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Friday, February 13, 2009



     I have met some amazing women this past year through my journey to become a fiber artist.  I think that is the best gift I could have given to myself at this time in my life.  I am at the age where I am almost an empty nester.  I have two children who both mean the world to me.  One is off in the working world and the other is a junior in high school.  Before I had children I was a teacher of preschool children with special needs.  A couple of moves to two other states, two children, and a car accident later, I needed a new focus in my life.  I wore many hats as a volunteer over the years and still do volunteer work at my church, in my community and other places that appeal to me such as the Textile Center in St Paul.  But, now I am building a community of support for myself that revolves around fiber arts.  
     The best gift I gave myself was joining the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters.  This is a great group of women with a wonderful focus on enjoying the journey, learning new skills, and challenging each other to continue to grow through life.  As an offshoot of this group I am also a part of a small group.  I've mentioned them before, we call ourselves the Rosie Quilters.  We are varied in our focus and abilities and each bring unique strengths to the group.  I wanted to show you a couple of recent gifts they have given to me. The elephant batik was given to me by Kathy on the day she got us all together for our soy wax batik project.  I haven't decided what to do with it yet but I really love it.  The "J" fabric square was made after we learned soy wax batik by Stephanie.  Isn't it fun.  She bought a set of cookie cutters on ebay and made us each a square with the first initial of our names.  The Hawaiian print is also from Stephanie, a gift from her trip to Hawaii.  (Don't forget to check out Stephanie's blog in my blog list to the left, Journey of a Fiber Artist Stephanie Forsyth, -She is number one if you google fiber artist and also has a small appearance on The Quilt Show) I am inviting them all to my home soon and have some ideas for something to give each of them but don't want to give it away before they see.

     I have also made some good friends this past year through online classes.  Even though I haven't met these people in person we have common goals and interests that keep us friends across the U.S., and on to other countries around the world.  I've received many postcards from my online friends.  Not your everyday postcards either, they are each a work of art that I will treasure for many years to come.  I'm hoping to create a video stream of all my postcards to put on my site, sometime this weekend, so check back to see if it is here.  They are worth the visit.        
     Some of the sites I have taken classes are:  Quilt University, Quilters Keep Learning, Adventure Quilter, Sharon Schamber's website and The Thread Studio.  I would recommend any and all of these sites.  I want to mention a special note about The Thread Studio which is located in Australia.  I am taking my embellishing class through this site right now.  Many of my classmates are from Australia and I just want to let them know we are all wishing you strength as you fight the fires and try to piece your lives back together.  Sending positive thoughts your way.  If you know of something more we can do please contact me to let me know.

Check back to see my postcards.  I will try to have one of cards received and one of cards given.  It will be worth the visit. Janet


Shirley said...

Hi Janet - you have been busy! I think you might add the Learningfa group to the online classes you have taken? grin. Ladies, Janet has given us a class on making a fabric book as well.

I am glad you are enjoying your postcard swaps too. They are lots of fun. Shirley

Janet Hartje said...

I'm so sorry I didn't mention learningfa! I've already talked about it several times so for some reason it didn't pop into my mind. This is a wonderful site where I have learned a ton. And the classes are free.