM

I love your ideas for PPQSD. I suffer from this every year but I think this year has to be the worst! I jump right back into the work, always dead tired but refreshed. I love to unpack all my goodies from Houston! I usually do this after I'm home a couple of days and have a couple of nights rest in my own bed! I love downloading all my pictures and reliving all the great moments! Then my first Saturday back home...I rest!!!!

SheilaJ@2 wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 11:55 PM

I just returned home from out Guild Holiday auction.  How could one not be inspired after watching this fabulous quilts being turned into treasure by their new owners.  It makes me realize why we quilt in the first place, to give ourselves pleasure and then share it with others.  No matter what the temperature, the mood, or the situation, the idea of sitting down at my sewing machine and having 2 hours of uninterrupted time is such a gift.  I enjoy giving it to myself.  

LouiseR wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 12:49 AM

...i get outside, look up @ faint sunlight & just let it sink into me...

on 14 Nov 2010 12:55 AM

The first thing I do when it gets cold is hunker down and read. That way I can stay all bundled up and not get cold. Of course, later I make myelf get up and putter with some crafty stuff, usually small things like ATCs or Fabric Postcards.

krazyquiltr wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 2:43 AM

I am recently laid off from my career so I am rather looking forward to this winter, staying indoors while everyone else is rushing off to work.  I'm imagining the chance to "revisit" my fabric stash, pull out several UFO's that I would like to finish, and have the chance to peruse through my back issues of Cloth, Paper, Scissors and Studios for inspiration.  I want to put a list together of techniques I seen and want to explore.  I've always been a "traditional"  (inside the box) quilter but the last few years have been drawn to batiks and the art quilts have inspired me to try my hand at this.  I've recently gotten into rubber stamping cards and will try doing some stamping on fabric to include in a quilt or two.  My local PBS station is finally carrying Quilting Arts, the current one running is from 2007 so I plan to watch these and to be more inspired in new techniques.  I always open all the blinds in my studio, even when it's dreary, any light and view helps.  Finally getting out of doors when the sun is shining should get me through to Spring.  Those are the days I will explore the quilt shops in my area that I haven't been to in a long time.

cddebbie wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 4:04 AM

Embrace it!!  No point in stressing over the words there's a "North-Easter coming".

Living in Central New York in the path of the lake effect snow machine we get dumped on, so make the best of it! I am a Bernese Mt. Dog breeder and they love the snow, they also love to pull carts and sleighs, so we love to be out side practicing and giving the kids rides. This leads to us coming in and enjoying the fire, a cup of coffee and watching the view of the ski resort from our living room. From all of this I am inspired and then spend hours in my studio sewing. Oh yeah and I have the bird feeders just outside my studio window so that I can watch all of the winter  feather friends

suzieque wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 4:45 AM

First, what I do is just enjoy it! I walk the dogs in the woods where all the trees are bare and I see a different world. I wear a hat. I bring my camera and take photos. I make soup.  If we are lucky enough to have snow (in Northern Virginia) I shovel the driveway. I settle in down in my studio and don't feel guilty about being inside instead of enjoying the sunshine. I organize a shelf. I bury myself in my wonderful book collection and find projects to dream about and make. I create.

LisaM@59 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 5:19 AM

I love all your ideas, Pokey!  Alas, I have nothing to add as I live in Florida.  In the winter, what we mostly do is enjoy the opportunity to be outdoors in relatively low humidity and appreciate lower electric bills because we don't have to run the air conditioner as often!  I grew up in Iowa, though, so I know what hard winters are like; I got through most of them by catching up on my reading!

lindab133 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 6:47 AM

Cleveland is so gray in the winter. Have made a concerted effort to get out of the house & walk in nature, embracing it.  Catch up on reading & projects and escape to Florida for a week !

Polka dots should be the official fabric of winter.

on 14 Nov 2010 7:30 AM

Hrm...during the winter duldrums, I like to get my studio cleaned up after the frenzy of the holidays first.  Then I like to pick a couple of projects that are just for me.  Outside of the sewing studio, I like to try out lots of new recipes so we never get bored with dinner!

on 14 Nov 2010 7:37 AM

For many years I had a job that was busy, busy, busy  September through November with a big deadline December 1.  By the time I looked up, winter was well on its way, and it was all I could do to get all the shopping, baking and gift-making ready in time for Christmas.

