Quirky question: childhood hobbies (that you still love)

Posted by on April 30, 2014, in quirky question

Martingale's Quirky Question

Thanks for stopping by for the weekly Quirky Question—where questions are just for fun, your answers are always welcome, and you could win an eBook for free!

Secret Garden quiltRight: “Secret Garden” by Mimi Dietrich and Sally Schneider, from Growing Up with Quilts. See a slideshow of projects from the book below.


The ways we chose to entertain ourselves as children most likely had an affect on how we spend our leisure time now that we’re all grown up. Some pastimes—playing in the mud, running outside in our undies, cutting our own hair—might not be hobbies we’ve carried on to adulthood, but we’ll bet there are some childhood activities you still enjoy. This week, tell us:

What did you love doing as a child that you still do today?

Post your answer in the comments before noon (PST) on Monday, May 5, for your chance to win. The carefully selected winning answer will be posted on Wednesday, May 7, along with the next question.

Last week’s Quirky Question was, “The quilting fairy has granted you one special wish. What will yours be?” We were floored by what happened with last week’s question; it inspired both generosity and action. This week, we have two winning comments. One from Dena:

“I wish that the quilting fairy would bring me a new sewing/embroidery and quilting machine. I’m a disabled vet and my Singer Futura is on its last leg. It’s 8 years old and has survived a house fire at my sister’s house several years ago and has been repaired. I’ve used it a lot and now it’s needing to retire but with 3 kids that’s not possible anytime soon.”

And one from Vicki, who emailed us privately:

“Dear Martingale staff, I just read the wish of Dena, a disabled vet with three children. She needs a sewing machine with embroidery and, she said, quilting machine. I have a Viking Rose with the complete embroidery attachment. I bought the machine used several years ago. I would be happy to ship the machine to her if this machine would fit her needs. Please contact her for me. My husband retired from the USN after 26 years.”

We helped Dena and Vicki get in contact with each other. After the two emailed back and forth several times, Vicki said in her most recent email to us, “I may have a new friend.”

Thank you and congratulations, Dena and Vicki—you can each look for an email about your free eBook.

Starlight Starbright quilt

Starlight, Starbright

May Angels Watch Over You quilt

May Angels Watch Over You

Itsy Bitsy Spider quilt

Itsy-Bitsy Spider

Beep Beep quilt

Beep, Beep

Now I Know My ABCs quilt

Now I Know My ABCs

Bed Bugs quilt

Bed Bugs

Treasure Baskets quilt

Treasure Baskets

Fantasy Fishes quilt

Fantasy Fishes

Summer Camp quilt

Summer Camp

Butterfly Kisses quilt

Butterfly Kisses

Hearts and Ribbons quilt

Hearts and Ribbons

Playing with Plaid quilt

Playing with Plaid

Scrapbook Memories quilt

Scrapbook Memories quilt

Dreamweaver quilt

Dreamweaver


174 Comments

  • No contest, READING
    thanks!

    —Linda Erickson on April 30, 2014
  • Playing in the dirt! As a child, I played endless hours outside, under a willow tree and my imagination turned dirt and seed pods from my mother’s flowers into countless meals, etc. As an adult, I love getting into the flower beds and garden and seeing what wonders I can grow.

    —Diana on April 30, 2014
  • I still love to read and sew!

    —Rita on April 30, 2014
  • I still love to play with things that sparkle and shine – beads, buttons, sequins, paints, dyes, yarns, anything! Those glitzy things are starting to appear in my quilting and I love them. I feel like a kid all over again.

    —Stephanie A on April 30, 2014
  • I still embroider and cross stitch. Just started quilting last year. I may incorporate both in a future project. Redwork looks promising!

    —Joann Cassidy on April 30, 2014
  • This one is an easy answer for me…. swinging and riding my bike. Loved them as a kid, love them as an older "kid"

    —B J Elder on April 30, 2014
  • I absolutely still love to read; it’s something I’ve never not felt like doing! 🙂

    —Lauren aka Giddy99 on April 30, 2014
  • I love to read. Reading takes you everywhere, from the mountains to the ocean, from deserts to snow in the Artic. You can learn how to sew a quilt or repair a car. Build a house or dream of a vacation in the Africa bush. You can be a better person, a better mom, and always have a best friend to listen to, when you read a book……

    —Lori M. on April 30, 2014
  • I loved fabric and sewing as a young girl. The day I earned my driver’s license at age 15, I stopped at the fabric shop (garment sewing) on the way home.

    —Becky in Georgia on April 30, 2014
  • As a child I enjoyed any and all crafts. I loved anything that had many colors, be it paper crayons or fabric. I think that was the start of my quilting, I just can’t seem to get enough colorful fabrics in my stash.

    —Kim Waknitz on April 30, 2014
  • Reading. I used to wait at the end of our country driveway for the Bookmobile (nothing like the ones they have today, though) to come so I could pick 5 books to tide me over until the next time the ‘Book Lady’ came; usually every 2 weeks. I would read them in the swing under the shade trees and still love doing the same thing. Now I live near a library and while I usually check out books on quilting and crafting every now and then I get a good mystery that I still sit in the swing under the shade tree and devour in an afternoon….

    —Carolyn Young on April 30, 2014
  • Sewing. I learned to sew at a very young age. Loved to make clothes for myself and my Barbie. I stopped making clothes years ago, but now I’m a fully obsessed quilter. Still sewing. Still loving it!

    —Pamela B on April 30, 2014
  • I started doing crafts as a child. I taught myself knitting, crochet, macrame, embroidery, crewel and more. I still do all of these crafts today. Except maybe macrame. Haven’t done that in a long time. I still love it all.

    Your story about connecting two readers brought on tears. How very touching and rewarding just reading it. Gives me hope for us all.

    —Sylvia on April 30, 2014
  • My mother instilled in all four of her daughters a love of sewing, quilting, embroidery and crocheting as a very small child. We were given small projects to embroider and were started out with hand sewing doll clothes. Then, at age 6, you could actually use the sewing machine! (of course with Mamma’s supervision). This love has continued my whole life, and, when my sister taught me to knit at age 7, my life changed forever! I have been blessed by a family of talented women whose gifts never end.

    —Celene on April 30, 2014
  • Playing cards. I vividly remember playing cards with my grandmother as a child. She loved games and when I was to little to play with anyone else she always played with me.
    Even now, the best times are around the kitchen table playing cards with my mom and daughters. No matter what we play we laugh till we cry, we cheat for each other, we have the best time!
    My gram passed away but I now have grandkids of my own. Three of them, ages 4,5, and 8 just spent the weekend and we played cards every afternoon before lunch.

    —Laura Wilson on April 30, 2014
  • Making dolls clothes are, along with embroidery, my lasting hobbies. Prior to Barbies, there were plastic dolls called Dress Me dolls. They had movable arms and a stiff body, and I scrounged fabric pieces and hand-sewed turn-of-the-century ball gowns for them. I am still attracted to the beautifully dressed vintage dolls I see at antique fairs. My own two vintage dolls are dressed according to the season, so both are in summer play-clothes at the moment. I taught myself embroidery when I was very young, and now have completed a quilt top with broderie perse, and a second one in green work.

    Gail G on April 30, 2014
  • As a dyslexic child I had a hard time reading. My mother spent time reading to me and having me read to her. I was hooked. Now, when I am not sewing, quilting or cooking, I read. Be it quilting books or a good story, I just can’t get enough. Sometimes while I am sewing I will listen to a book. I love the smell of books and the feel of a good book in my hands. I am in heaven when I have a quilt wrapped around me with a good book in my hands.

    —Tina on April 30, 2014
  • I clocked many a mile as a kid on my scooter. For my 60th B-day, 2 yrs. ago, I bought myself a toy called the Unscooter. It looks like two skateboards attached at one end, with handlebars and a brake. You pump it with your legs to propel it. I am again going miles and turning heads!

    —Trudy Stubbs on April 30, 2014
  • I drew, painted with water colors, and colored for hours as a child. I still really like but now I paint with fabric as well.

    —Jami Price on April 30, 2014
  • As a child and adult I have always loved reading. I remember as a second grader and older, when visiting my grandmother I would sit in front of her bookcase and pull out her encyclopedias and read them. Why I enjoyed it so much, I have no idea. I did the same thing when visiting my great-grandfather, only I pulled out the National Geographic magazines. To this day I enjoy sitting down and reading books. It doesn’t matter what kind; mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction, educational, how-to, etc. Books have a calming effect for me and I enjoy them all.

