I’m spending the day getting ready to go for training with RNK Distributing in Knoxville, TN. I’m excited. There’s a bit of paper work I need to fill out, I’m waiting for one bit of information that I should have later this afternoon. I need to print out what my schedule for the next several months will be – because exciting.
I’ve made a lot of crap over the years, and it’s all good. Seriously. This piece right here. Crap. Seriously. Aw-ful! Hang with me friends this whole thing is going to flip over!
I went looking for a specific picture or two of a quilt I made for my sweetie years ago as it has an example of really awful quilting. I take his quilt with me when I teach as it’s a good example of the work a beginner has to do in order to get to the quilting they want to do.
Every once in a while some form of this conversation happens:
National Amazing Author & Teacher (NAAT for short) who is learning how to quilt, “Here’s a photo of what I did. It’s really awful. I’ve been machine quilting for five whole months now and it should come out exactly the way I see it in my head every. single. time.”
Me, “Hey that looks really good. Consistent stitching and smooth curves.”
NAAT, “Most of the time my curves look like stick figures.”
Me, “Mine did too when I started learning quilting.”
NAAT, “I really should be better at this because blah, blah, blah.”
Me, “And what would you tell your students?”
NAAT, “You’re learning a new skill, be kind to yourself, be patient, and very forgiving.”
Me, “Huh. So how long have you been quilting and is being hard on yourself is working?”
NAAT, “Damn you Teri using my own words!”
Me, “Right?! Be kinder to yourself. Seriously this is good, keep going.”
Me, “PS you don’t want to hear the crap that runs through my head. I need to stop that.”
Like most of the kids of my generation I took home ec in Junior High, and High School. I loved it. Except for sewing clothing. Gah! There is part of me that wants to, but the learning I have to do to get to where I want to go. *See conversation above.* Shhh don’t tell anyone I finally figure out the measurement for a good, appropriately supportive, upper foundational garment, that is comfortable.
In these classes we were learning how to cook, manage meal time, and so many other things. Baking, I’m all there I can go through that process and keep the kitchen in good order. Cooking however ick! When I concentrate really hard it’s okay. Will I ever make gourmet meals? Uh, no. Honestly I’m just not all that interested. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating good food, just all that prep work yick.
Now on the other hand. Prep work for making a quilt, I’m all in. Why? Because I’m really interested. I love quilting.
I knew in High School that I wanted to teach, thinking I’d be teaching Kindergarten or First Grade. Aren’t they so cute at that age? I’ve always loved little people. Over the years I’ve taught religious ed for first to fifth grades, and somewhere along the way I realized that while I love kids, I’m not a good teacher for them. How to explain that exactly? I’m not entirely sure, but I know this isn’t quite for me.
Adults however, that’s a whole other ball game. The conversation with NAAT is one I have with a lot of adults. As kids we’re all caught up in the wonder of learning, and particularly when we’re younger, open to the idea of being Creative. Creativity is part of learning. It’s all one continuum. For adults we forget that Creativity, being creative is part of every day life. It’s one reason why we admire artists so much. They speak to our souls.
They light the path we want to take.
Often though, one thing we don’t see is a lot of the crap, and work that goes into making whatever it is that made your own heart go all twitterpated.
It’s why that conversation with NAAT is so essential.
It’s why I don’t teach home ec or early childhood years. There are people who find great joy in teaching these things. YAY! Thank YOU!!
It’s why I teach free motion machine quilting. This is where I find great joy.
Somewhere along the way quilting has become that thing, that creative outlet that feeds my soul, and in someway – when things are all working together – feeds yours as well.
Watching quilter, after quilter stop being so hard on themselves is such a beautiful thing.
I shared over on A Quilters Heart, that I’ve received some firm, “No’s” recently. They’ve been a bit challenging, however, they’ve also been very good. Why? Because I’m placing these “No’s” on the ground to use as stepping stones.
When things in our free motion quilting go all haywire, place them on the ground as stepping stones. Move forward. If you need a word of encouragement, you know where to find me.
PS I still make a lot of crap. It just doesn’t always make it to my social media channels