I watched this:
Elizabeth Gilbert it touched me deeply.
While trying to listen to her, and not let my mind go searching for all future quilt-related blog posts based on what she has to say, there were so many thoughts running through my head. So many quilt-related thoughts. I’m a quilter. I’ve landed in quilting. It is part of my passion, teaching and building-up are the other part. These, to me are part of the same. When I look a little deeper, writing is a component of that.
For a long time the phrase, “quilting is a beautiful and complicated art” existed as my tag line, which felt somewhat right and not so much. Then “giving quilters permission since 2009” my favorite without a doubt. The other day I changed that to “practicing quilting since 1993”. I don’t have quilting just right yet. I can’t quite get to where I want to and yet, I’m having fun. I’m learning. I know what I love to do as a quilt maker. Finishing quilts is not a high priority. Shocking I know. I like to explore, to try new things, to figure out how and why they work or don’t work. Then take that knowledge and pass it on in some form.
Liz’s talk got me thinking about something deeper though, where are the moments when my passion for quilting and teaching have left others experiencing a sense of being “less-than” when I’ve commented negatively on what they do as quilt makers. (I go through this kind of personal soul searching regularly.) How do I, as a quilt teacher help you as a student, friend, fellow-quilter experience the deeper sense of your own worth as a quilter of whatever flavor you are. You are precious no matter where you are in your quilt journey.
Journey. Yes, yes, that’s it. We’re all on a quilt journey, discovering that thing about quilting that gets us excited, that brings us peace and has us happy dancing down the aisles of the local quilt show. Or making that, “will this ever be perfect” face in the local quilt shop. As an aside, no it won’t ever be perfect, however do it any way.
Our experiences, our life experiences have an effect on us as quilters. Our experiences influence what we do as quilt makers. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of quilter. Quilting is where I find the greatest freedom. I don’t see rules, I see suggestions, hints, and tips. Some quilters need very, very clear directions. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I do because they work: pressing, burying my thread a particular way, choose particular colors, thread, batting, and fabrics because I like them. The rest of it is fluid for me, because there is still so much to see, and do, and explore! I haven’t really delved into the whole “art quilting” component. I’ll get there some day. I think. Maybe.
More importantly, and ultimately the point of this post: enjoy whatever you’re doing in quilt-making, where you are, in this moment. I just ask one favor, please quilters, please refrain from comparing yourself to other quilters. You’re different, unique, an individual.