The last few years my job, while still busy, doesn't have that big deadline looming, so I've spread out the Christmas preparations, and now, when the days get short and it's basically dark when I leave the office, I like to go home and do little crafts like making Christmas ornaments and greeting cards.  It gets me through this period leading up to Christmas.  Then, after the post-holiday (fabric!) sales, I get back to working on my quilt projects  and I order all of the seed catalogues I can find to start planning for spring!

fulvia wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 7:41 AM

Luana is your neighbor? Oh, too cool! So, are you done with Stow or are you commuting? I was in Houston in spirit (Sightlines exhibit) but remember my one and only time there as overwhelming, exciting, exhilarating, exhausting ... Quilting gets me through the winter months and the summer months ... the rest of the year, gardening does it.

Terri Thayer wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 8:13 AM

I usually go to Boulder to visit family! Maybe I'll see you there.

Having spent 45 winters in NY and PA before moving to Northern California, I can't say I miss winter. What I do miss are snow days. So I declare them. No driving, no to-do list. Just a day of making due with what's in the cupboards. Cooking what's on hand, and sewing up the stash, reading from the TBR pile.

A snow day is a lovely state of mind.

Kwiltabeest1 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 8:48 AM

I love making homemade chicken soup with winter squash, potatoes, onions, red and yellow peppers and sitting on the couch under a quilt (from Grandma) and watching "French Kiss" or "You've Got Mail".  

Of course, living in So. Cal. I can only complain when it is in the 50's when I leave for my bike ride with a girl friend as we head for our Starbuck's stop. We sit, talk, enjoy coffee and a muffin and then head back to finish the ride and hit the studio or do errands before the work week starts again.

I have done real cold and snow before in my life. I would prefer not to do it again. I love the crunch of snow under foot and walking into a warm house after being outside, but by mid-January I was always ready for spring.

Mary R. Beat wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 9:06 AM

Oh, my, I have a stash of fabrics, paints, inks, stamps, BEADS, trims of all sorts, and threads!  Who doesn't after 15 years of creating quilting?  On those days of snow and temperatures below 20, I start with some of my fabrics, organizing a group of complimentary/contrasting/triadic pieces that lift my mood.  Then I approach those wonderful trims, stacking according to color, the spirit of the fabrics selected, thickness and widths.  Next, I take this bundle of eye/tactile/brain(creative) supplies to that fantastic collection of beads, buttons, and found objects, adding what will express my message because by this point, I have discovered something I want to express.  Finally, I look in my journals for a selection of poetry, a word, a quote, a saluatation: words that combine with the colors, embellishments and intention of the collection.  I put all of these items into a 2 gallon freezer bag (it it will fit) or an empty plastic linen container (that heavy vinyl bag w/ zippers).  Then, I begin my project, whatever it may be, with all the drawing supplies necessary.

With an open mind when I begin the process, I hardly notice the gloominess, wind or temperature outside.  My mood is anticipatory, enthused, and hopeful.  What a wonderful day!

sewcalgal wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 10:03 AM

What a cute post Pokey.  Ok, here is how I attack winter and PPQSD.  First, I get into the mental scheduling framework of a student.  Yeas, I map out my research and time to be able to keep busy and learn.  I pick various subjects and go out trying to learn all I can, about something new.  For example, as I believe not many quilters know about ATCs I'm researching and trying to learn more and write about ATCs on my blog and want to encourage a challenge to first time ATC makers this winter.  {yes, you've inspired this old traditional quilter}.  

So my recommendation to those with PPQSD or fear of winter, is to attack it with vigor and use it as a time to feel like you are back in school.  Take a class, watch dvds, read magazines, go out and learn a new technique and use winter as a time to develop new skills....just like you did when you were a kid and spent winter time in school.


debdidit wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 10:27 AM

During the winter I get reacquainted with my wools and silk fabrics because it's too hot in Texas to sew with them during summer! And I love to do more  handwork, curl up with a pile of fabrics and needle and thread and a bottle of red wine!

on 14 Nov 2010 10:46 AM

I'm also spending my first winter in Colorado! I just moved to Denver in September. My plan for this winter is to tackle my first mystery quilt. It's not truly a mystery, since I've seen the completed quilt, but I did choose fabrics that were radically different from the original design. (She used 30s prints and I'm using batiks in different colors.)

I spent last winter unemployed and depressed in Michigan where it's usually gloomy and often bitterly cold in the winter, so I hope to use the sunny Colorado winter for getting back in the groove with my quilting and fiction writing. If I'm really lucky I might get to spend a weekend in the mountains.

on 14 Nov 2010 10:48 AM

Winter...that time of the year when I think because I am more or less limited to "home" activities, I will get a lot of quilting done.  Then, again...I light a fire in the fireplace, curl up on the couch, read a few chapters in a good Regency Romance novel and take a nap.  Then, comes the Spring...I am still working on the same quilt(s).  I usually have several quilt projects going at a time all in different stages.

prairie2 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 1:35 PM

In the cold and dark days of wintter I eclipse into my MOONBEAN  phase. I am often snowed in and I break out the projects I have only dreamed about. I take every afternoon and into the evening hours to basking  in the glow of my sewing machinee's light bulb; pull out my favorite magazines and literally work until I have a stack of piled high projects to redecorate or embelish my favorite nooks and cranies. I also sort through tons of my material and give it to those who don't have funds to make craft projects or quilts. I drool over my projects for about three months after New Years and then when calving starts, I can come in after checking the cows every three hours to admire my projects. It is then I start a notebook of what I want to make for the next MOONBEAM phase. After calving starts there is no time to cut, snip or paint my life away until my next winter phase.

