The Uber driver picked me up at the hotel Thursday morning to take me to the Ontario Airport to head back to Texas. This delightful driver, Grace, I learned has an art degree and ran an art department for a while. At some moment she needed work and ended up working for the concession stands during a Road to California exhibit where she saw quilts for the first time. She was, even now so many years later, so in awe of what she saw and knowing the level of work that goes into making quilts that her enthusiasm bubbled over for a few minutes. As I got out of the car I gave her a copy of Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting as a “Thank You!” Often what we do as quilt makers gets relegated to the incredibly dismissive annals of “oh my grandma made those.” Your grandmother was smarter and more skilled than you understand. So this conversation is so beautiful and one I will treasure for a long time. I did encourage her to go see the show if she had the time. Here’s a link to the show winners oh wow! These are so, so good!
This morning a friend asked me if I had fun at Road, and if I learned anything new. Yes I did! First thing I learned is that two classes need to change and this will happen. Split the Complement: Color, Thread and Ruler Work will become a two day class as a one day class it’s too much information in one day. And Doodle Your Way to Better Quilting needs tweaking. There was a moment in class where I saw something happen that I realized this needed to happen at the beginning. I wish I could adequately describe what happened in that moment.
Y’all I have to share with you that Alex Anderson is one of my forever mentors and heros. In one of my classes I was talking about the quilt above, Learners Permit, and about Alex and how being a beginner at anything is hard work! Whether it’s learning new technology, how to frame video, how to shoot video or how to quilt on a longarm it’s hard work. Alex has just done the work and I know it’s not easy. This last year learning to longarm on the Handi Quilter Moxie has been a big challenge that had weather challenges tossed in for good measure! I’m also in these moments taking my own advice, and encouragement to keep learning and showing the learning moments over this last year. We are all beginners until we go through the process of making some really sucky stuff over and over and over again until it doesn’t suck any more.
Quilting on a domestic even now after so, so many years of doing this of learning the what to do, how to fix, how to move the quilt under the needle to make some seriously good stitches, it still sucks sometimes. I have LOVED the challenge of learning how to longarm quilt! I love the process of trying all the things and discovering what works for me and then tweaking it until I get things to look close to what I see in my head. I love that unlike quilting on the home sewing machine I’m not so practiced that the motion is smooth and the work comes easy. I HAVE to ask for help. And I DO ask for help.
I love that my videos are still the awkward not quite perfect content that I see in my minds eye. I’d love to have perfectly polished content however I have my Learners Permit and I’m learning. This is essential. Learning to free-motion on a longarm is a process, not a one time event. Learning to free-motion on a home sewing machine is a process, not a one time event. Learning to shoot and edit video is a process not a one time event.
Road to California is a fabulous show. I had so much fun and am ready to continue learning how to quilt, shoot and edit video content and to enjoy the beauty of being a quilt maker.