Looking for answers to life's questions

When you were growing up did your parents ever tell you as you walked through a store or someones home to keep your hands to yourself and don’t touch?

Mine were very strict about that and we never challenged them. I was somewhat like that with my children. It was the phrase, “it’s not yours, don’t touch it.” I was a bit more flexible than my parents and my daughter challenged me more.
Children learn from touching. I am still a very tactile person. Oddly, if I wander through a book or fabric store, I touch each piece I’m interested in to get the “feel” of it. I do it carefully and with clean hands but I love (almost need) to touch EVERYTHING!

Puyallup WA quilt show. How can you resist touching.

Puyallup WA quilt show. How can you resist touching.

We touch pictures, frames, trees and flowers. Everything in life has texture. Life itself has texture. I think the more texture it has, the more interesting it is. I wrote a comment on a blog one day not too long ago that I start and end my day with gratitude. The rest in the middle is texture.

another job finished. 2 green squares to add  to more for charity quilt. Pattern in fabric adds texture

another job finished. 2 green squares to add to more for charity quilt. Pattern in fabric adds texture

I think that’s why I like to work with my hands. Embroidery, by machine or by hand, quilting, sewing, crafting, especially nature crafts, even gardening are all tactile and full of texture. I can sometimes be heard moaning over a quilt square where the points don’t meet exactly and ask why can’t things just go smoothly? I learn more from the lack of smooth.

Reaching for more books

Reaching for more books

My son put up the last 2 shelves that had taken up residence on my living room floor. (I painted them there so they could dry quicker.) Things didn’t go as smoothly with that either so there are a couple extra holes in my wall. A little putty and paint will fix that but I would rather have the holes than the shelves still on the floor. It’s a quick easy fix. Each day we get a little further along on our respective projects. Each project adds a little texture. Sometimes even to our vocabulary.

Tech Support. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

Tech Support. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

Last weekend we made a trip to Portland’s Rose Test Garden to meet with my last husband’s granddaughter and her 2 and 5 year old sons. She only brought the 2 year old this time. I brought books. I always bring books. These books had texture and I’m so glad I picked them. This little guy took after mom’s side of the family. His glasses had been chewed by the dog and he was without them. There were no roses yet in bloom but the Camellia’s were. After he was finished touching the books and hearing some of the stories, I pulled a Camellia bloom off the bush and put it on his tray. Mom was a bit stunned but I wanted him to enjoy the bloom too. He enjoyed the texture of the flower until we left. When you don’t see well, touch is even more important.

He can't see the books well but he loves them. Great grandson

He can’t see the books well but he loves them. Great grandson

Time has flown by again this month. That’s what happens when the days are full. My son has been photographing the beauty of our neighborhood and I have been busy finishing projects. My two squares are done a month early, the charity quilt top I was given to sandwich, quilt and bind is finally done and the binding is almost complete on my teacup quilt.

I didn't piece the top, just but the layers together and quilted.

I didn’t piece the top, just but the layers together and quilted.


Back of quilt pieced from scraps.

Back of quilt pieced from scraps.


Part of the binding will be tonight's handwork project.

Part of the binding will be tonight’s handwork project.

That’s the final and most enjoyable part for me. Busy hands while I watch TV. Weeds have been pulled and more stuff sorted and organized. I have a lot of old magazines with craft ideas in them I wanted to save. Tearing out the pages that would get lost and separated didn’t seem like a great option, so I decided to photograph the picture and directions, putting them into a computer file. Sure takes up less room and the box of magazines and books can now be passed on.

More craft books to get moved on intact.

More craft books to get moved on intact.

It was a stunning view for a good week down to Sleepy Hollow.

It was a stunning view for a good week down to Sleepy Hollow.

