If I’m not camping my next favorite thing in the world to do is quilting. Add a couple of dogs and some of my favorite people to either activity and for me, it’s heaven. What’s even better for me is quilting while camping. Quilting is no longer the hobby of old ladies stitching squares of calico together to tie off with yarn. I was in a fabric store yesterday and was delighted to see several pairs of young women conversing about fabric selections. There were a couple of what I assumed were mother-daughter combinations waiting in line to have their fabric choices measured and cut. All of the women were excited about what they were doing. They were sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with each other happily.
When I prepare for a camping trip I always make room for something to keep my hands busy. I have seen countless campers over the years doing hobbies they enjoy in campsites all over the country. We visited with a guy along the banks of a blue glacier stream in western Montana who was tying flies. He had set up his fly vise on the campsite picnic table and had a tackle box full of his traveling fly making supplies. By the looks of the trout he had cooked earlier in the day he knew what he was doing. He said he first took up fly tying to cut the costs of all the flies lost to weeds and trees. Later, he did so to increase his involvement in the finer details of the sport that had given him countless hours of pleasure.
People love to share their hobbies! Just like camping, hobbies keep you in the game. They keep you vital and engaged. Hobbies lower stress and are something that can be shared with close friends and family or even people you have never met before. It’s a bridge to new acquaintances. I quilt because I like the idea that it will keep someone warm. A quilt will be around after I am gone and the person using it will remember me, and that it was stitched with care and love. From designing to executing it is how my inner artist expresses herself best.
Janice Horton in her article “Why We Camp: An Ode to the Joy and Sorrow of the Great Outdoors” gives reasons. “There’s the call of nature. Thoughts of fresh air, cold mountain streams, starry nights, and the smell of pine prompt us to pack our minivans and get out of Dodge. Sights and sounds that don’t rely on cords, batteries or satellite signals are increasingly precious. Maybe we just want to prove we can go a weekend without cable. Some of us are driven to explore remote caves, clomp around in the Antarctic or desert places in search of alpine flowers or zebra. We want to see wild things like cactus or moose—but not alone. Roughing it loves company. Camping is conducive to bonding, memory making, and of course, educating. ‘Kids, did you know there are 47 species of blueberry?’”
I take that one step further, by asking “Hey, besides camping, what is it you love to do?” And, “If you don’t know, have you ever considered trying this?” Whether knitting, crocheting, embroidering, weaving, writing, puzzling, whittling, carving, painting, or tying flies – find what speaks to you and speak back!
Oh, and as to quilting, check out these fabric designs! Like I said, quilting has changed since grandma put down her thimble!