    —Cathy on April 30, 2014
  • As a child, I loved crafting. Didn’t matter what just as long as I was using my hands and busy making something. Have been retired now for about 7 years and still love crafting. Enjoying sewing and quilting right now.

    —Patsy Wilkerson on April 30, 2014
  • My best childhood memories were about riding my pony named Ginger. I still ride and have 3 horses!! Now I’d like to find the perfect pony for my First Grandson!! He is a miracle baby! Born at 25 weeks gestation and only 1# 13oz.. he is now a healthy little baby! I have a couple of years, but want to start building memories !!

    —Jean on April 30, 2014
  • So it looks like the quilting fairy is alive and well and granting unexpected wishes. I just read the winners’ comments from last week’s question and I am in awe of Vicki and your staff. What an absolute wonderful and unexpected happening from that give-away! Two people became friends, both won ebooks, and your staff was the go between for a very generous offer to another sewer. Does it get any better? I think not! It all actually choked me up some. Thanks to both Vicki and your staff for all that you did to make this happen.

    I’ve forgotten what this week’s question was so I need to go back and check. OK, so I learned to do simple crochet as a child and still enjoy doing that. I like that it is so portable. My favorite Aunt taught me how to crochet and tried to teach me to knit but that did not seem to work.

    —Karen L. on April 30, 2014
  • I loved to play in my mothers button box. I still like lots of buttons and have a drawer full of neatly organized colors in plastic bags. I use them on garments and wallhangings. My mother could not afford the luxury of going out and buying fabric but I think the playing with buttons is what helped inspire me in my Quilting and Sewing today.

    Sharon Schmidt on April 30, 2014
  • Making things with my grandmother, and now teaching my granddaughter how to make blankets….

    Donna Davies on April 30, 2014
  • Definitely reading!! You are never lonely if you have a book.
    I especially love children’s books and the wonderful illustrations in them.
    I do love reading on my iPad and kindle, but to hold a book is to hold a treasure.

    —susan leblang on April 30, 2014
  • I begged and pleaded with my mother to use her brown metal Kenmore sewing machine at age 5 (1949). She really didn’t like to sew. I was off and running with stitching and have never stopped. I still have the original doll skirt and quilt I made for my Patsy Ann doll. I still get a thrill out of taking a length of fabric and turning it into a garment or a quilt.
    Also I still like to play in the mud–it is called gardening now.

    —LindaB on April 30, 2014
  • I loved playing with my dolls and making clothes for them. My father told me that he was sure I would take my dolls to college with me! Today I make doll clothes for my two little granddaughters and hope to teach them how to sew soon. They think it is special to get something for their dolls from Grannie Annie.

    —Ann Williamson on April 30, 2014
  • Buttons were one of my favorite toys. I loved sorting them by size, color, holes or no holes, composition, design and more. I still enjoying doing this today as I find it very relaxing and interesting.

    —Carolyn Gray on April 30, 2014
  • I always wanted to learn different things cooking, knitting (didn’t have the patience) hand embroidery and sewing. I still love to cook and experiment with different recipes. I still do some embroidery however l still love to sew. I have expanded my skills from clothes to quilting. I always get a great sense of accomplishments when people enjoy my culinary and sewing skills. I am hoping one day that l can enjoy a more high end machine that will do some of the many stitches available as my machine is a very basic model. It’s always a joy of happiness when l am able to complete my projects.

    —Anne on April 30, 2014
  • When I was a youngster, I used to love to get scared. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. I LOVED the thrill of playing a game we called "Ghost in the Graveyard", which is just a game of hide-n-seek, only you play it in the dark. I also LOVED staying up late on the weekends to watch scary movies, and hearing a good scary story at a slumber party or beside a campfire. I LOVED (still do)to ride on roller coasters. The faster, the better! Now, as an adult, I still like to have a good scare now and then. There are times when I simply HAVE to step out of my quilting comfort zone and try a project that is a bit scary. It’s scary because it’s a new technique, or it has lots of intricate details, or it uses color combinations that I’ve never attempted before. Always, in the back of my mind I’m thinking, "What if this turns out really bad and I’m just wasting my time, energy and money?" Then, in a moment of bravery (or maybe insanity) I forge ahead. Most of the time it turns out more thrilling than frightening. Though, I have had a few projects that turned out to be pretty scary!!! Those are the ones that ended up as part of the dog’s bed or became a furniture cover in the back of a moving van!!! I think everyone should try to scare themselves occasionally. It makes you feel alive and young!!!!

    —Robin on April 30, 2014
  • When I was young, during the summer we went to the local summer day camp, and I learned needlework, embroidery, from Mrs Coffin a teacher from the public school who was probably 80 years old. She told me that the work on the back of the piece had to be as neat as the front of the piece. I loved seeing her satisfaction that my work was neat on the back, and to this day, more than 50 years later, I can hear her tell me to take your time and enjoy the process. As a child I loved needlework, and I still do today.

    —Stephanie on April 30, 2014
  • For the past several weeks I have been reminded of my childhood as I have sorted through the slides left by my parents and scanning them (the slides, not the parents) into the computer. Apparently, much of my time as a child was spent playing outside and eating. Still good! The playing outside is usually gardening and it is more difficult at 70 than it was at 7, but still a joy. Eating…what can I say?

    —Marilyn on April 30, 2014
  • I loved playing with old catalogs and making something out of them. Now I get out old catalogs or old magazines and have made myself a "color wheel". I also sit with my grandchildren and we make lots of different things. Paper hats, we even designed a quilt out of cars and I sewed and quilted it for my grandson. He loves it because he "helped" design it!
    We make masks for Halloween and angels with paper plates and embellish them with glitter…is messy, but so much fun!

    —Jeanette Spellmeyer on April 30, 2014
  • As a child I spent many hours reading, constructing dresses for my dolls, but the most fun of all was getting into my grandma’s scrap basket and laying out the pieces in pleasing patters. I didn’t know then, you could cut them and make a quilt out of them. Well, this girl knows better now!!

    —Sunshine on April 30, 2014
  • Crafts,cross-stitching,coloring,gardening are some of the things I did as a child and still enjoy today.

    —Quilting Tangent on April 30, 2014
  • Picking wildflowers

    —Martina Evans on April 30, 2014
  • I was sewing doll clothes and my clothes when I was 6 years old and I am still doing it. More for others but sew 10 hours a day some days.

    —Linda Shefcheck on April 30, 2014
  • WOW.. last week’s event was so exciting! How wonderful to see Quilters Pay It Forward. I was and am a DOODLER … I have doodled all my life, and I still do it- with pens and pencils and markers and thread … yes I even doodle on the sewing machine.
    My late daughter also doodled the same way – on everything in sight. Before she died 2 years ago, she began a colorful doodle work on an old blue shirt using lots of pretty markers – I wear that shirt. And her 22 year old son does amazingly beautiful doodles also. As did my mom! I guess it’s in the genes 🙂

    —Sandra on April 30, 2014
  • I crocheted a lovely rose-colored small purse when I was in third grade, but that was not a bellwether for later life, I’m afraid. To this day I simply cannot crochet (just can’t seem to identify the stitches), but I DO knit like a banshee.

    Also, loved animals, any kind I could get my hand on. We lived on an acre, so I got my hands on turtles, pigs, rabbits, and kittens from my cousins’ house next door, and a stray dog or two.

    Dolls were another favorite, mainly Ginny. Now I have five doll houses, multiple Ginnies, and tons of doll house furniture.

    I guess you could say I’m living my second childhood at age 66.

    —Rebecca Bosen on April 30, 2014
  • I learned to crochet from my maternal grandmother, and still do. I also taught myself to sew on a toy sewing machine that had a chain stitch. I am happy to have a computer sewing machine today and am still sewing, especially quilt piecing.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on April 30, 2014
  • Reading was what I loved, and it still is. When I was young I read constantly, didn’t matter what…cereal box, milk carton, shampoo bottles, books, magazines. When my parents couldn’t find me, they knew to look behind a big armchair, which was my favorite place to read! I read in the car, at the doctor’s, at church…Now I spend a lot of time quilting, but I MUST read a little everyday….even if it’s a quilting book!

    —Shannon on April 30, 2014
  • Many of my favorite hobbies were created in childhood. For instance, I loved (and still do) to read. Some of my favorite memories are of sitting on my dad’s lap, reading the paper with him during his short time living with us. It translated into librarianship.

    I still love to walk in the rain without an umbrella – that’s one of the things that drew me to my husband… He loves the rain too. Now, sitting in the car with the rain pounding down on it is divine.