There is still going to be a lot more texture and gratitude in my life.
How about you? Are you a tactile person who likes a lot of texture?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of the Texture" (37)

  1. I do love textures. I too have to touch everything. It makes me smile. I just love that teacup quilt! I used to have a couple of quilts, but the ex took them for his new wife. Ugh. Never was able to get any more and I’m not a sewer. When I’m in a fabric store it’s almost sensory overload with me. I love the colors and patterns and the feel. It’s the same way in a bookstore. I could live in a bookstore. 😉 ❤

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    • I’ve tried several times to move into a bookstore, They keep throwing me out.:) I agree with sensory overload. Sorry about your quilts. They aren’t as easy as they look, at least to me. I’ll keep plugging along. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs. M

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  2. This post reads like a breath of fresh air Marlene! It is easy to see you are feeling better and more on top of things – and that beautiful street view must be an absolute joy to walk down. I am decidedly tactile. I learn best through touch, I understand my world through touch! I am terrified of museums and galleries where touch is not allowed. I get dizzy with the repression of touch! Once I stepped over the line at the Tate Gallery to stroke the embroidered velvet draped on the boat of the John Waterhouse painting ‘The Lady of Shalott’. Sacrilege! But I had to know – and yes, it isn’t a piece of real fabric 🙂

    I recently discovered a huge new craft store in town – loaded with stuff for every kind of handwork and craft work you can think of – I was completely overwhelmed by the colour, variety and choice! It was heaven on a stick, but has to be attended to in small bites. Touch, touch, touch, pat, stroke, weigh, assess …etc.

    Your quilts are lovely Marlene! And I love this pale blue behind the post – makes for very easy reading! xoxo

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    • Thanks for reading Pauline. I’m so glad you have found a little slice of heaven with the craft store. I rarely go there because I want to take it all home. I have to watch myself at the quilt show because they don’t want you to touch the quilts without gloves. Too many oils in the hands. Some people are more thoughtless than others and let sticky fingered children touch. I don’t mind mine being handled as long as people use good sense.

      As for the background, my son is still playing. We are trying to figure out how to get my own photo at the top header. I want something relating to books. As soon as we get some good light in here, we will take a photo of mine. 🙂 I like the light blue or light green as you do.

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  3. Your post brought back memories, Marlene. I always loved to touch things when I was a child. I remember both my mother and grandmother telling me, “Don’t touch that, Jill.”
    One of my favorite textures has always been sand. I love it between my toes and my fingers. I always love the feel and smell of a new book.
    Your quilt is beautiful!

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  4. Life is certainly texture … I’m a “toucher” of things as well. They tell you something. It’s like you have added another sense to the seeing.

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    • Life is texture. Lumpy, bumpy, breezy, swaying, I pick up energy by touching things. Some just feel right. Odd, I know. Maybe because I’ve been visually impaired myself.

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  5. You absolutely nailed it, “I learn more from the lack of smooth.” Yes, yes, yes – that and then some. 🙂

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  6. What a great post, Marlene. I too like to touch and feel things. When we go antique shopping I keep my hands in my pockets as much as I can. Hard not to pick up each item. Fabrics either by the yard or already made clothing-well, my hands are very busy touching. Take me outside and my hands are busy trying to keep up with my eyes! ! Maybe I am a selective hands on type person. You are so busy! Sounds like your projects are labors of love. ♡

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    • Thanks for reading. I love antique stores too. I’m very careful there but still have to touch some things. I guess I like to touch life the same way. Yes, I’m busy all right. And it is a labor of love. You’ve been very busy too. Spring is coming and we are all going to feel better.

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  7. La la la, good morning! OooooH, lovely things happening here. I’m running off momentarily (seems to be the norm lately) back later tater…..xoxox

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  8. Heeeeerrrreeee’s Boomdee (say it like Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’…LOL).

    A huh! Caught you relaxing at the computer! It’s about time too. My good gravy, do you ever rest? Quilting, painting, decorating, writing, more sewing and who know’s what else. I’m dizzy just thinking about it.

    You asked about touching things, I’m actually the opposite. I’m such a germ-a-phobe, I try not to touch too much of anything when I’m out. I rarely get a shopping cart or basket (they’re so dirty and germie) and shop only in my own cloth shopping bags. Sometimes they get really heavy. I don’t touch door knobs or public restroom handles either. I never read magazines at the checkout and have a bottle of sanitizer in my purse. But I’m the same person who work in the yard all day and get super dirty, go figure. Hey! I like your idea about photographing things you like in the magazine, and then passing them on. I’m slowing letting them pile up again. I must resist the Cottage ones, I’m pretty sure I can snoop Pinterest for similar features but it’s not the same. My name is Boomdee and I’m addicted to home magazines! Help me, LOL.

