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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Day 14 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - Hobbies!

Day 14 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The gold nugget for today is Helpful Hobbies. My number 1 hobby is quilting. I love every aspect of it, from the design to the final stitch on a label with the date, who’s if for, and my name and year.

The creative space I gave myself years ago helped me overcome tremendous sadness. While Ryan was hooked up to a multitude of IVs and in his hospital room, like Grand Central Station with so many medical personnel in and out of his room day and night, it was difficult to sleep, let alone think through anything complicated.

But, after a good cry, when I finally laid my head to rest (sleep?), I would return to the snapshots I had in my mind of my sewing room and all the pretty fabrics waiting for me to do something with them.

I let my mind wander to the vibrant hues of every color plus yards of soft colors of cotton cloth stashed on the shelves. I would visualize by selecting color combinations and patterns that would play nicely together. Most of the time, I did nothing with my idea(s), but I did make a few quilts years later what I designed in my mind during those tumultuous times.

Then, I got brave. Since I usually carried hand-work with me in a little basket so I could hand-sew when the mood struck, I took it to a new level when I brought my Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine to the hospital…and an iron! As I put together a quilt using 4" blocks, I had rows of them all over the hospital room. It brightened up the place, too! But that super hot iron and blowing out fuses got me in “trouble.”

I tried to take what was in my mind in real-time, and do what I do best, sew! Ryan loved it! He knew Mommy was happy doing her thing, though the iron had to go. And with the iron, the machine. I was back to designing quilts in my mind.

And we know our minds are powerful. A simple thing like creating a quilt in my mind took me away from what was right before me so I could fall asleep. We also know that sleep is NEEDED when one is a caregiver. Better yet, is when I/we finally got home. I got to sew on my machines with glee.

What I am trying to convey is the “art” of hobby and using it to get over and through challenging times.

Wikipedia says this:

A hobby is considered to be a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time. Hobbies include collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing other amusements.

My leisure time of quilting has become a lifelong passion and has become a cottage industry for me (Tshirt Quilts). Sewing and Quilting got me through days I thought would never end (too much bad news coming our way).

The art of quilting and the soothing sounds of my sewing machines was the salve for a hurting family. And frankly, it saved my soul.

Hobbies can help an attitude more than anything else, perhaps except exercise. A combination of the two would work well to help keep anyone going through a challenging time grounded.

What is your hobby?

The quilt in the background of my videos when I’m home is called “Manufacturing Sunshine.” I/we had to manufacture a lot of sunshine over decades!




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