Greetings, Quilting connoisseurs,

…please forgive the pretentious greeting. I admittedly presumed to be a little ‘too’ playful with such a… saccharine opening attempting to set myself apart from the other unsolicited posts populating your package drop.

Anyway, my name is Brian, and after a search for specialty craft stores brought you to my attention I couldn’t help but try my luck contacting you, thinking if anyone could help me you might, regardless your being located across the country.

Weird as it probably sounds, I’ve found myself with a pen pal and I wish to build a stronger platonic relationship with her than I feel the likes of social media can help me realize. Perhaps it could even lend further credence to the belief: ‘quilting was the first form of social media;’ (wanting to say I read that somewhere) what with its wholesome connotations and declaration to commitment through one’s willingness to invest time in an object ultimately providing comfort. For this reason, I think fabric crafts -not necessarily limited strictly to quilting-  would be a perfect means to show sincere intentions in a time of increasingly questionable morals and deceitful decisions.

However, this is where I find myself in a predicament. Whereas during my years of discovery I had copious amounts of time for… ‘certain’ pursuits I chose to avoid -largely due to the stigma attached to participating in those considered ‘feminine in nature,’- as an adult, having now come to terms with such sexist notions, I’d hardly have the time necessary to utilize the requisite skillsets even if 

I did have them. Hence, this leads me to more directly ‘seeking out the source’ in an effort to learn and… bypass the nonsense, so to speak. But in my effort to do so, with crafts specifically, I’ve found every craft store I’ve entered seems to be filled with teenage staffers and occupies an impersonal space akin to the likes of a corporate mercantile packed to the girders with sloppily mass-produced products. Even worse, the extent of the typical employee’s direct experience with said materials seemingly extends solely to its location on the shelf, not its usage or purpose.

Not to blame anyone directly. It might just be one facet of fallout following the blanketed, ‘bottom-dollar,’ compound beat to which our hyper-consumerist economy marches. A brandished and buried, double-edged blade no one wants to excise for fear of a fundamental failing should such a position of power and prominence in the ‘planetary peddle-place’ be parlayed. The result, however, is a feeble feat to find the phenoms of the fundamentals, as it were; companies unwilling or able to purchase the priceless polished gems at a price commiserate of their worth and luster.

So here I am, seeking out the people with passion and time honed skills. In fact, being a Veteran, I’ll admit I think the value of such individuals; considering the service their work provides on the home front, is, in a lot of ways, on par with what Veterans contribute,  

it's... the fabric of America, if you will. Thinking on it now, once the greatest generation fades and the computers burn out, who will be left with the knowledge and ability to make blankets and the like?

The Quilters. That's who. As far as I see it anyhow.

And should that ever be the case, I’d love to be able to say: "I've always said quilting is the past, present… ‘and’ future of America."

But back to point -as long in 'pen' as I’m becoming, I'm curious if you, a highly reputed proprietor in your field, can suggest some laymen projects or easy-to-follow literature that teaches while producing notable results. I want to impress, but lacking tool(s) necessary to overcome the learning curve, how do I avoid the likes of work a child would construct without also cheating the result? I realize this is the age of video based learning, but I'm not one to reason a comparison to organic, doyen counsel. I'm also not convinced the internet isn't ultimately further buttressing the walls isolating people from society.

Anyway, barring this unwieldy exordium, I'm hopeful to realize your assistance and consideration.

Warmest regards, and as the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude; famous for ‘Wrapped Shoreline,’ ‘Valley Curtain,’ and ‘the Umbrellas,’ may or may not have said in their efforts to drape the world in an ephemeral shroud:

“Here’s to quilting that which surrounds us.”

-Brian Dykeman

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CHANNILLO

Brian's First letter to Keepsake
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 Greetings, Quilting connoisseurs,

…please forgive the pretentious greeting. I admittedly presumed to be a little ‘too’ playful with such a… saccharine opening attempting to set myself apart from the other unsolicited posts populating your package drop.

Anyway, my name is Brian, and after a search for specialty craft stores brought you to my attention I couldn’t help but try my luck contacting you, thinking if anyone could help me you might, regardless your being located across the country.

Weird as it probably sounds, I&rsquo...

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