    Cooking delicious meals for my family. Being creative – sewing, painting, designing rooms, gardening – it all continues to fulfill something important within me.

    —Danielle Wilson on April 30, 2014
  • Sewing, reading, crocheting, knitting, watching clouds, watching the night sky, drawing, & figuring out how things worked. I wish I could still ride a bike & roller skate!

    —Sharon G on April 30, 2014
  • One of my favorite pastimes was crocheting with my great-grandma. Not only did she teach me to crochet, but she trusted me enough to loan me pattern books as I got older. After she moved to a nursing home because of limited mobility, I would bike out to visit her as soon as my chores were done. As I got older, she would ask how the great-great grandkids were doing, we would share the latest family gossip, and I would show off my latest crochet treasure. She died when I was 26, and I still miss her. I hope and pray that someday I can enjoy great-grandkids the way she loved me.

    —Lynne on April 30, 2014
  • When I was a young girl I loved to color. My Mother would carry crayons (no markers for me!)and color books in her knitting bag; in the car; even packed away in the camping gear. Anytime there was a long wait she knew that pulling out a color book an crayons would keep me occupied for hours. As I got older, I liked to experiment with color and see which colors looked great together and which were the most dramatic (Princess in a green dress with purple hair? FABULOUS!)I will still pull out a color book today – most are much more detailed than back then – and I have gotten strange looks from people! But I love to sit and color a picture when I can. I think that my love of quilting and fabric (Oh the colors! the patterns!) stem naturally from this.

    —Lisa Partin on April 30, 2014
  • I was 7 yrs. old and was borderline strep when I got home from school. My mother knew I didn’t feel good as soon as I got off the bus. She immediately called the doctor and took me in. He said to keep me quiet over the weekend and she had to find something to entertain me. That’s when I started embroidery and cross-stitching and now at 62, I’m still doing it. I just finished stitching a design on a quilt for my newest granddaughter and it all goes back to that weekend and a mother who took the time to teach me how.

    —Jill on April 30, 2014
  • Coloring! I even treated myself to a 64-count box of crayons! I usually buy a coloring book about once a year, but have recently found Pinterest has some neat pages. However, I am a little apprehensive of the "adult coloring pages" listed. I’m hoping there isn’t a age-appropriateness for these pages! 🙂

    —Lynn Knowles on April 30, 2014
  • While I didn’t learn to quilt when I was a child, I DID learn to sew, which I still enjoy doing. Also, I learned to cook and bake, read thick books, and crochet as a child. I still enjoy doing all these things. Especially for other people. Someday I hope to own a quilt that I’ve made. Have a wonderful May-day!

    —Trish Wall on April 30, 2014
  • As a child, I loved lying on the ground smelling the first hyacinths in spring. I still do! Living in the country, I had about a half mile walk to the school bus. Often I would be an hour late getting home because I would "chase" wildflowers on the way; seeing one not too far out of my way, I would go to that one and see another just a little further, etc… I still love flowers be they grown in a bed, flower garden or wild flowers. This year the spring flowers are especially precious as it seems like we have had a long, hard winter. Being a true "flower child" is something I never out grew.

    —Kim Ruddle on April 30, 2014
  • Needlework and reading

    —connie on April 30, 2014
  • I soothe my inner child by playing with Legos! Loved them then, love them now!

    —Deborah Bright on April 30, 2014
  • I still love to go to the park and swing. It totally embarrasses my husband. Since it is a little silly I make sure no one else is at the park.

    —Cindy Messick on April 30, 2014
  • I have always loved reading so much that I knew where my mother hid the christmas presents that I had read all the books she bought for me long before cchristmas day. I still love reading thT much I even read all the junk mail.

    Julie adam on April 30, 2014
  • I watched my grandmother crochet a tablecloth for their dining room table when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I "bugged" her enough that she finally gave me a ball of string and a crochet hook and told me to crochet!! And I learned from watching her. Recently I was visiting to my cousin and she learned in the same way. We still miss Granny and she has been gone so long but we both still enjoy crocheting and the other lessons taught to us by her.

    —Becky on April 30, 2014
  • When I was a child my grandmother gave me a hand quilted 30s quilt for my bed. I remember spending hours using the quilt for many childhood dreamscapes, ie. turning the stars into hide outs or mountains for toy animals. It also helped me pass the time when I was confined to bed with the measles or other childhood disease, counting the number of similar colored stars etc. I think that subconsciously that quilt may have given me the reason or basis for becoming a quilter forty years later.

    Many years later I gave the quilt to my daughter to enjoy. However, the same thought process didn’t work for my her. She doesn’t quilt.

    —Sheila on April 30, 2014
  • my mom taught me to sew when i was 9 years old on an old treadle machine. i loved it then and i love it now on a husqvarna, not a treadle.

    —carolyn montgomery on April 30, 2014
  • My mother taught me to cross-stitch when I was in the 7th grade. She was working on several Precious Moments pictures (shows you how long and that was!) and she helped me chart out all my friends names so I could stitch them for Christmas gifts (complete with fabric covered frames – hello 1983). That same year I surprised her with her own piece that said "I (heart) Mom". I still am obsessive about stitching in all forms thanks to that spark put there by my mother. When she passed away 10 years ago, I found that little "I (heart) Mom" piece, along with oddles of pieces I’d given her over the years. I’m so happy she shared stitching with me.

    Rachel Hamm on April 30, 2014
  • As a child, my favorite past time was spending time in the woods – walking, climbing trees, jumping creeks, catching tadpoles, and watching animals. As an adult, both my work and leisure time is spent in the woods. I am a private forester and work with landowners to manage their forest lands and I love to hunt and fish. I just harvested my first spring gobbler and am planning a quilt in his honor.

    —Noreen on April 30, 2014
  • Reading has always brought me comfort, first as an abused child, and now as an adult who no longer needs to escape. The need might be gone, but the excitement of escaping into a book has never left! Now with my Kindle, I have all the books I need no matter what time of day or night or where I am. Yes, my Kindle rates right up there with my sewing machines and quilting machine.

    —Paula on April 30, 2014
  • I remember being a very industrious child. At the age of 12, my family had just moved to a very small town (pop. 500!) in South Carolina. Not having any friends to hang out with, my siblings and I played lots of board games. My dad had an antique Monopoly game set, and at some point decided he didn’t want us to keep playing on it, it might ruin it. So I decided to make a Monopoly set. (I don’t know why I didn’t just ask my parent to buy one, but maybe there were no extra funds or no stores to sell one.) I found a game board we were no longer using, and hand-drew the Monopoly game on a big sheet of paper. I decoupaged that paper onto the found game board. The hotels and houses were cut with wood scraps from my father’s woodshop, and I hand painted each one. The money was all hand printed. We had no access to copy machines back in the mid 70’s. Same with the property cards. I looked around the house for small game pieces that would work, and found dice at the bottom of the toy box.

    We played many, many hours of Monopoly on that homemade board, and I still have the board. Its the only Monopoly board that my children know. I have no idea where the rest of my homemade pieces are, and my dad’s special antique game is probably packed up in his attic somewhere.

    My childhood industriousness has never left me; I’m not content unless I’m being productive in some way. Whether I’m quilting or cooking or reading or exercising, I’m rarely still.

    I remember the creation of this Monopoly game very fondly….good times!

    Mary-Jeanine on April 30, 2014
  • There are three things I still love to do. Number one is flying high on a swing it relieves my tension. Number two is blowing bubbles it makes me giggle. Number three is sewing clothes and accessories for my dolls. I am 55 and still find happiness in these activities!

    Cathy Milne on April 30, 2014
  • Reading. I also remember with great fondness both of my grandmothers who taught me to do embroidery, knit, crochet and sew! I still do all of them occasionally, but all of those skills and time spent with my grandmothers has led to quilting….my favorite hobby now, when I’m not reading!!

    —Pam Lewshenia on April 30, 2014
  • Coloring Eggs! I’ve always loved Easter eggs, coloring them with my mom’s food color as a kid, and now, collecting the colored eggs from my chickens will make it feel like Easter every day. It’s still fun to color them with all kinds of dyes as well as natural methods, like beets, onion skins, etc. Or, blow them out, and cover them with beautiful Origami paper using Mod Podge. I haven’t tried the Ukranian way using wax, but I admire it from afar. I just got some new baby chickies this year. The Cuckoo Maran’s and Welsummer’s are supposed to give me chocolate brown eggs, and the Ameraucana’s green and blue. I can’t wait till they start laying!

