beauty, quilt shop, teaching

Giving Permission

Aside from letting you know when I’m teaching I refrain from talking about things that happen at work. In part because most of the time it’s helping quilters choose fabric, helping customers purchase machines, find the right fabric for a pattern their making or teaching free-motion machine quilting. Though I do get very excited when a quilter has that light bulb moment and just gets it. That to me is the best moment ever.
We had a bit of a slow moment the other day allowing me to spend a bit more time with a customer. She needed a dress for a party, a limited time to get it made and needed a simple pattern that one of the seamstresses we recommend could turn around in two weeks. Amy (not her real name) had a pretty clear idea of what she wanted and truthfully she’d look beautiful in whatever she chose. Like all of us there is this one thing holding her back from getting the style of dress that she had in mind because…  After looking around at fabrics and choosing a gorgeous green silk with some pink undertones (one of those lovely reversible silk that could be pink with green undertones), we set that aside and went to look for patterns. I showed Amy the patterns giving her a little direction of where to look then helped a few other customers. When I returned I helped her look, pointing out a few patterns that would work. Because Amy had a clear idea of what she thought she needed to do – well she hesitated. We both agreed on one pattern but it was the same problem – it needed this one thing to be perfect. Well.

with Gen Q Mag at the City quilterI’m going to pause here and share something with you.
I am a
short (I can’t do anything about this)

fat (I have struggled with weight for-ever! and please don’t make this a food/exercise issue it’s not entirely that)

quilter (and a pretty good one at that)

I’ve said this for a long time to one of the teachers at work. It really bothered her until I explained that this is not a put down of myself on my part. It is a statement of reality and an acceptance of what is. After years and years of up and down weight and struggling with it I just finally decided to stop beating myself up and be happy with myself. I am beautiful just as I am. Once the teacher realized where my mind and heart are she stopped chiding me.
I shared this with Amy and did the whole visual. I stood up, showed her where I like to wear skirts in the summer – shocking! above the knee – and told her that I wear them because I like them. I’m comfortable. What else really matters? I went on to say if the style of dress that you like is going to allow you to feel beautiful and pretty then go for it. No one is really going to be looking at (insert whatever here). They will see your beauty and your confidence. And THAT is more important than anything else.
Amy left to go shopping and get the dress she wanted. She had a huge smile on her face and walked out with a great sense of confidence and purpose.
I did ask to see a photo of her in her dress I do hope she comes back in.

Dear Quilters – this is the one thing I hope to, want to, desire to instill in you as I teach.
This is hard won on my part.
This is hard won on anyone’s part.
Be confident, act confidently.
Know that the skill will come over time.


Go quilt your world!


PS – this post isn’t about ME, or Amy. This post is much about how our words effect others. I have said things I’m not proud of either. A quilter recently posted on fb that someone told her that because she uses patterns she’s not creative. She was hurt deeply. I nearly went ballistic. I did comment on this and I’m very glad this was not said in my presence because I’m not sure I could have held my tongue or said something charitably.


5 thoughts on “Giving Permission”

  1. I think many woman struggle with not feeling quite “good enough” and you just made my world brighter with your beautiful words. I only took one class with you and I’m looking forward to taking another one because I miss your God given spirit and talents. Teri, the world is a better place because you’re in it ! Hugs.

  2. Loved this post. As I get older I have gradually gained the wisdom to accept who I am even if others don’t, be happy with myself knowing that I am a good and caring person and try new things that interest me. Even if they are not eventually to my liking or want to continue with them then at least I have tried and left nothing undone. Good for you for sharing and making someone else feel good about themself!

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