Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Incredible Woman #5 - Kim Walus. Tuesday's questions

KARA: "Can you tell us about some of your trials and how you were able to deal with those trials?"

KIM: "I forgot that this was one of the questions you were asking me and I've realized that I already kind of answered your question in the previous two questions so I'll try to give a bit more information without being too lengthy.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35. I don't think I fully understood what my mom had to face in her life until I was a bit older and then when I turned 35 years old myself I more fully understood how she had to have felt and how she had to have worried about herself, her husband, and her children. I'm sure she was faced with many questions like, Can I do this? Am I going to be a survivor? Is it going to hurt? What am I going to say to my kids? Can I still work? How will this change my relationship with my husband? Will people treat me differently? So many questions and so much to deal with. I have to say that I'm sure she faced more challenges and questions than I'll ever know. We had our troubles. I was a selfish teenage that didn't totally understand and had to work through my own feelings and perceptions. My mother didn't always tell us the details and so I think I worried more than maybe I needed too. I did feel confused. My parents did help me through these times the best they could and I have to mention that I had the best friends in the world that loved me and accepted me for who I was. They were a great support during that time. I know that each of my siblings also had different experiences and trials during this time and I've had a chance to talk in depth with my sister and share some of our experiences and insights. She's four years younger than me and so she had different experiences than I did.

Reaching each of these age points in my life like turning 35 was a real eye opener for me. Wow, talk about an EPIPHANY!!! I've been pretty diligent in getting my own mammograms since I turned 35 years old and I can happily say that I am CURRENT on my own Mammograms. Remember to go and schedule one today, especially if you've never had one yet. It's so important to catch cancer as early as possible.

One of my biggest trials has been dealing with and learning about Generalized Anxiety Disorder commonly known as GAD. Several family members on my husbands side of the family deal with anxiety and my own husband first became aware of it when he was in his mid 30's. He had his first anxiety attack when we were having dinner at my parents home on Christmas Eve. We ended up in the Emergency Room thinking he was having a heart attack. Talk about scary. I really wasn't ready to lose my husband. Well, everything checked out fine and he was calmed by just knowing that his heart was great and that he was suffering from a panic attack. Since then, he's also learned to cope and live with Anxiety. It has been an interesting process coming to the knowledge that there's a predisposition for anxiety in our family. Now that I look back I can easily say that each of my kids were affected by anxiety in some way or another, but it wasn't quite as debilitating for them as it was for McKenna."

KARA: "You are an incredible quilter! I’ve seen some of your work. I’ve always been curious about quilting. Tell us about this talent you have – how can we get started if we want to quilt? I want to know all about quilting!"

KIM: "Thanks Kara. Quilting is definitely one of my PASSIONS and something I LOVE to do and if I could, I would spend more time sewing and quilting than I presently have time for. I really try to spend every spare moment sewing and creating.

Okay, I'll start with the story of how I got started quilting. First, My dearest childhood friend, Andrea loved to sew and we took a sewing class together when we were 14 years old. We really liked to make clothes and other things like teddy bears. One of our favorite things to do was to go out and do a photo shoot. We would ride our bikes or walk to a location and take pictures of each other. One time I remember riding our bikes out to her grandparents farm clear out in Lindon. It was at least 5 miles away maybe more but, anyway we took pictures by the fence, in the barn, in field and around the house and their gardens. It was a lot of fun and I have great memories of that time. As you can see that instilled a love for sewing and creating. I also loved art and took art throughout my years in school. I developed a NEED to CREATE and it filled me with satisfaction and comfort. If you remember what I was dealing with at the time with my mom's health, this will make greater sense to you. It was very healing and cathartic for me and brought me great joy.

I remember making my first quilt at the age of 18. I decided I was going to draw a picture for each block that represented my life, my likes, my beliefs. It as a lot of fun and I still have it to this day although I'm going to have to dig it out of a box in my storage room at some point. It wasn't particularly well made and the colors are so terribly old fashioned now, it's funny but, it meant something to me back then. When I got married the ladies at church made me this wonderful whole cloth quilt and hand quilted it for me. I loved that quilt and we loved it and used it to extinction. I'm sorry to say that it didn't survive. It was made out of a thin polyester fabric and the threads eventually broke over being loved so much. I really wished I had'nt used it and had kept it safe. But, you know a quilt isn't a quilt unless it's loved and I have fond memories of that quilt.

