Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Meet three interesting and inspiring women

Peas on earth. During rough times, smiling helps.

A couple of months ago at a Bernina Artisans reunion, I met two women, Tracy and Allison Stilwell. They are sisters, also known as the Artgirlz. They were a sight to behold, and I felt inspired just by looking at them. They both had spiky hair, one was wearing striped socks and had purple hair, and the other was wearing camouflage pants with rhinestones and appliqués. I was already a fan before meeting them because I like their wares; Allison and Tracy sell felt beads in many sizes and spectacular colors and silly little charms of hands and legs and faces and a lot more. Their kiss-life-on-the-mouth attitude makes me smile and feel good and want to do everything better.

They gave each of us a tiny cellophane-wrapped envelope that read: “Peas on Earth Economic Recovery Package.” It contained a make your own felt pea pod kit and an “Artgirlz Nation official membership card and life altering tool.” On the back of the card we are told to create the unexpected, break the rules, enjoy the difference, use your blinker, and eat chocolate along with other great suggestions.

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this piece that I remembered a time well over ten years ago. I was in a high end fabric store when Elinor Peace Bailey came in with a gaggle of students. She was larger than life, wearing a bright orange silk satin top hat. As I recall, her jacket was chartreuse and fuchsia, her high-water pants were equally bright and electric, and she had about twenty dolls hanging around her neck. I walked up to her and said, “You remind me of a parade.” Elinor makes, and teaches how to make, dolls. During our brief conversation, she told me she doesn’t use fabrics containing black because it muddies the palette. Over the years, I have often referred to her advice. Then not long ago I discovered that she is also a wonderful gifted poet.

These women have inspired me just by being themselves. While they are coloring their own lives, they are also coloring the lives around them. Who has changed your attitude?


Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. User avater
    Patsewz | | #1

    I also met elinor peace bailey several years aga at a Bernina sewing retreat in Chichago. I loved her the moment I laid eyes on her. She inspired me by just being herself. She is a fabulous artist and poet and not afraid to let her inner self out for all the world to see. I'm still looking for my true inner self and slowly opening myself up for the whole world can see who I am.
    Patricia H.

  2. User avater
    stitchhappy | | #2

    Patricia, that's a big job for many of us. I think that's why I'm so inspired by people like elinor. She knows who she is and she doesn't whisper about it. She announces herself when she walks into a room, but then you start to discover all of her other attributes and she is one impressive woman. You're keeping good company.

  3. Greytquilta | | #3

    It's wonderful that the rest of the sewing world has finally discovered Allison and Tracy. They have been a fixture in RI for years.

  4. Rabia | | #4

    It's important to get started on "being yourself" earlier in life. If you leave it too long, people will attribute your 'new' attitude to "incipient Alzheimers".

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All