I started writing this post while I was in the middle of moving from New York to Texas. As happens there are often things that crop up that put some posts on hold for a while.
I’m going to finish this post writing as I started it But first who ever would have imagined on December 31, 2019 that 2020 would be such an interesting train wreck. Yesterday we learned that International Quilt Market, and International Quilt Festival are cancelled for 2020. When the email containing the press release came through in my email I knew what it was, as we all were, really expecting it.
I’m going to talk about some thoughts on this after the rest of the post.
Yesterday I took this off the inspiration wall. It is a block pieced by Alex Anderson that has lived in a frame on my wall for years. I remember Alex telling me to use the block in a quilt. The right quilt hasn’t come along yet. So here it is, maturing until just the right quilt comes along. Until then, this is good.
I have to share with you that taking the Inspiration wall down and the bulletin board was rather tough. I want to hold each piece in my hand and cherish the memories of whatever led to placement on the wall or board. I do have a few ribbons for quilts. Yay. What are the treasures though?
The name tags and lanyards for Quilt Market and teaching. Those are each special to me, serving not only as reminders for where I’ve taught and been, and of goals achieved and who I’ve been privileged to make them with. At Knoxville, my very first teaching gig I med the delightful Kathy Sawyer who was the monitor in my classroom. The classroom monitors are more than bobbin winders, they are machine problem solvers and teachers themselves. As I’ve taught over the years I’ve tried to show my appreciation for the classroom monitors and the skill they bring to make not only my work easier but students experience that much better. One thing I do though, with great intention is if there is a problem that happens at home in front of the sewing machine I will show how to problem solve even if that means winding the bobbin while pulling stitches to show how to restart and connect the quilting, or clean out the lint, because these things happen when we’re sewing.
My word of the year is Imagine is at once reflective in the beneficial, “what if I try this,” and “what are the possibilities?” and “how can this be different?” and “what would this quilt look like if I tried this?” Imagine is also a way of exploring possibilities as yet unconsidered. On December 31, 2019 I can fully assure you that my rather vivid imagination did not quite see 2020 unfolding as it has as evidenced by no Quilt Market or Quilt Festival. Yes, this year is a bit of a train wreck we’re all living together. However this isn’t the current focus.
For a hot minute I was worried about promoting my book, I realized it would require a bit of imagination. I had no idea how much, however exploring the possibilities is fun. I’ve flirted with the idea of creating online video content, and that is in the offing down the road a piece. I had a few goals and dreams preparing for realization, and didn’t imagine the Gumby like flexibility that would be needed to achieve these goals. Being flexible helps a lot. I also didn’t imagine the beauty of a conversation would shift my personal headspace, I’m a hot mess!, in such a way that while all of this current craziness is whirling and swirling around us that, I’d see great promise and hope. All I can say about the shift in my personal headspace is that this conversation helped me see something and removed doubt. I will hold this conversation in my heart and ponder it for a long time to come.
I also see the generosity of the creative community pouring forth being the incredible support system we need to be for one another, and the world at large. I see my Black and Brown quilter friends struggling against societal racism, wanting to be recognized for both what they bring in their skill set and culturally, enriching us all in beautiful ways. I see the politics of quilting both in the best sense of exercising our freedom of speech, and in the “we need to make sure you know you belong here” and “who on earth do you think you are doing or saying that?” sense. And in this, all of it, I see great beauty and depth. I see us working towards something better, and yet stumbling and falling and doing what we need to to crawl, get up, walk or run forward. I do not know how 2020 will conclude while my imagination whirls with the endless possibilities I do know that this year will be long remembered and hopefully not for the difficulties, but for the ways we have worked together, made things, welcomed more people into the quilting and sewing community.
Imagine the Possibilities and give into HOPE.
I am imagining living, doing, quilting in this present moment. I imagine more leaning into the struggles and challenges. I imagine leaning into the beauty and grace of this year, actively looking for it. IMAGINE.