    —Suzanne Knapp on April 30, 2014
  • Sewing. By 8 yrs old my mom taught me to sew clothing. That’s the only way I would have any new clothes being that I was one of 6 children. I would go to JC Penneys in the mid 60’s and fondle the clearance bolts of fabric for the cheapest. Mom would allow only so much money. I remember making shorts for my younger sisters during school break. What memories!

    —Lois Rice on April 30, 2014
  • I loved to color as a child. I have a coloring book in my cedar chest that I bought in 1965. When a visitor comes to my house & the subject comes up – I ask them to color a picture, then sign & date it. My grandchildren love to look at it & find the ones they have colored over the years. I do most of my coloring now with fabric. Quilting is my favorite in retirement. I love the choices in fabric and at quilt shows, to see the way that other quilters use them.

    —Dixie Bell on April 30, 2014
  • My mom taught me to sew and my dad taught me to garden. I still love both activities! My dad died suddenly when I was only 16 years old, so every spring as I plant flowers and enjoy their beauty, I like to think that I’m sharing a precious time with him still.

    —Pam Peterson on April 30, 2014
  • I love sitting down and learning how to embroider with my aunt. She pretty much raised me while my mom worked. They say, she had the mentality of a 9 year old , but actually she was alot smarter and wiser then they thought. She had been put into a convent as a small chid, when her parensts had died. She had two other sisters, one which lived with my mom and her siblings when growing up. My mom, talked to older sister to find out where my aunt was, and she finally told my mom, and she came to live with us. She was actually my mom’s first cousin, but we called her aunt out of respect for one’s elders. But, like I said she taught me to embroider. So… on rainy afternoons or snowy afternoons we would sit and embroider together, when I wasn’t outside being a tom boy.

    —Diane Reddy on April 30, 2014
  • I still love to knit. Between finding a pattern, a yarn and the perfect color, it is so relaxing and creative.

    —Susan Stone on April 30, 2014
  • I was not the most coordinated of children. I’m still not and I will be 60 soon. Not only was I the last to be chosen on any physical activity team, whichever team was unfortunate enough to wind up me would groan in dismay. Again, still today I’m a clutz. However, in 5th grade I talked my mother into letting enter a Jacks competition in California. I won first place for my age group. I had forgotten my love of jacks until this question. Such a simple, inexpensive game brought me much pleasure and a little sorely needed confidence. I have four granddaughters, the oldest is 5 years old today. I plan to buy some jacks and start playing jacks again so I can teach my granddaughters about jacks and simple pleasures. No doubt they won’t be interested. I don’t guess you can play an electronic version but it will be something we can share, however briefly, and maybe when they’re older they will remember playing jacks with their grandmother and think back fondly on the activity. So many simple pleasures are being forgotten in our electronic age.

    —donna nutt on April 30, 2014
  • Like so many others-Reading-a life-long passion. When old enough to catch the bus and go "downtown" my Mom would give me a dollar. That was enough for the round trip bus, a movie, and a treat at the movie. My first stop was the library to return books. My last stop would be at the library to load up with a new supply. When I was a teenager I would read two and sometimes three books a day. They probably were not all great literature but skills honed then have given me a life time of joy.

    —Betty on April 30, 2014
  • When I was 5 or 6 I had a Revlon doll (pre-Barbie). I would play in the livingroom. My mom gave me scrapes and I would make clothes for my doll. While I was sewing I watched old movies and in my head the clothes I made for my doll were like the dresses that the stars of the 30’s and 40’s. As time gone on I made my prom dress, my wedding dress and lots of clothes for my kids and grandkids. But I still think back to the time I sewed the dresses for my doll, and dreamed of the dresses Edith Head designed for the movies.

    —Vicki on April 30, 2014
  • Knitting and reading. I still do both nonstop!

    —Diane kerchner on April 30, 2014
  • Well besides eating (and who doesn’t love that) I was a voracious reader and still am, usually reading two or three books a week.
    But I was also a self taught knitter as a child and still knit daily.

    —OHSue on April 30, 2014
  • I loved craft kits. For Christmas and my birthday, that was all I wanted. I learned to paint, sew, braid, preserve flowers, pour resin, play with paper, and a few others. Not very many choices to choose from in the late 60’s to mid 70’s. But looking back, all the kits were different, and I found a way to change a little bit to my taste. I still paint, sew and craft with paper. In 1983 I added knitting. Quilting, and refinishing woodwork were added in 1985.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    MaryJo

    —MaryJo on April 30, 2014
  • I played with my doll – always, she never left my side. Now I have a daughter of my own, she’s 17 now but doing hair nails and prom stuff with her has been fun. I don’t want to be a grandma for several years yet, but can’t wait till I get to play with more babies.

    —Dana C on April 30, 2014
  • My mother taught me to sew, knit, cook, play piano and many other talents. I still do all these and consider myself blessed that in teaching me these skills she taught me to understand instructions and I have learned quilting, crochet, tatting, bobbin lace and many more skills. THANKS MOM !

    —Mary Dahlberg on April 30, 2014
  • I still love to color! When I’ve completed a quilt, I sit down with fabric ironed to freezer paper, and make a label. I draw designs, write about the quilt, and color in vines, flowers, etc. with my permanent pens and crayons. I can entertain myself for hours!

    —Melody DeGraziano on April 30, 2014
  • I learned hand embroidery at 6 years old, and still do hand embroidery for myself and for gifts. I also still make clothes for myself, and for others in the family.

    —Loisjean on April 30, 2014
  • My mother taught me to sew when I was big enough to sit on her lap when she was making mine & my sisters clothes. I when we where is france & Germany (army brat & proud) the ladies my mother knew would teach me to knit & crochet & I try do one or the other every day.
    Thanks cathy antone

    —cathy antone on April 30, 2014
  • Rolly Polly on the ground…..as a kid I used to do this all the time….now I get to do it with my grandaughter and I don’t have to worry about what others think.

    —Shirl Hair on April 30, 2014
  • When I was a child I made clothes for my dolls. When I became an adult I learned how to make clothing for myself and our daughter. That eventually evolved into quilting.

    —Nancy on April 30, 2014
  • Coming from a rather large family and being the youngest (I refer to myself as #9), I learned to spend a lot of time on my own. At a very young age, my mother instilled a love of books and reading in my life. I was lucky enough to pick up her gift of when I’m reading, I don’t see words…I watch a movie (best way that mom described it). I can’t tell you how many "movies" I’ve enjoyed over the years because of her.

    —Valerie Frahm on April 30, 2014
  • I have always loved going for walks! As a young child, it was great holding my mother’s hands while walking along logs or low walls. When I was a bit older, I loved walking through the woods and collecting beautiful leaves or stones. As a teenager, taking the dogs for a walk always calmed me down. My husband and I have always loved hiking. When my own children were young, it was a joy to re experience the world through their eyes. And now, there is always something to see no matter when or where – snow on branches, quick flashes of color from the birds, wild flowers as well as beautiful gardens… even iron railings give me quilting ideas!

    —Karen on April 30, 2014
  • Going to my Grandma’s farm – it was one place I felt safe and could roam through the fields without being afraid. Thank goodness it is still in the family so I can go to my safe place.

    —Mary Ann on April 30, 2014
  • My Grandmother taught me basic embroidery (stem stitch and lazy daisy stitches)when I was about 5 or 6. I still love embroidery and still try to do it perfectly. I also still have a small doily I stitched way back then!!

    —Wilma on April 30, 2014
  • Reading! I just wish I had as much time to read now as I did when I was a kid, and could go through a book every day.

    —Karen Cohn on April 30, 2014
  • Daydreaming!

    When I was a little girl I would borrow my mother’s catalogues and furnish my imaginary home, fill my imaginary wardrobe with beautiful clothes and my imaginary garden with beautiful flowers.

    These days I daydream about fabric and yarn, and I still love a good catalogue, but what a world has opened up to me with the internet and YouTube!!!

    —Kayt Deans on April 30, 2014
  • I was a lonely little girl. My sister was too old to pal around with me, and the girls on either side of our house were friends with each other and had no use for a third in their circle. Consequently I read a lot. My mother was talented and taught me to sew and knit as well as cook.

    I have no idea if my sewing machine still works, it hasn’t been out of the case in a number of years but the reading, knitting and cooking are still hobbies. To be honest cooking is more of a job some days, but reading and knitting are still always fun.