MindyW wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 1:44 PM

I live in Northern Ohio and it is getting colder everyday.  I survive the winter by mass cutting quilts I want to make. It's the part I like the least and put them in zip lock bags with the directions so I don't have to hunt for items I need.  And if my husband decides we are going south for a few weeks, I have some stuff ready to take along.  And when I tire of sewing, I knit, needlepoint or do cross stitch.  It does help the winter pass more quickly with a game plan.  And, I love to sit by the fire and do hand work and watch it snow.  

on 14 Nov 2010 2:14 PM

I live in tropical north Queensland, Australia and have the reverse problem (our winters are beautiful and our best time of year: 25 degrees C, fine and sunny). We are currently in summer. Our summers are hot hot hot, rainy and humid, sapping energy and motivation,  and we 'hibernate' indoors in the airconditioning! To survive I get up at 4 am when it is light and not quite so hot, for my daily walk, and swim in the pool before escaping inside again. I do some beading or sewing in front of a movie with the kids on weekends. We drink fruit smoothies. The fabrics you are giving away are perfect for our climate at present with the bright colours of summer.

eija2 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 2:21 PM

I am a Finnish woman living in Tenerife, Spain where we have spring all year round. Believe or not, you can miss the severe winter days when going out is something you do only if absolutely necessary. When days get shorter, it;s  so easy to get swallowed  by the  mountain of farics, wool and paint. In Tenerife weeds keep going wild all year round in my garden , and so have much less time to get seriously involved with handwork. Though its fun to go to the beach with kids in november to get some more material for the day it possibly rains. Needlefelting, beads and seashells, hmmm interesting. Maybe manana.

caren12 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 2:23 PM

Winter in the south isn't too dreary.  But I still get the winter blues.  I try to start a new quilt project, with new techniques, after Christmas.  I also watch lots of movies.  My favorite, I plan my first trip to the beach sometime near Mardi Gras!  The beach helps with everything!


maeve4 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 3:58 PM

After the tree is down and the ornaments are back in their boxes and the quiet of winter sets in for real, I like to make a few gift items for the next Christmas, just so I have a start on it all.  Then I find it fun to go to a really good quilt workshop, something artsey, and learn a new technique.  I love to peruse my quilt book collection and all the back issues of QA and CPS for something new to make to add a little excitement to the days.  I also enjoy watching the quilting DVD's I have, esp. the QA (we do not get the show on tv in our area).  A good book and a mug of some fantastic tea blend are another of my winter pleasures.  And most of all, I love to invite a few girlfriends over to spend the night or weekend to quilt and cook together (I am a widow).  That always turns out to be great fun.  Aside from being with family often, these are some of the ways I make the winter go by.  I might add that I do not mind the chill of winter at my age, just the opposite is true.  I usually can't wait for it to come!

VickiD10 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 4:18 PM

I try to keep a variety of projects ready so I can work on whatever suits my mood. Since my studio is the coldest room in the house, handwork and portable projects I can do on a machine in the living room are a must. While I do have a list of things I'd like to accomplish, when it's cold and dreary I give myself permission to start new projects and try new techniques.

on 14 Nov 2010 4:35 PM

I really had a hard time last week.. I really missed Houston.  To get through the winter I try to keep myself busy by getting together with friends and having quilting retreats at each others houses.  Or just quilting on my days off..  I take a few quilting classes at the local tech college.. it is like getting together with a bunch of gals and having a quilting bee.. Every thursday.!!   And when the kids are around we like to go to the movies..

canary523 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 4:50 PM

Usually I try to do as much snowboarding as possible to help with the winter blues.. I'm from Michigan and I try to make it out to Colorado to hit the slopes out there at least once a year!  This winter I will be working hard at getting projects ready for our guilds first annual quilt show.. I have a couple things up my sleeve that I am working on!  

klg727 wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 5:26 PM

I don't have winter where I am but believe me...I have down moments!!! I like to go into my sewing room and just feel the fabric, browse patterns and dream of all the quilts I would like to make!

believemagic wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 6:37 PM

I move to Alaska in July so this is my first long winter with little daylight.  I'm taking an online art quilt class and picked out books and magazine articles with new techniques to try.  Planning to make projects with bright colors to keep the sunny disposition in my studio even if the sun isn't shining much outside.    