I then moved into the stage where I sewed a lot of my kids clothes and all of their Halloween costumes. It was a fun time. I've included a few pictures for you. I still have the ghostbuster jumpsuit and the Snow White and Jasmine costumes. I loaned the tigger outfit was loaned out and never returned. Oh, well Mark grew out of it anyway.

I really came back to quilting in 1994 while we were living in Fremont, California. I had found my first quilt store in the Irvington District and made my first of many table runners. It was a blast and I was hooked. I was big into Tole Painting at the time and most of you will remember the post I did on this topic. You can read about it here http://www.bittybitsandpieces.blogspot.com/2009/04/ancient-history.html Well, I designed a Tole Painting book called "Sew Much to Paint" and it included wood things that were sewing and quilting related. It was a really fun book.

So now we move to Brentwood in the fall of 1995 and the next 3 years are found visiting newly found quilt shops, taking classes, introducing sewing friends to quilting, and having a lot of fun making quilts for myself and others. I made several quilts for baby showers and my friend Jeni and I enjoyed getting together and quilting. I miss those times with Jeni.

Now, it's fall of 1998 and we move to Highland Utah. We had just found out that we were expecting our 4th child and anxiously waited to find out if he was a boy or if we were going to have a boy. This last child I was definitely going to find out the sex since I would need to re-purchase everything from a crib, to a stroller, to a carseat and baby clothes. It was like starting over. Anyway, it was so fun to make girly baby quilts for my last child.

So, after Kenna was born (emergency c-section) and I made it through the first several months of recovery and sleepless nights I decided to start a quilt group with the help of a few friends. It was a lot of fun and during that time we made lots of quilts together and seperately. We could only manage doing it for 3 years as there were several time and life conflicts in our group. We still get together and sew whenever we can. We all belong to a bigger group of quilter's in Alpine and attend monthly. We also take classes and go on retreats with each other. I have made so many dear friends through quilting and blogging. I have been blessed by getting to know so many wonderful and incredible women along the way. Kudos to all of you!!!!"

KARA: :Here is a special treat, for those of you who have never quilted... Kim sent this to me along with her answer to the question."

Tips for new quilters:

KIM: "Kara-- Here are some things you'll want to know about before you get started in QUILTING:

* First, you need a desire to learn and then stick with it. Remember, it's like building blocks, you have to start somewhere and then just keep going.
* Do you have a working and reliable sewing machine? If not, you'll want to buy one!!! A good sewing machine makes all the difference.
* Look at sewing machines and try them all out before you buy one. Quilter's all have an opinion on what kind of sewing machine to buy, so ask around, try them out, then decide.
* Sign yourself up for JoAnn's weekly flyer because you're going to want to get their 40% off coupon to buy the tools you'll need. You can also buy some quilting tools at Roberts with their weekly 40% off coupon. This will save you money that can be spent on buying fabric and other things you'll want and need.
* Buy a good rotary cutter, cutting mat, acrylic ruler, thread, fabric, sewing notions, a good pair of scissors and a pattern or quilt book. Ask me what kind of rotary cutter. I have my favorites.
* You'll want a good iron and ironing board too. I saved up for a Rowenta Steam Tank Iron and it's the best. I love it!!!
* Go shopping with a friend to the quilt store. It's a lot of fun and she'll show you the way. There are more quilt shops in Utah than you'll believe. It's so much fun.
* Take a beginning quilt class at a local quilt shop. Most of them offer quarterly classes and sign up for their mailing lists too.
* Make sure and pick up a frequent shopper card. You will earn points based on your purchases and when you fill their card you will get $10 to $20 to buy what you want.
* Join a Quilt Group. We have a great one in Alpine that meets the last Tuesday of every month at 8pm, except December.
* Visit Quilt Blogs and become familiar with all the creativity that's out there. You will find lots of resources and tutorials to inspire you.
* Don't be afraid to jump in and give it a try after you've done some of the things I've suggested.
* Give me a call when you're ready to start and I'll help you learn how. You can come with us to our quilt group too. It's open to everyone who wants to come."

42 comments:

Barb said...

What an amazing life you have had, the ups and downs but somehow you managed to keep the silver lining through it all....you truly are an amazing woman and inspiration to me and others who read your story.

None of us know what crosses we have to bear but it makes it so much easier when we have friends and family helping us along the way and a faith in Christ with a strong testimony of his love for each of us.

Lilly said...

Great interview! It was great to know more about this fantastic woman!
Thanks^^

Fiesta said...