    —Leslie in MA on April 30, 2014
  • Reading! I’ve always loved to read ever since the 2nd grade. I used to go to the library and take out 2-3 books every 2 weeks. Then I got a Kindle Fire. I have a huge library right on my Kindle and it goes with me whenever I think I may have to wait. I read every single day and I read a couple books a week now.

    —Victoria on April 30, 2014
  • As a child I liked to look at the scenery around me and get inspiration for creating something. Today I enjoy looking at the surrounding coast and nature around me and put the scenes into my quilting projects. Just being surrounded by beautiful nature around me is very inspiring to sew and create all sorts of quilting and sewing projects. Never fails to relax me.

    —Delphine Petterson on April 30, 2014
  • One of my everlasting passions is reading. Of course, I read different types of books now as compared to age 10. One can never read all the books and learn everything.

    —Jane Bachus on April 30, 2014
  • One year my mother gave me a paint by numbers for Christmas. I love doing it and for a few years after she would buy me one. Then a few years back I found one on sale and iI got it and found I still enjoy them. One graces my sewing room now.

    —Linda Moseley on April 30, 2014
  • I have done embroidery since I was small. I have "hippie" jeans with embroidered butterflies, peace signs, and flowers. I then went on to embroider on the clothes of my 3 little girls and now have done dish towels for all 3 of their wedding showers and do crazy quilt stiching on wool!

    —Patty on April 30, 2014
  • I did sewing and many other handcrafts when growing up and still do them today, but mostly quilting. (We always had a project on the go to work on while listening to the radio and later watching TV. My mom and grandmothers taught me them.)

    —Peggy Grandberg on April 30, 2014
  • When I was 7 years old my Mom passed away. My Aunt Ann, my Moms sister, invited my sister and I to her home for two weeks every summer. Some of my best memories are of sitting on their back porch with my Uncle and cousins snapping green beans that my Aunt would then can. To this day every time I buy fresh green beans to snap I think of those special times we had on the back porch. When you tell some people about this special experience they look at you and say "right". To me it is the simple things that mean the most. You don’t have to go to a fancy amusement park to have a great time with your family. Another thing, my Aunt taught me to do was embroider she even gave me a sampler of embroidery stitches that my Great-Aunt made. I loved learning new stitches; but as time went by and life got busy with school, jobs, and kids: there was no time for embroidery. Well being forced to retired after being treated for breast cancer, I have found a lot of extra time. Embroidery is one thing I have found myself doing. I am really enjoying my old hobby again. It brings me back to the time I spent with my Aunt and cousins sewing on the back porch. My Aunt just turned 85 years old and I can’t wait to share my new projects with her.

    —Linda on April 30, 2014
  • I still love to walk barefoot in the warm grass, read books and explore nature. I still sew, craft and quilt, all of which I learned by the age of 7.

    —Cassie carney on April 30, 2014
  • Reading and writing. I learned to read at four and by seven my favorite character was Jo from Little Women. More than anything, I wanted to grow up and be a writer like Jo! Oddly enough, my other childhood goal was quilting, also from a book, the Little House series. After learning to sew at 13 and a few false starts, I made my first quilt at 19…which looks like childhood from 50! lol

    Beth Strand on April 30, 2014
  • Gee, my favorite thing to do as a child was read. Then once I learned to sew I made clothes for dolls, my little sister, myself & then my kids when they were little. Now I still read – voraciously – quilt novels, quilt magazines, quilt books, mysteries of all kinds – and now I make quilts, quilts & more quilts. So happy that my sewing has grown with me – it’s a wonderful hobby to grow up with.

    —Joy Bradley on April 30, 2014
  • As a child I remember picking Queen Annes Lace and coloring them with berries. I guess even at an early age I was attracted to the delicate look of color and lace.

    —Brenda Young on April 30, 2014
  • As a child i played with Cindy & Barbie dolls, I spent hours making houses from shopping boxes, decorating them & making soft furnishings & making clothes for my dolls…. as an adult My husband & I have renovated 3 houses, decorating them. I made many curtains, covered sofas & made soft furnishings. I also made many clothes for myself & my 3 children when they were small. as they grow & am still called on to adapt clothes & construct fancy dress costumes…. maybe we should watch our children play for clues as to there future lives…..

    —Suzanne Keal on April 30, 2014
  • Out of 12 grandkids, I was the one always up under my Aunt’s arm at Sunday gatherings. My Aunt Emma would bring her crewel embroidery to the weekly family get-together, and I wouldn’t stop pestering her, "Let me try! What’s that stitch called? How do you know how to do this? Can I have it when you’re done?" — finally she bought me a kit and taught me how to embroider! I finished that Erica Wilson butterfly pillow (still in my sewing room!) and never stopped. I still love to embroider, although I’ve moved on from crewel embroidery to redwork and embellishing my applique with embroidery. I still use many of those same stitches, and I really appreciate my Aunt Emma’s time spent teaching me the basics. Aunt Emma, you rock!

    —Kathy Brigham on April 30, 2014
  • I loved to read and I still do but I also loved to quilt and I still do that and sometimes I combine the 2 when I just sit and read quilting books

    Pam McLellan on April 30, 2014
  • When I was growing up, my mother kept a little part of the garden just for me to plant whatever I chose. I read and reread catalogs trying to decide which seeds to plant in my little garden spot. I watched each day to see my seeds break through the soil. I was excited and proud to harvest my first string beans and have my mother prepare them for dinner. I still feel the same excitement today when my seeds break though the soil.

    —KatieQ on April 30, 2014
  • I would have to say jumping in puddles after or during a summer rain and watching flowers and trees turn their leaves and faces into the rain or looking at clouds and seeing shapes in them. As an adult I still love to walk in the rain and periodically splashing in puddles. Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional, or so my grandfather told me while I learned to quilt at a very young age by watching, at first, my grandmother and arranging squares and embroidery. This "first" love has followed me into my adult life and was the stepping stone for thread painting, basket weaving, gourd art, weaving, art quilts, making dolls and teddy bears. This love for creating and loving life, I’m passing along to my twin granddaughters, along with walking in the rain and splashing in puddles!

    Thanks for the opportunity to relieve a wonderful memory that helped me become the person I am today and my love for life. Wishing each and everyone of you all the best that life has to offer.

    Terri at the Drake’s Nest in Palm Bay, FL

    —Terri Drake on April 30, 2014
  • Reading, sewing and drawing.

    —Judi on April 30, 2014
  • It seems to be one of the most popular pastimes written here; reading is something I have enjoyed for about fifty-nine years. I now combine my love of reading with my love of quilting. I listen to audiobooks while I sew. It doesn’t get much better than that!

    I was very touched by your email about last week’s quirky question answers. After I read the comment from Dena, I thought about the machines I have and could send to her. But I have no machine that does embroidery. I felt sad that I wouldn’t be able to help much. Then I read the comment from Vicki. God bless her! Dena, thank you, THANK YOU so much for your service to our country. Vicki, please thank your husband for his service in the Navy. God bless you both and thanks, Martingale for making this all happen! You’ve made several of us very happy, touched us all and made all of us thankful.

    —JoAnne T. on April 30, 2014
  • As a child, I loved to draw, sew, embroider & read. I still love to do all of them.

    —Deb Blackbourn on April 30, 2014
  • When I got a toy sewing machine for Christmas when I was 8 or 9 I didn’t know it would be a big influence in my life. I taught myself how to thread and and make it work and played for hours making dolls clothes that led to my dad getting me a treadle machine when I was ten. I was soon making clothes for the family, I’m one of twelve children. I have never stopped sewing but just two years ago I found quilting and fell in love all over again.

    —Marie on April 30, 2014
  • As a child, I made my dad teach me to read at age 4 so that I could take piano lessons. I got my first library card at age 6. My mother did a lot of sewing for people and I loved to take the scraps of fabric to make "clothes" for my dolls. I still read a lot and play the piano. My sewing is much better than the clothes I "Made" as a child. I quilt with the scraps now!

    —Donna Rowe on April 30, 2014
  • Reading, playing cards

    —Teri powers on April 30, 2014
  • "Nosing" around anywhere there is a craft/fabric room and I am welcome. I loved puttering about and arranging both my Nanny’s (grandmother) and Ma’s (Great Grandmother) sewing areas. I still love to do this… These days I am most likely to be at my much loved local quilt shop where I volunteer doing anything that needs to be done. The owner is like a sister to me; when she moved a few years back things were all awry. She thinks she is taking advantage of me because I love going through cleaning, rearranging, cutting fabric, making shop samples, etc. I have told her time and again she’s really doing ME the favor! I also learned to sew on Ma’s Singer 66 treadle machine. It was inherited by my Nanny, when she passed it would’ve gone to my Mom but she doesn’t sew… So I was the lucky recipient. I have sewn on this much loved machine, and my iced tea glass sits on a coaster in the same spot where there are permanent rings where Ma used to have her iced tea glass when she was sewing. Most times I would be right beside her or happily going through all of her fabrics, buttons, and embellishments!

