I spent last weekend at a retreat, not quilt related, but one that seriously bolstered my commitment to building up the Quilting Community. In one of the talks we heard a saying from Trinidad that goes something like, “It is not my business what you think of me”. Weirdly both my pens and phone were in my pocket, with me thinking, “I’ll remember this!” There was a bit more to it and I’m hoping to find the full quote.
I remember the moment when I made the choice not to envy or be jealous of the talent and skillset of other quilt makers. One of the benefits of facebook and other social media is that we have ever greater, immediate access to the quilters we like and their work. In one sense this is great, we can see that work grow and change. In another sense it’s not so great because what *might* develop is a sense of envy and jealousy that is difficult to break. Back to this moment: I commented to a quilter whose skill and artistry I admired that “I wanted to be like her when I grew up!”. Then within moments (seriously this stuff happens) someone made that very same comment to me, shocking me for a moment and fully bringing me to my senses. No, I do not want to be like this other quilter at all. She is amazing as a quilter and she worked really hard to grow and develop her own style. Watching her grow as a quilter was incredibly delightful. This woman can Quilt!.
When that same comment came back to me I thought, “No, no darlin’ you don’t. I’m a flipping hot mess and quite weird.” Okay the weird part is really normal however the hot mess part well, that is still there. I said thank you and you can and practice! practice! practice. And never said that to anyone else again. Becase deep down in the very core of my being I want you to be the very best quilter that you are meant to be. It doesn’t matter to me what that looks like as long as you become confident in that. There is great beauty in learning to quilt in your own style, and it lets us in, gives us a sneak preview of you.
Joking around saying that I gave up envy and jealousy for Lent one year and haven’t taken it back isn’t so much a joke as it is a way of saying that, as a quilter I am enough. As a quilter you are enough. No apology is necessary for what your quilts look like. Qualifiers like “I’m only a beginner” and “I have such and such a machine” or “I do everything by hand”.
This was preceeded by giving up quilterly snobbery too. Quilt snobbery came back to bite me in the booty the moment I threaded up my BERNINA 1080 and started machine quilting never looking back.
You see, we’re all quilters no matter the style we choose to quilt in, the fabrics we love, the threads we use, and the patterns we do/don’t use. We’re a weird, wacky, wonderful family with a myriad of ideas, ways of doing things, and approaches to the gift that quilting is in our lives. May your day be full of quilting in whaterver style you love.