Thank you Kara for taking the time to do this.

Shiree said...

hey this is a really cool idea, it has been great getting to know you and your family Kim, thank you!

Anne's Quilteri said...

Great Interview. Thank you for sharing. Anne

Pat said...

Having lost my mom to breast cancer that then went all through her body, I can relate to a lot of what you have said, Kim. I am enjoying the questions and answers that have been posted here.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

What a great interview with Kim. Thanks Kim for the pointers. Even seasoned quilters can refresh on these hints :-)

Anne said...

Thank you for a great post.

Carla said...

Wonderful interview. I also lost my mom to cancer. It started with breast cancer and just spread through her body.

Egater said...

Thank you for ths reading. I follow your blog now :)

Nedra said...

Count me in on her giveaway!

paulette said...

LOve this post! The give away is great too!
Paulette

Kathy said...

Kim is an amazing woman. I only know her thru her blog but she is such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing her with us!!!

Dawn said...

Thank you for Kim's interview...she is and awesome woman!!

Nicole said...

How fun to learn more about Kim.....now I want to drive up to Alpine to be in their quilt group! :)

Victoria M. said...

I enjoyed reading your interview with Kim. The little purse and bag are great. How nice to have a giveaway too...frosting on the cake. Thanks.

mom2three said...

I've been following Kim's blog for awhile, and this interview was great! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with the rest of the world!

Rita said...

It's so nice to get to know Kim a little more. I have been following her blog for awhile.

Rita said...

Kara, I now follow your blog, too.

Sharleen said...

I've been following Kim's blog for a while now. She is so talented and creative. I love seeing what she is working on. What a great interview so far. Kim is someone I look up to and admire. Can't wait to find out more about wonderful Kim.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Thanks Kara for the great follow-up questions with Kim!!

Quilthaze said...

Kara your blog is amazing! I follow Kim's blog and it is fascinating to hear the details in the interview. Thanks both of you for sharing this.

Susan said...

Great Interview! Thanks for sharing.

Dena said...

I've enjoyed reading Kim's story. Thank you for sharing.

Edige said...

I am here from Kim's blog and I've joined to her giveaway. Thanks for this interview!

Kelly O. said...

What a neat way to peer into the ordinary life of other women so they can see how extraordinary they truly are and inspire us all!

beth said...

what a wonderful woman to spot-light. and what a darling give-away!

Nicki C K said...

WOW, what an inpirational story! AMAZING! Thank you for sharing! Thanks for the chance to win such a lovely giveaway too!

Nicki C K said...

ps. I'm a follower! :-)

arlette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
arlette said...

Thank you Kara and Kim for the story you're sharing with us, it's an example to follow...

Jan said...

Thank you for another story about an "Incredible Woman" Kara! I love reading about Faith and I truly do not know how people survive without it. God's Blessings to you both :)

Diva Quilts said...

Thanks for starting this blog Kara - it's a lovely thing to do. :)

Jackie said...

What a terrific follow up to yesterday! It is truly amazing how all the experiences we have in life shape who we are. Thanks so much for sharing Kim with us!

Janice said...

I love the concept of this blog and enjoyed reading your interview. I love the giveaway you are offering.

Patricia T. said...

I have long admired Kim's creative work, following her blog... but I am SO enjoying these interviews!!... What an amazing woman!!
This is a wonderful, inspirational blog... one I look forward to following!!
*Thank you!* for sharing!!
Blessings!!!
Pat

Live Well With Judi said...

I could tell from the minute I met Kim at our quilt group she was a special and wonderful woman. How fun to get to know her better through your interview. I loved it! Thanks for sharing more of her with us and I can testify from personal experience that she really means it when she says she'll be happy to help you with quilting or blogging or anything else. Kim is Great!!

Snickerdoodle said...

Thanks for the great interview and giveaway. I love Kim's blog and have signed up for this one, too.

Mindy said...

I love you blog idea. Thanks for keeping it up.

Mama Lusco said...

Thank you for sharing with us and for the great giveaway! I'm a new follower to your blog.

Kathy said...

Kara, thank you for another story about an "Incredible Woman"! Thank you for sharing Kim with us; what an inspiration she is to us all.

sharipinkk said...

Kim,
It was so fun to get to know you a little by reading your interview questions and answers. I found out a lot of cool stuff about you. I am glad that I get to work with you at Highland.
Thanks Kara for doing this blog.

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