    —Kandy on April 30, 2014
  • I don’t remember my mother teaching me how to do hand embroidery and I don’t remember even learning to do it. I have always done it on everything I can get my hands on. Mine wasn’t always beautiful, but I have gotten better and I still love doing it. I just finished a Bunny Hill Easter bunny red work quilt. I may piece and quilt, but I enjoy the hand work as a relaxation. My mother’s embroidery was always perfect. I wish I had told her this.

    —Verna on April 30, 2014
  • As a kid, I loved coloring in a coloring book or on paper. My favorite activity was when my grandma and I melted them and made crayon art. Well. . .I still get excited about a new box of crayons! Except now, I’m coloring on fabric!

    —Terry on April 30, 2014
  • As a young girl I learned to embroider, knit and crochet at my mother’s knees. I have always enjoyed doing these things and find that there provide a lot of quiet, meditative and relaxing times still. Over the years I have added sewing and quilting to that list of hobbies and find that all of them are great ways to spoil my grandchildren and to bless the lives of others.

    —Sherie on April 30, 2014
  • As a child, I always loved playing with my Barbies. In those days we only were given new Barbie clothes and accessories at Christmas so at age 10 I started sewing my own doll clothes. I started sewing shift dresses and shawls. It then turned into doll beds and later more complicated outfits. This began my knowledge of a sewing machine and my love for sewing. During college I sewed some of my own clothes and always was able to alter clothes I bought throughout the years. Now I have learned to quilt and I am hooked! I have the say my mom was my mentor in learning to sew and I thank her for for that!

    —Denise on April 30, 2014
  • When 4 of us were young, my mother loved to sew dresses for us (4 daughters) with appliqué patterns. Not flowers but balloons and animals. As I am the only one who loved sewing since young, I will help her to mix water n tapioca flour to make glue for appliqué and she taught me how to sew. Now I have two daughters of my own and I love sewing stuff for them and my sisters.

    —Lee on April 30, 2014
  • Reading! It is so much easier for me to read multiple books, thanks to the e readers. I can carry 100’s of books and magazines in my purse without the weight.

    —Linda on April 30, 2014
  • I enjoy sewing with my mother watch her on her treadle machine she has since pass away . But I love to sew clothing and quilts and anything to do with sewing

    —Patricia Carbery on April 30, 2014
  • I have loved moss and ferns ever since I can remember. I used to bring moss in the house and hide it under my bed so mom would not find it(yah, right!) Now in my 50’s, I finally have more ferns than I know what to do with in my yard and a retaining wall behind them covered in moss. I love looking out at them every morning and working them into the landscape. Moss is an amazing thing, with so many different kinds in a small area. It never ceases to amaze me.

    —Tammy L. on April 30, 2014
  • I still love to read and make birthday cards.

    —Jen B on April 30, 2014
  • When I was about 6 or 7 I started making doll clothes and little quilts from old rags my mother had in a rag box. I advanced on to sew for myself when our home burned(we didn’t have insurance) and all the donated clothing were to small. I took dresses apart and made skirts and vest or tops so I could have clothes. Later I sewed clothing for my mother, myself and my children until my daughter was 16 and wanted jeans and t-shirts. My mother died at a young age so I slowed way down on sewing, but I continued to quilt off and on. Today I enjoy my retirement with my quilting and still make jackets and outfits for my great grandbabies.

    —Charlotte Brown on April 30, 2014
  • Aside from doing crafts learned from Girl Scouting which led me to a career in Home Economics, I always enjoyed roller skating. I had a pair with the old ball-bearings inside and they fit over your shoes and you tightened them with a metal skate key. I skated so much so that at about twelve years of age I wore the rollers out and the ball-bearings came out. I gave up until I had my own children and my husband and I got roller blades so we could skate with them. I skated on them on and off until my niece’s children were skating one day and I took mine over to roller skate with them. I did pretty well, only fell once and that was on the grass, but it dawned on me that perhaps at my age, 68, I should hang up my skates as women of my age are susceptible to falls which result in broken bones, especially hips. So I guess they will be stored for my daughter and hopefully handed down to future grandchildren as they still have a lot of use left in them.

    —Rosemary on April 30, 2014
  • I started to read before I went to kindergarten and had to get the teachers permission to get books from the library that were beyond my grade. My teacher told the librarian to give me any book I wanted. I never quit reading. Thank heavens for the E-readers. I ran out of places to keep my books. I am 65 years old and I still love to go to the park and swing. I will blow bubbles with my grandkids any time they want.

    —Marsha Nelson on April 30, 2014
  • Sew. Sew. Sew,
    Mom was a tailor. I learned to sew when I was 7 in 1952 and had my own Singer sewing machine when I was 9. What luck, it was a featherweight. Mom worked at J C Penney’s so I had access to free fabric ends to make doll clothes. My house was the place to play because I had all these outfits for dolls.
    By Junior High, I made most of my clothes. I remember my first store- bought dress was my communion dress. Had trouble in Home Econ classes in high school because I had learned to sew with commercial techniques – not what they taught in teacher’s college. The class made aprons, I made a crisp sailor suit with all the braid on the collar and cuffs. got a "B".
    Rest of my life I sewed clothes for myself and family. Had 7 nieces and nephews and before Christmas had a little factory making clothes for presents.
    Finally everybody got too old for home made items so I turned to quilting and never looked back. It is the joy of my day – just seems to wash the worries away.

    —lavonne on May 1, 2014
  • I, too, love to color! I own at least three of those great big boxes of Crayolas, including the one a number of years ago that had some new colors identified only by number (there was a contest to name them, as I recall). And I do love the smell of a fresh box of crayons!!

    I also still enjoy swinging, but haven’t done so in a while. When my parents were both still alive and mom was still able to live at home, the three of us took a walk one day, and at the park, my dad and I both swung on the swings! Mom sat on a park bench and laughed at us! By this time she wasn’t able to hold a conversation any more (she had dementia), but still enjoyed the humor of seeing her mid-80s husband and her mid-50s daughter swinging!!

    I also am still a voracious reader, particularly mysteries, but if I’m desperate, I’ll read whatever is handy, even cereal boxes! LOL

    Last, but not least, is sewing and dolls. I have loved dolls all my life, and have sewn since I was 10. In addition to making clothes for myself and the grandchildren, I really enjoy sewing for my dolls. Well, yes, sometimes I Play with them, too!! I like to pose them and take pictures, which I post on the dolly yahoo group to which I belong.

    —Charlotte Trayer on May 1, 2014
  • As the only girl with four brothers, I loved to curl up with a good book. As the years went by, still surrounded by three sons and a husband, I love to curl up with a good book.

    And when I found out about sewing machines, I started sewing doll clothes for me and a friend’s Barbies, then clothes for me. That love has also stayed with me. Now I sew quilts of all sizes. Love making memory quilts for grandkids: Two down, two to go.

    —Linda Baird on May 1, 2014
  • For me it’s got to be beastie hunting. We have a bit of a wild garden and in summer its full of bugs. I don’t try and catch them these days, but do try and get a photo of them. As a child, I would make mini environments in jam jars and put a few bugs in.

    I have a log pile for insects and several plants the butterflies love. Our summers may not be baking hot but they are buzzing!

    As children we found newts and tadpoles too. We made a small pond for the tadpoles, and there are still frogs living there now.

    —Suzanne on May 1, 2014
  • Even before I learned to sew, I wanted to. No one was near enough to teach me, but on my mother’s treadle with four matching feed sacks, (a blue print I still remember–beautiful) I made my first dress at 9. All that time I was reading Nancy Drew mystery books. Now, my 10 year old granddaughter is reading Nancy Drew, and another granddaughter sews. I am still reading and sewing.

    —Jane McKay on May 1, 2014
  • Horseback riding

    —Frederica Gieda on May 1, 2014
  • I’ve been an avid reader since I learned to read.
    I used to love crafts and made many potholders and such on a child’s loom. Now I quilt and sew pot holders and such. Yesterday I made three mug rugs.

    —Pat Winters on May 1, 2014
  • I love to read. Having time to do it (to me) is a luxury!