LeeMarie wrote
on 14 Nov 2010 8:06 PM

Winter here on Vancouver Island means light showers, heavy showers or raining so hard it's actually going sideways! So in order to cope with our grey skys I have bought myself some nice rubber boots with bright flowers on them and a really good raincoat and I make sure to get out for regular walks - yes rain or shine. I also take my camera as you never know when you will come across something that will inspire a quilting project. The ocean looks wonderful rain or shine, as do eagles and herons. When I get home I curl up with my Quilting Arts magazine and hot chocolate, then plan my next project.

JoanieH3 wrote
on 15 Nov 2010 6:08 AM

i spend as much time as possible with my grandchildren! When they're not available I read & make art! Thanks for the giveaway.

on 15 Nov 2010 8:39 AM

I live in Calgary, Alberta and woke up this morning after a gorgeous weekend to hear that winter is just about to arrive.  7 degrees C and rain today, down to -14 tomorrow and about 10 cm of snow in the forecast for the day.  We all know it's coming but ... it still takes some getting used to.  Especially the fact that it is dark when I leave for work and it is dark when I get home in the evening.  I moved a few months ago so I have saved some chores to do during the winter months, mainly filing and putting away some of the fabric I still have in boxes.  Otherwise, I plan new quilting projects, work on new ideas for workshops to teach and things to make.  And I surround myself with lots and lots of color ...

bybethstudio wrote
on 15 Nov 2010 10:51 AM

I like to have a hot mocha by the fireplace of my quilting buddy's coffe shop. We talk about art quilting ideas and bring our projects for show and tell or get much needed advice! :)

TexasGal2 wrote
on 15 Nov 2010 11:55 AM

I've experienced PPQSD too ... and it's quite a common affliction from what I hear !!  I live in the Houston area so I'm very fortunate to have the IQF in my own backyard  ...  I've been going for more than 20 yrs and yes there IS always a letdown after the show ...  It's just so much fun, reveling in quilts and fabrics and old friends and then ...  Poof !  back to life and back to work   YUCK

Our winters are SO mild here in Houston that I'm usually WISHING for colder weather and a little snow !!  Sometimes we get some but it never lasts long enough.  I grew up in northern states and I miss a change of seasons !  I love Colorado & the mountains ... wish I were there now !!  Want to house-trade for the winter ??  My DH might not agree  ...  Hah  

I do love to quilt more during our "winters" and I usually make a new cozy sofa quilt for the holidays and beyond.  Thanks for the giveaway & stay warm !!

kwilson99 wrote
on 15 Nov 2010 1:03 PM

I use this time of the year to catch up on all of the things I've put off over the summer.  Quilting, organizing, cleaning.

cindyl57 wrote
on 15 Nov 2010 3:39 PM

First of all, I take Wellbutrin! I spend a lot of time outside walking and playing with my border collie and hanging at the dog park a couple times a week talking to all the other crazy dog owners out in sub-zero weather. It's all worth it to see the smile on my dog's face! I'll spend this winter making my quilt for our guild's spring show, making small pieces using the new techniques I want to try, and snow dyeing.

on 15 Nov 2010 8:55 PM

I LOVE winter!  The sun is low and shines right through the house.  It's so warm in my sewing room.  and outside:  We go skating on the pond in the park across the street from my home which is such a joy!  I love ice skating with my kids, especially on the lake.  You can see the deep cracks in the ice and it's such a rush!  We also have bonfires which I love.  And it's dark so early up north where I live, so the stars are out at supper time.  It's wonderful!  ; )

lynrob wrote
on 15 Nov 2010 10:11 PM

Winter is my time to catch up on sewing and quilting. No yard work, no sailing, no major chores....just sew, quilt, read, bake and bask in the comfort of my home. I love to have a quilt to bind on my lap - it is so soothing, peaceful, warm and theraputic.

ebandit wrote
on 16 Nov 2010 5:18 AM

My trick is to use lots of bright fabrics. And if the sun is shining, I grab my penny whistle and go outside and whistle a happy tune.  Otherwise (no sun) I use natural light bulbs to help avoid the gloomy greys of winter.

Mc Nancy wrote
on 16 Nov 2010 8:17 AM

I look forward to retreat in February when 20 or so of us get together and eat, drink and sew. Maybe not in that order!

5bavaria wrote
on 16 Nov 2010 10:11 AM

I put new full spectrum lights in my sewing room, organized , and started a new project! Also am looking forward to our quilt group's annual February 3 day retreat--it's so much fun!!!