Today’s post is going to be a bit shall we say, vulnerable. I’m going to share two things that are near and dear to my heart. They are, without a doubt, quilt related. So hang with me friends.
The psychiatrist is in
Someday I will do it. I will get a booth at Quilt Market, set up “the Psychiatrist is in” at pub seating height, flip the “open” sign, and listen. I’ve had some of the best conversations on the Quilt Market floor simply being open to listening. Sometimes giving feedback, more often simply listening. People are fascinating, and need to be heard from the heart, to fully understand that that what they say is important. It is, without a doubt an honor and a privilege to hear, to listen with the heart, to be present. Listening and hearing are actions that require a setting aside of me in that moment.
Listening applies to our quilting work as well. More on that in a few moments
I’m a short, fat, quilter.
I started saying this while working at one of the quilt shops years ago. On the surface it seems to be deriding myself, and quite frankly if I heard someone else say it I’d probably cut them off and tell them to stop belittling themselves in this way. Allow me to explain:
I am short. I’m five feet tall. Sixty inches, which is 1 2/3 yards by the way. I’ve been five feet tall since the age of 13 or 14. One of my sisters and I rival for shortest in our family, I’m it. I’m not going to grow any taller. This is it. Being short is sometimes quite the challenge because retrieving and placing things on upper shelves. Hugging tall people.
I’m fat. I accepted this about myself right after having a hysterectomy. Right after said surgery, without any effort I lost over twenty-five pounds. It was enough that one of my coworkers believed I’d had some kind of surgery for the weight. Nope. Got most of my lady bits removed not from desire, but from need. Without changing anything. And I do mean anything the pounds crept back on to where I am at this moment. The weight plateaued here, and stays here. When I started working again some weight dropped off, not significantly. Whatever. During the weight gain back after the surgery I made the decision that I would accept my body for what it is: round.
Since my teenage years when I would drop weight, no matter what I did it would eventually come back, and then some. Seriously ridiculous right?! It doesn’t matter what I eat, how much or how little I exercise the weight simply comes back, and brings a few friends with it. By accepting my body for what it is I’ve added a layer of confidence. This doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with certain things (like comments about what I should/shouldn’t be eating/doing, men making comments as I walk by, getting friend requests on social media then immediate private messages talking about weight loss programs) but it means that I’m okay with what my body does.
I’m a quilter. This is my passion, this is my chosen career. I get to meet some really cool people, do some really cool things, and make some really cool quilts. This quilting brings me great joy.
Being short does sometimes have an effect on my quilting my sewing table is just a tad too tall. I get to make adjustments here and there as I work and have learned to get up and stretch now and again. Being fat doesn’t effect my quilting nor does it effect my ability to listen and learn. I’m good at quilting, perfect? no. But I am good at it. I’m thrilled when I get to show you how to be good at it as well.
As a quilt maker I listen to my quilts, making on the fly changes as necessary. Really it’s my self telling me something isn’t working or this is the right direction to go in. One of these days I might even fully master machine quilting. As quilters we work about six inches from our quilts, we know where are the mistakes and flaws are. I could, and sometimes do point them out in a classroom setting because it’s important to me for each person to know that as good as my quilting might be it’s not perfect. So I keep Listening, and practicing. Every chance I get.
For now I’m off to listen, quilt, make calls, and be as kind as possible.