    —Jane on May 1, 2014
  • My mom made all of my dresses when I was little. I loved sitting by the sewing machine with a needle and thread and scraps she gave me (at four years old). I would wrap them around my doll and sew them on! She taught me how to use the machine at about six and I made the first garment that I could wear at nine. My love of all things fabric is still going strong and includes quilting now. I also have always loved to read and go through about a book a week!

    —Rosalyn on May 1, 2014
  • Such generosity, Vicki. A real, live quilting fairy. Bless.

    As for my childhood activity …
    After a rain, I loved creating ditches to let the water run from the mud puddles. I still love doing it, but now I tell myself it’s work and I’m required to do it.

    —Joy on May 1, 2014
  • Making my own doll clothes without a pattern! I used to watch my mom sew our clothes as a child. As soon as I had the machine figured out, at about 9 or 10 years old, I would make my four little sisters Barbie doll clothes by cutting holes for armholes and sewing a little seam that would slide over the doll body. I discovered double knit and it stretched! I took off from there. I did some of that with my two daughters and then even bought a few patterns. Now I used left over ribbing and some knits to make skirts and tube dresses for my granddaughters’ Barbie dolls. I still have my patterns too. I just can’t get away from it. Nothing more fun than making a child smile.

    Karen Gerbig on May 1, 2014

    —Karen Gerbig on May 1, 2014
  • I started sewing when I was 4 and reading about the same time and I still split my spare time between the two, sometimes combining them by listening to audio books while I sew!

    —Kari Huber on May 1, 2014
  • As a child, one of my favorite activities was to fold a piece of paper in half, like a book, then cut it into the shape of a house. When I opened the "house" I would draw rooms, then add drawings of furniture, window treatments, accessories, etc. Even people! Then I would use my beloved large box of crayons and play with color for each room. Now that I’m older I still use crayons to give me ideas for quilt colors that I can use to help me choose fabric. Eventually, I have a new quilt to help decorate my real house! I love being able to make a house a home with the warmth and color of quilts.

    —Carol on May 1, 2014
  • When I was about ten, I was given a stamp collection by an elderly neighbor who had lost interest in hers. She explained the hobby and showed me how to work with the pages of stamps. I later learned that the collection was more than one generation old. I still have that collection, and even today, when I’m not quilting, I take it out and work with it a little. Each year, I buy the packet of new commemorative stamps that were issued for that year. It’s a restful hobby.

    —Vickie on May 1, 2014
  • When I was younger, I loved being outside, and still go out
    whenever possible. My mother taught me how to do all kinds
    of stitching – cross stitching, making clothing and of course
    quilting. Being retired I can now do these things ALL DAY !!!!

    Paulette Doerhoff

    —Paulette Doerhoff on May 1, 2014
  • I remember fondly sitting at my grandmother’s side ,on a footstool, while she taught me how to embroider. She patiently showed me hoe to make smaller stitches and how to choose colors. I remember the first tea set that I did. It was the parasol ladies on the corners of the little table cloth and flowers on the napkins. I gifted my dear ‘Nana’ with that when our family moved west. They were in her things when she passed away some 35 years later.
    I still love to embroider and work with color. My passion now is quilting and I think that is because of the quilts I grew up with in my grandmothers house. There were always quilts on our beds that we made tents with to go on great adventures in the winter times in the living room. I grew up in eastern Canada and the winters were always very long and very cold, but we always were wrapped in a warm quilt and lots of love.

    —Elizabeth J. Thompson on May 1, 2014
  • I have always loved to color, so much so that I got a brand new box of crayons, in a collector’s tin, every Christmas for most of my childhood, into my teen years.

    When I had children, I colored right alongside them, stifling my slight panic when they would peel the papers away from their crayons (no!), but then taking great pride as they dumped out the box and rearranged the crayons in color order, just as I always did.

    Now that my boys are mostly past the coloring stage, I still find ways to color — mostly with fabric and thread now, as I see quilt design & quilting as an extension of that lifelong obsession. The "coloring pages" (aka, quilts) last a lot longer, too! and I’ve even incorporated some of my boys’ drawings into their own quilts. Win-win!

    The Reader on May 1, 2014
  • This may sound silly but I still love to color. My Grand kids are too old to color with now so I can’t hide behind them anymore. Maybe I will become a closet colorer !!

    —Sue Tatum on May 1, 2014
  • As a preschooler, I sat and watched my mother embroider colourful designs on pillow cases and tea towels and begged her to teach me. My first attempts were simple running stitches and later an outline stitch — nothing fancy.
    I’m now approaching age 60 and have tried my hand at sewing, crocheting and quilting, but I still experience the most pleasure when I’m hand stitching with embroidery floss. I’ve mastered many different stitches which I try to incorporate in my sewing and quilting projects. My favourite project that I completed a couple years ago is a small square table cloth with a "sampler" border using many different embroidery stitches — lazy daisy, French knots, backstitch, double chain stitch, feather stitch, fishbone stitch, chevron stitch and fly stitch.
    Many thanks to my Mom for introducing me to this pleasurable and productive past time!

    —Joyce Bergen on May 1, 2014
  • I loved coloring, there was nothing better than to have a new box of crayons and coloring book. Today I am an art quilter and do some surface embellishment in the process it is very similar.

    —Barbara on May 1, 2014
  • When I was very young I lived with my Grandma and Grandpa on a farm in Kentucky. I learned a great deal at my grandma’s side. She taught me how to fry fruit pies in a cast iron skillet…how to thread a needle and tie the knot in one fluid movement…how to sit quietly with needle and thread in hand along with her friends from church, and hand quilt the quilt that was lowered from my Aunt and Uncle’s dining room ceiling mounted on a wooden frame. Little did I know at the tender age of five that I was learning skills and developing a life long love of quilting and "handwork". The peacefulness of the handwork and the joy of putting colors and patterns together for a quilt are a very large part of my world. I have such precious memories of Grandma teaching me…and I can still remember how her hands felt guiding mine as she taught me how to piece fabric together. Grandma never purchased fabric for a quilt…instead remnants from dresses she made me, grandpa’s work shirts, etc. were utilized. I have thought many times what fun it would be to go thru my ‘stash’ with Grandma and see her reaction to the gorgeous colors and prints. Thank you for the question this week and the pleasure I’ve had thinking of it.

    —VikingMom on May 1, 2014
  • I remember sitting on the floor by my paternal grandmothers 1902 Singer treadle sewing machine and thought I was "sewing" as she peddled it, because I was pushing with my hands. That machine now sits in my entry way.
    My maternal grandmother also taught me to sew, I spent a lot of time with her, and made troll doll clothes. I now have that troll doll and the little clothes I made.(funny little things) I have been sewing ever since. I made my own clothes all through high school.And I make dolls(Debi’s Dollys)with little quilts. Just recently got back into quilting,from when I was younger.Oh the love of all things sewing and FABRIC!!! =D

    Debi a Fabricaholic in Ok

    —Debi Yakel on May 1, 2014
  • Loved crafting and needlework "back in the day". Still love both. The only difference is I can afford a bit more for supplies than I did as an 11 year old. Teaching twin granddaughters now.

    —Carol Mason on May 1, 2014
  • I have always loved tramping about in the woods to look at wildflowers, especially in the spring of the year. There is something about the green, yellow, blue, violet, pink and white against the dull browns of leaves and twigs on the forest floor that soothes my soul. Maybe that’s why I love playing with fabrics now!

    —Carol C on May 1, 2014
  • I was a reader. I read everything I could get my hands on from the back of cereal packets to my father’s newspaper. Set to read a chapter of a book for homework, I’d read the lot!
    I took the maximum permitted number of books from the school and town libraries and so read at least 5 books a week.
    I still love reading but -unless I’m unwell – only read a couple of books a week.
    Reading opens up the world and is the most important thing a child learns in my view.

    —Gloria on May 1, 2014
  • My favorite childhood hobby was sewing! My first friend and I sewed Barbie clothes on my porch, using scraps my Mom gave us. We lost touch for a long time, and I found her a few years ago, living less than a mile from our old street. She still hand sews, I use the machine for everything. Sewing, quilting, machine embroidery! Sew much fun with my first friend.

    —Linda Bazemore on May 1, 2014
  • I learned to sew during the summer of my junior high school days. I did not really appreciate this skill until I had children and grandchild. My sewing projects included quilts and a Minnie Mouse dress! Am now able to sew flannel quilts provided to newborn babies in the intensive care unit, young children undergoing cancer treatment and other children who are hospitalized I our children’s hospital. Unbelievably rewarding and satisfying!

