Patty Morse has been sewing for almost as long as she can remember.
When Topeka Presbyterian Manor resident Patty Morse was 3 or 4, her grandmother sat her down in front of a sewing machine for the first time. Because she was so young, her grandmother removed the needle.
She would sit at the machine and practice getting into a steady rhythm with the treadle. After a year or two of practice, she earned a needle. Young Patty was off to the sewing races, making doll clothes, pillow cases and tea towels.
It was the start of a lifelong love of making things, often with a needle and thread.
“My love of crafts was also inspired by my aunt,” Patty said. “When I visited her, I would just absorb everything she made and everything she cooked.”
Another inspiration was Patty’s grandfather, who taught her silversmithing.
Although she is mostly self-taught, Patty has shared her love of craft by teaching others. She even owned a jewelry and bead store in Florida for 11 years called Treasure Beads. It combined her love of making things with her affection for people.
“People were happy when they came in and even happier when they left,” she said.
It put some of her customers in such a good mood that their husbands would encourage them to stop by the store when they needed a boost.
Patty has experienced that kind of happiness and satisfaction in her own crafting practice.
“Crafting is peaceful. It’s creative,” Patty said. “You can do anything you want.”
These days, what Patty is most interested in is quilting, a conduit for her love of color and design.
She typically begins with a pattern, which she reworks to suit her own devices.
“I work mentally through the whole thing before I start,” she says.
Often, her projects wind up as Christmas or birthday presents for friends and family, although Patty has kept a few quilts.
To this day, she is always in the middle of a project.
“All of my friends are craft-oriented,” Patty said, including an old friend who lives in the Topeka area. “We’ve been having a ball finding fabric. We’re busy girls.”