    I really like the new look you’ve adopted here too Marlene-a-go-go. It’s so fresh and spring like. Are those Cherry Blossums up there? Are they the tree’s in the photo? Very pretty! I’d be tempted to go collect all the pink petals and make a giant pile to jump into. What madness that’d be but wouldn’t that make a cool photo?

    Wow, it’s really green there. Such a pretty neighbourhood. I can’t wait for spring. xoxox k

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    • Thanks for stopping by cause I know you are busier than I am. I’m addicted to books and magazines too. I could build a house with what I have here. Insulation, I call it.
      Those blossoms were at the rose garden. My son took the photo. The bigger photo was on the street coming down to Sleepy Hollow but still in the park. I took a photo last year I think of the ground covered by those pink petals called in search of pink snow. We are going to change the photo later to one of books after we get a good photo of them. I can see you jumping into a big pile of pink. :)) I wish I could say I got rid of all my magazines. That’s just not the case.
      I’m very surprised to know you are a germ-a-phobe. I’m cautious to a point. Figure I’m too ornery for germs to have much affect on me. I do the things I can to keep my immune system up and so far so good. Other than a 3 day cough which I think was more environmental than viral, I stay remarkable well. My pickled garlic helps with so many things. I love cottage magazines too but don’t buy as many. They are better than Pinterest. My Pinterest site is full of shabby chic looks. My house isn’t there yet. Soon, I hope.

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  9. I tend to rely more on smell than touch, but I hadn’t given it any thought at all until I read your post. However, I adore the feel of books, old and new. Your quilts look great!

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    • Thank for stopping by Clare. I’m happy to see you here. I wish I had a sense of smell. I might not rely so heavily on touch. The vision needs help too. 🙂 Books feel a little like heaven to me.

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  10. I am a very tactile person too Marlene. When I was told not to touch something, I instantly wanted to touch it! Such sweet photos, and I love your quilting. And what a wonderful idea to photograph the directions and file them on your computer. I pull out so many recipes and articles from magazines and end up with piles stuffed on shelves and in other books and then forget where they are! I really do need to start getting better organised, everything is becoming over-stuffed here. So cute of great grandson too, hope his glasses get fixed soon! And your last photo is delightful. Spring well and truly on its way and sounds as if things are coming along very nicely for you all indeed 🙂

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    • Thanks for reading Sherri. My daughter was like you. Tell her not to touch and she was determined to do that. The sign of a strong mind. I loved that about her.
      This is my year to get organized and the idea to photograph came out of necessity. I have enough magazines to build a house. We won’t talk about the books and fabric. 🙂
      My son took the photo coming down the main road of our little manufactured home community. Most of the cherry blossoms have been rained off already so he caught the photo just in time.
      I hope the little guy gets his glasses by the time I see them on Sunday. I’ll try to get more photos. I am so ready for spring and have already bought a couple of Daphne’s to plant out front. They are quite tiny but hopefully will grow nicely there. The scent is phenomenal. Have a wonderful week.

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  11. I”m a tactile person as well. Like Pauline, I too crossed the line once at a museum and reached out to touch something. I just forget myself in the extraordinary moment. It was one of the amazing museums in New York, though I can’t recall which one.

    My son has always been super sensitive to fabrics, and when he was three I noticed that he would ask me to wear soft clothing. It took years before he would wear jeans or socks. I’ve always been irritated by clothing tags. It’s the first thing I do before wearing anything new: wash it, and remove the label. So yes, I’m very tactile-aware.

    I love the photo at the top in the banner and the beautiful shot of the street in Sleepy Hollow. Spring has definitely arrived on your doorstep.

    Congratulations on all the additional cleaning and sorting. You’re getting there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know a lot of people that are fabric sensitive. I never wear anything until it’s washed. My first father-in-law told me what goes on in factories and made sure I did. Clothes smell awful when they are new. I don’t like tags either. Hard, scratchy and always sticking up.

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  12. You touched a chord here with many of us. Even Boomdee, who thinks she’s the opposite, is sensitive to touch – in order to avoid it! I love the stories of respectable women who cross the line at museums, ha ha.