    —Pam on May 1, 2014
  • When I was a little girl flying a kite intrigued me. However, we had to make our own with newspaper and sticks from a tree or a bush and glue made with flour and water. The tail was make of old rags torn into strips. Needless to say those homemade kites would not stay up. When my oldest daughter became of age to fly a kite we were able to buy a store bought kite and her success to get it to stay up was exciting and I have a picture to prove it. Then, later, much later, when I was in my 70’s I was at Kitty Hawk, known for kite flying and specialty shops that sell all kinds of kites. I again was intrigued and had to buy a kite and try my luck. My kite stayed up and it flew so far up in the sky that I could hardly see it. I still have my kite and hope to fly it again. We should never get to old to have child like fun. I think I will be looking for a quilt pattern with kites on it.

    —virginia walker on May 1, 2014
  • As a child I loved to read and it is still a great pleasure to me today. I grew up in a home where sewing was always going on and it too soon became a passion, which of course it still is today!

    —Marie on May 2, 2014
  • As a child I loved reading. It was my escape from an unhappy home. At age twelve, I taught myself embroidery. So, reading and embroidery have been my joys as a child and now as a mature adult.

    —Marjorie on May 2, 2014
  • My Nana was a seamstress, and she kept supplied with scraps to sew things for my dolls. Pretty soon, I was sewing for myself and siblings. I still love sewing. That led me to quilting. Although I make some of my own clothes, quilting is my true love.

    —Jeannette Bessler on May 2, 2014
  • Reading was my favorite inside activity along with learning to stitch and knit. Growing up in the 50’s, my childhood was filled with fun outside activities–hopscotch, bike riding, playing jacks, bouncy ball, and hand clapping games. Many hours of outside play, and great childhood friends to share these memories with.

    —Rosemary on May 2, 2014
  • I learned to sew as a child of 4, and it grew into a lifelong passion. I also continue to read, knit, and play music daily. Childhood hobbies can become lifelong learning opportunities!

    —Joanne Lenigan on May 2, 2014
  • As a child I loved creating – anything! I drew,wrote, crafted… I spent endless hours by myself, even though I had a brother and sister, and numerous neighborhood kids to play with. Now that I’m grown and retired I still love creating! About 2 years ago I finally began quilting (I had wanted to do it for years), and now I’m hooked! My major project right now is a southwest themed quilt for our bed. Since I wasn’t fond of all of the blocks shown,I have drawn some of my own. So all that creating as a child is serving me well! And just as it was when I was a child, I can spend hours alone, in my studio, drawing, crafting, quilting… Creating!

    —Barb Keeler on May 2, 2014
  • It is not such a quirky question, but then I don’t have an unusual hobby. I read and I sew! I love color and design, and sewing allows me to play with such pretty fabrics.

    —Nancy Angerer on May 2, 2014
  • I had rheumatic fever when I was nine. To keep me in bed my mother got yarn, needles and a pattern and taught me to knit. My first project was a sweater for myself! I still love to knit and take great comfort from it.

    —Mary P on May 2, 2014
  • I loved playing cards! My grandmother kept us occupied when she wasn’t quilting. I remember running under the quilt form as she, her sister, and my mom quilted. I wish now I had learned from them but I love it today.

    —Helen E Young on May 2, 2014
  • I started sewing at four, I still sew.

    —Linda Christianson on May 2, 2014
  • I love to create: whether its writing short stories or poetry. I now quilt and still write under a pen name.

    My first love was photography, but sadly, the former "friend" stole all my camera lens and filters. From my photos, I would illustrate my writings and give them a visual meaning. A picture is worth, a thousand words. I, now, create some of those photos in my quilts.

    Keep smiling,

    Lynnita Shipman on May 3, 2014
  • One of the creative things my siblings, cousins, and I did was to sit under an oak tree and using the acorns, we’d make jewelry. We made necklaces, bracelets and head bands. Some of our "best work" became presents for our mothers, who cherished our gifts like they were diamonds. I miss those peaceful days.

    Keep smiling,

    Lynnita Shipman on May 3, 2014
  • I loved to read and I still do. I also liked to collect rocks and that still is a fascination for me. Another thing I liked to do was sew. I made many of my own clothes and later, many for my daughters too. Now I still love to sew but most of that is quilts. Lately, I have been making clothes for granddaughters and their dolls. Fun!

    Carol Kussart on May 3, 2014
  • It is fun reading about all the childhood memories and the lifelong passions they inspired! I was always a voracious reader and still am. My grandmothers taught me crochet and embroidery and some hand stitching. I taught myself to knit from an article in Family Circle magazine. Still doing all of those at least once in a while.
    In the summer I loved to play in the dirt and I still do! I garden and I also work in a greenhouse in the spring . I love designing new container gardens with all the colors available to me. I also use my love of color to make quilts–my newest passion!
    So glad that handwork and crafting is still alive and continues to be passed down to future generations!

    —Linda Towers on May 3, 2014
  • I grew up loving books and still do; all of my 6 children were raised with regular library trips, now it’s my grandson’s turn!!!

    —Jan on May 3, 2014
  • I loved to read as a child and still read and collect books by my favorite authors even though I have a NOOK and Kindle. I used to love to sew and do most every needle art. Since retiring I now quilt, read and sew everyday. And I have started to paint with watercolors again.

    Loved the story of Dena and Vicki, thanks so much for sharing.

    —Diana on May 3, 2014
  • Reading, math and jig-saw puzzles. In the 3rd or 4th grade I found the Laura Ingles Wilder series in the school library. What a joy that was. My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Garbade, allowed me to work ahead of the class in math at a desk in the back of the room. That love continued and I ended up teaching high school math with tessellations and angles. If I couldn’t go to school because of a cold or sore throat, my mother would stop by the dime store and pick up a new jig-saw puzzle. This kept me busy at home while she went to teach. Matching colors and fitting pieces together intrigued me. Times sure were different then!
    All of these experiences, combined with seeing my grandmother’s quilts which were used as pallets for sleeping when we all gathered, were what made me start learning to quilt when I retired.

    —Mary Dorn on May 3, 2014
  • As a child, my mother taught me to sew doll clothes on an old treadle sewing machine and to embroider (which I then applied to everything in sight). As an adult, my fiber hobbies have expanded to also include knitting, crocheting, quilting, spinning, and weaving. So many hobbies…so little time! I remember the thrill of exploring all the books on the book mobile that visited our neighborhood; that was the start of my continuing love of reading.
    Thank you for sharing the story of Dena and Vicki. Blessings to both of them!

    —Pearl on May 3, 2014
  • My favorite thing to do as a kid was to draw..especially horses. As a grown-up I taught 7 th grade Art for several years and still draw and paint..mostly water colors.

    —Jackie Wisherd on May 3, 2014
  • I always liked doing crafts as a child. I am sure a lot of women early on made those potholders from the loops. I even tried knitting at nine or ten years old. But the one craft that has stayed with me is crocheting. I still get excited when I see a new magazine or website that offers patterns.

    —Virginia Bronner on May 4, 2014
  • When I was a child I used to knit, crochet, sew and embroider: all hobbies that I still do today. But as an adult I incorporated more hobbies into my arsenal like quilting, bobbin lace and other different crafts. When I see a new craft I will always like to try it

    —Marthese on May 4, 2014
  • When I was 10 years old, my maternal Grandmother taught my sister and I how to sew doll clothes by hand, without a pattern. I was always interested in her sewing abilities, as she made many of my clothes when she came to visit us. She was a seamstress during WWII, employed by the WPA, and I also had a quite a few seamstress’s in the family on both sides.
    I taught my oldest daughter how to sew, she was only about 6 at the time. She has turned into quite a crafty lady in her own right, winning awards for her art work. It has now come full circle as I make doll clothes for my granddaughter. My goal now is to sit down with her to teach her how to sew by hand. This will be a worthwhile "art" to pass on down the generations.
    Incidentally, I started piecing my first quilt because a neighbor had asked me for any leftover scraps that I had lying around. When I saw what she had done with my scraps, I started creating my own quilt, totally by hand and learned to hand quilt it as well. I now make teddy bears totally by hand. I love creating the stitching on each seam, because I is made with lots of love. I have tried making them on my machine, but it does take out the thrill of creating something totally with your own hands. I guess the machine just can’t put the love into the stitching that I can – by hand.
    To this day, I still enjoy hand sewing, although some of my sewing is done on my 28 year old Singer Sewing Machine. She’s never failed me yet… she’s like the energizer bunny".

    —Pam Harris on May 5, 2014

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