Chelle Summer


Michelle Rusk

Saturday evening we were walking out of a restaurant with a takeout order for our dinner when a woman stopped me and said how much she liked my bag. Of course I was carrying a Chelle Summer bag, but this was the first time in the nearly year since I made the first one that anyone had commented on it when I was carrying one (except my gynecologist when I was leaving my appointment with him, yes, him– obviously he works with a lot of women so I'm sure has learned a thing or two about style over the years).

We had just come from church where one of my prayers on this particular Saturday night was asking to make sure I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing. 

Sewing, like writing, is something that often is done alone. And alone can be good– to a point. I work from home and balance that with walking and running the dogs early in the morning (where I have my "park" community to interact with) and doing errands. I also make sure to break up my day with a swim– weather permitting. And I have my job interviewing people for a military grief research study that keeps me engaged with the participants and the people I work with.

But I'm lost in my thoughts much of the time either writing, at the sewing machine, or cutting at my dining room table where I have plenty of space to spread out the rolls of fabric. While I don't ever feel like there is enough time to create everything I want to, one of my daily prayers is to "stay the course" so that I don't get off track. And because I'm alone, not knowing if what I'm doing is going to be a dud or something great, it's a challenge to keep positive when there is only me to talk to.

In particular over the past week, I've had multiple conversations with people who have told me how much they enjoy seeing all that I'm creating, mostly shared on social media. It's my goal to keep creating and share it, not worrying about the rest (like what happens next!). Hearing those comments helps me to keep going and they keep me reminded that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing: sharing through living the life that I want to have.

To all of you who are inspired by my work, who enjoy seeing it, who tell me how much you enjoy it: Thank you. Thank you for being part of this journey.