Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Bonding Over Fabric – flash fiction

Lillian leaned on her cane and perused the only two shelves of fabric she had left. She needed four complimentary ones to make the project she had in mind. After trying many combinations she exhausted her options so limped to her chair and eased herself into the worn seat. After a little nap, she called her granddaughter. “Would you have time to take me shopping.”

“I can on Friday.”

When they returned from their excursion, Sally said, “My youngest starts school in September. Could we schedule time to sew together?”

Lillian’s misty eyed response was, “Of course my dear.”


In response to Charli Mills April 25, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes exhaustion. Who is exhausted and why? Can you make art of exhaustion? Go where the prompt leads!

Is There Beer in Heaven?

       What is your impression of heaven? Do you believe heaven has streets paved of gold; that there will be tranquility for all and maybe a few angels still in need of their wings as depicted in books and movies.

      I remember when I was young my parents discussing their different desires if heaven were indeed a place they would find “heavenly.” My father wanted unlimited fishing holes, well inhabited hunting grounds and an ongoing poker game. My mother wanted all her children with her, but no meals to prepare or laundry to do, and she pictured a forest nearby where they could play and learn together. She also wanted an unlimited source of craft supplies so she could continue to be creative and busy. Continue reading “Is There Beer in Heaven?”

Imagery of Cranes

The business man’s suit was very expensive. When you work in a fabric shop you can tell things like that. He was in search of cotton fabric that had cranes on it, not the machine, but the majestic white bird with a red crown. He explained the crane signified good luck and longevity in Japan where the new owner of his company would be visiting from. The fabric would be tied in a specific manner around a gift. The style of folding and knots more important than the present and the cranes a bonus. We enjoyed the cultural lesson.

In response to Charli Mills May 10, 2018 at Carrot Ranch Literary, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story defining “the charisma of cranes.” For centuries, cranes have inspired art and philosophy. You can write a crane story or create something new out of the phrase. Go where the prompt leads.

May 10: Flash Fiction Challenge

So Many Kinds

It’s National Textile Day. Wait, don’t click off because you aren’t interested in sewing. Take a second and look around you. What are you wearing? What is the seat made out of you are sitting on? Is there a rug under your feet, or near-by? Is there a painting on your wall? What kind of window coverings are blocking that bright sunshine, or another day of rain? Is there a wonderful, comfy quilt on your bed that your grandmother made? Do you like going camping in a tent?

Now you have the picture. Each item I mentioned is made out of a different type of textile. Now think about your summer wardrobe compared to your winter one. In the summer we like breathable cotton, rayon and the new wicking athletic wear. In the winter we get out the wool, fleece, and fur. All textiles.

Long story short; you are surrounded by textiles and probably take it for granted. That’s all right, I do too. I didn’t realize just how many there were until I looked at the National Day of Calendar to see what subject/ thing gets special recognition on this day.

Spring is trying to arrive in western New York, and wedding season is upon us. If you get to attend such an event in the near future, take a minute to see how many different textiles you can see during the event. I’m sure it will be beautiful, and don’t forget to count the table cloths.


A CleanBeginning

It’s National Clean Off Your Desk Day. The calendar says it is so you can start the new year with a clean slate and a sense of serenity. Huh? I’m one of those messy desk people that if I clean everything off and put it away, I can’t find the safe place I put everything. I’m also one that doesn’t remember what I have if I can’t see it. And, I’ve read that a messy desk is a sing of a higher IQ. (I like that concept. I’ll hold on to that one!)

My sewing room tends to be really messy too. The scraps of the last two quilting projects will be pushed to one side, so I can get on with the next. Why clean when you can be creating. My husband surprised me the day after Christmas by taking me shopping at a long established sewing machine store. We came home with a  desk-style, 20 inch bed, free motion quilting machine.


Only one problem; I had to clean my studio in order for it to have a permanent home. Guess what. I love my clean space. I am looking forward to having my sewing buddies over to see my new toy. And yes; I have that feeling of serenity the calendar post for today mentioned.

I guess I have to admit and old lady can learn new tricks. Now my sewing studio has been cleaned, maybe I’ll attack my desk, it’s much smaller and wouldn’t take so long. But then would I be able to find my list of ideas that I plan to share with you. On second thought, I’ll go play with fabric, and leave the desk for another day. Fabric is my first love and I’m itching to try my new machine.


National Day of Threading the Needle

This day represents one of my top interests.  I grew up in a 4-H household learning to bake, do household chores easily, including folding fitted sheets, and sew.  We started our sewing lessons by making our own sewing box to hold our scissors, threads, seam ripper, hand needles, tape measure and straight pins.  Our first sewing project was an apron.  I still wear one when I get serious in the kitchen.

My projects advanced to skirts, blouses, dresses, and other clothing.  At that time,  girls still wore dresses to school every day.  I proudly wore “homemade” gowns to high school formal dances.  Happy they were different than anyone else’s.   I got an easy A in history by making a replica of the flag Betsy Ross made.  I wish the rest of the class had been that easy for me.

Soon it was time to make baby clothes.  I was a U.S.A.F. wife, lucky to be able to stay home with my children.  Making their clothes filled hours, the clothes fit, and were less expensive than buying pre-made.  My son was born first.  His Aunt Georgia made him a baby quilt.  When my daughter was born in England, there was no big sister handy to make her a quilt, so I made one myself.  It was just squares of flannel sewn together on a sewing machine.  I’ve been making quilts ever since.

A typical comment quilt makers hear is, “Are you really going to cut up all that good fabric, then sew it back together?”  Absolutely!  Choosing the colors and fabric designs for the quilt pattern you want to make is part of the fun for me.  The days of using old clothes, flour sacks, or fabric scraps to make a quilt are generally gone.  Building a fabric stash in your cupboard, drawers, closets, and storage tubs in now the norm.  Quilters will drive long distances to check out a new quilt shop.  There are even events called Shop-Hops.  If you visit all the shops that are involved in that hop, you are eligible for nice prizes.  The local one near where I live lasts four days and covers 400 miles if you go the full circle all at once.  It is no longer and inexpensive hobby.

A quilter needs homes for her quilts.  In other blogs I have mentioned my husband’s large family.  They are the recipients of quilts I just have to make because there is a new technique or pattern that has caught my attention.  I give them for 5oth anniversary’s, weddings, and in some cases just because the fabric told me who it should go to.  Oh, my children and sisters have a bunch too.

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my hand, but I must have had a needle because my sewing studio is larger than our family room.  The colors and creativity make my soul sing.

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