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I always said that I was never going to write a blog.

Or rather, never again was I going to write a blog. I wrote one about our gardening adventures at Somerset Lodge before blogging was even really popular. I kept it going for four years but it eventually became difficult to maintain and I stopped entering. It became a chore to write a massive entry every quarter and while people enjoyed reading it I stopped enjoying writing it.

Then my back became a major problem and I was forced to stop gardening and just supervise and direct. No one wanted to hear what I was getting other people to do so I mothballed the gardening blog and reflected that really keeping a blog on what I was doing was a bit of an ego trip. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a pretty small ego and I still think that I doubt that people really want to know what I’m doing!

After dealing with not being able to garden which was my main creative outlet, I then had to deal with the crippling blow of three serious heart attacks in 6 months and a forth two years later. I had to give up work and had it not been for quilting I might have gone insane. After recuperation with the support of my life partner and best friend, Marcus, I set up Neil Chisholm Designs (although it didn’t have a name at the time) and started quilting full time. Or as full time as I could as each day would present different physical challenges. Sometimes I could quilt for hours with out angina or back pain, other days it was a matter of playing with the fabric and wanting to do more than refine designs. I did promise that I would put in at least the equivalent of 4 hours a day on my new job.

I was told that if your job is something you really love, you will never do a days work again in your life. How true that is. I love quilting and really have a passion for it and I discovered that I have a passion for sharing my knowledge. I teach my unorthodox methods at many local quilting stores and now also write for two magazines and my name is becoming better known.

My name has spread beyond the western district of Victoria (in Australia) where I live and I now get requests to come and do talks, workshops and appearances in Melbourne and beyond. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this would happen. I loved it. Meeting other quilters, sharing my thoughts, teaching new techniques. Often I would learn as much from those I met as they did from me.

And then a “juggernaut” hit me.

I have been sick. Really sick. Again.

I was laid out in bed unable to do anything for three days. The only thing I could do was think and boy oh boy did I think. It was my third bout of serious illness this year (and its only the beginning of August) and with the information that my back is deteriorating badly and very quickly I had to make some decisions about where I was headed in my career as a fabric artist, quilt designer and patchwork teacher.

Again, with the loving support of Marcus we discussed the situation, my wishes, my hopes, the reality of the situation and this blog is going to be a diary of what happens next.

I hope that you will enjoy it – its bound to be a bit of a roller-coaster ride (my life always has been) so it wont be dull and I hope you can keep up – sometimes its hard for me to keep up and I’m living this damn life!

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