On the last day of the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show I popped out for a bit to go to Montgomery Place Orchards Farm Stand in Red Hook NY. The Pink Pearl apples on my list were sold out the week before, necessitating an apple change. Each apple was chosen in relation to making apple pie, I made two, one included bacon. Oh! My! Goodness! that was so good, and it’s on the “must make this again” list.
Last night I used the last of the apples to make applesauce. It was so very good. There’s enough left to snack on over the next couple of days. Fond memories of late summers in Ephrata, PA, standing around my friends kitchen table rough chopping apples to make, and freeze applesauce for the winter months. It was a lot of work, and the reward of going to the pool later in the day was totally worth it. Being something of a city kid this was eyeopening because applesauce comes from a jar, right?!
The apples, an heirloom variety from Montgomery Place (please don’t ask the specific type because I don’t remember) are particularly fragrant, and held up well over the last several weeks. Instead of dumping the water they cooked in, I put it in another pot to let it simmer down for a while. This simmering down takes time, and patience, something that embracing the process of baking way back when, taught me. The liquid simmered, and simmered until this lovely thick, tartly sweet syrup was all that was left. This syrup tasted so good on the pancakes this morning. What a delightful and satisfying experience when something works in the hoped for way.
This morning Seth Godin shared these words on his blog, “Are there places you feel like you’re falling behind where there’s actually no race?”
And of course, this brings us to quilting, and how we perceive our work in general. For the first time ever I had the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony at International Quilt Festival in Houston, it’s simple, straight forward, and beautiful. Seeing the quilts revealed around the room, one by one, highlighting each quilter(s) work is impressive. Someday I will be among those quilters. It’s one of MY personal goals. There was a sense of belonging, and knowing I can get there.
Here’s the thing. This isn’t a race for any of us. It’s a choice. WE also have the choice of honoring one another’s work, therefore honoring our own. We have the choice of recognizing the level of work that each quilter puts into making quilts from the beginner, advanced, and artist. We’re each different, we each bring something cool to the party. And for most of us, this is not a competitive thing. Because it’s not competitive let’s remember that this is not a race, comparing our work to others is useless. I know we’re going to do it anyway, it’s what we do. Let’s keep our own goals in mind, particularly as we read blogs, check out pinterest, see photos flooding our fb or twitter feed. By keeping our own goals in mind we have a better shot at not comparing our work to others, or better yet being inspired and not diminished by what we see out there.
One of my very first quilts lives on my bed, it’s got some serious problems. I still love every. single. stitch. lovingly put into that quilt. I love the awful tension. I love what that quilt taught me, and that it started me on the journey to where I am as a teacher and machine quilter. It wasn’t long after that quilt that I learned to understand tension.
The beautiful thing about quilting is that there’s room for all of us to become who we are as quilter makers. And if your path leads to being a fabric designer, pattern designer, teacher, competitive quilter, or a quilter who makes quilts for every member of the family, friends, and strangers who are in need then you are right where you fit, where you belong, and where you need to be.
Enjoy every moment of your stitching,