    “I start and end my day with gratitude. The rest in the middle is texture.” Your statement here is really beautiful. So much of who you are comes out in this post, and makes me smile. I completely approve of putting a camellia in front of your grandson to play with, and of bringing textured books. These are the kinds of experiences that kids just love and learn so much from.

    The quilt show must have been better than a candy shop. I cannot resist fabrics. I feel as though that is the whole purpose of fabrics displayed as they are in stores: we are to walk through the rows with hands outstretched. Besides, how do you know if you really want to buy until you touch? Your quilts are lovely and I am impressed with how much you do in a day.

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    • Thanks for reading, Crystal. I found some more tactile books for the little guy. I remember when his uncle was that age and got his first pair of glasses. It runs in their family.
      I love the idea of being able to cross boundaries but I’ve never been that brave. I too admire women that can do that.
      Fabric are works of art to me. Quilts make them more textured, like life. It cuts us up a little and puts us back together in some interesting even beautiful ways.
      I wish my days were longer or I had more stamina. There is SO much I want to do in the day and always run out of steam. Time to get to work. I’m ready for a Gustav’s run. Let me know when you are. 😉

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  13. You have been nominated for the Liebster Award! For details check at http://incahootswithmuddyboots.com/2015/03/21/and-the-award-goes-to/

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  14. I smiled as I read because I am SUCH a tactile person. I too, touch everything!
    That last photo is gorgeous, by the way 🙂

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  15. Arriving late again. 😦 Loved this post Marlene and yes I need to feel the textures around me. I did tell my boys not to touch certain things but not all. My oldest son had this habit of touching every car in a parking lot as we walked past them. That he was told not to touch as I didn’t want or need an owner coming upon him and deciding to lecture us. But when it came to things not owned by another they were free to touch as they wanted.

    I love the backing of your quilt, such a good idea to use blocks instead of trying to piece fabric in such a way as to not have it so obvious. You are really busy on your quest to organize this year, and I love how you saved the ideas digitally rather than pulling apart the books and magazines. I do have a couple of paper files of patterns and ideas I’ve saved. I store them in pocket folders to work on as time allows. Each is stapled together so as not to lose pieces of the patterns. For me to save these digitally it would mean I’d never work on them as quilting or cross stitching from a digital file I find so difficult.

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    • I understand about saving some of the directions as I have some in file folders myself. I have a lot of paper patterns too. Some things just seemed to warrant the photo save more than others. I have a lot of children’s patterns that I tried to give to Salvation Army thrift store. They won’t take them anymore and I hate to throw them out so still looking for a new home for them. I hate to toss things in the name of organization, I just have no children to sew for anymore. Everything has a time and place. No one fast rule for anything. I’m still trying to catch up too. This having my kid live with me has been harder than expected.

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  16. I wasn’t allowed to touch since I’m accident prone. I cringe thinking about all the things I’ve broken. I swear, I never meant any harm.

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    • You make me laugh. My sister is that way. She walks in a room and stuff starts to fall. 🙂 The proverbial bull in a china shop. Fortunately, fabric doesn’t break when it falls off the shelves. Neither do the books that jump off the shelves at me. I guess I’ve broken my share of stuff too…but I still have to touch some of it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Lovely article – I too find my hands floating about me in shops – feeling the texture of clothes, scarves, vases and pots (sometimes a bit dangerous as the last person in these comments pointed out!), towels, even book covers … I can’t resist it! And I agree about your idea of filing scraps on line although I don’t do it enough. I have scanned in recipes from magazines that I want to keep (love my scanner!) but the photograph idea means one can snap things when outside the house too – I often take a photo of the notes provided by a museum exhibit – to read later more carefully or to keep – if it is permitted to use camera in the gallery, which increasingly the case. Thank you!

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    • Thanks for stopping by Louise. I’ve started taking more photos of things to refer to later as well. Being somewhat visually impaired, touch has become most important. I try to make sure I have clean hands when going in somewhere since I know I’ll be handling everything. Life is like that too. Full of lumps, bumps, smooth and course. That’s why we must grab it with both hands and feel everything. 🙂

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