It’s been awhile since I posted. Not for bad reasons, it’s just been a busy year, and it gets awkward to just pop up again and carry on, even though I want to…apologies, and here we go:
I want to share with you an important resource I hope you have access to; it’s one I’d under-utilized, or at least under-appreciated, until fairly recently. That resource is other quilters. Quilting is both solitary and social. I get a lot out of interactions with other quilters — and the expectation that I’ll have those interactions on a regular basis. Quilters, as a group, are especially good at being both honest and tactful about the work of others. We energize each other, we provide each other with alternative solutions to problems, and even occasionally point out to each other that a perceived problem isn’t really a problem.
When I worked in the quilt store there was a steady supply of quilters available, spanning the full gamut of abilities and confidence. In that context it was easy to learn from some and help others learn, too. There are more than a few things I learned by trying to explain them clearly to others, and ideas I got by suggesting them to someone else, for whom they might not have been the answer.
When that adventure ended, I knew I didn’t want to lose contact with other quilters. Over the past couple of years I’ve tried harder to maintain a range of connections with quilters — from membership in a large guild to the commitment to just meet and sew with a couple of friends once or twice a week. With friends, I struggle to nurse a mini-group into a perennial state, and awhile back some of us started a silly Facebook support group for fiber artists called “746” (the Dewey Decimal prefix for textile arts). Hopefully I even get to spend a few days at a retreat with quilt friends again, this Fall.
All this as a way to keep the ideas and energy flowing. All this because, years ago, I got “too busy” to keep up with quilters for awhile, and ended up without the energy to even sew for a few years. I don’t regret that time, which was wonderful and hectic and full of teenagers and sports and carpools, etc. BUT — I know that when I started sewing, again, and hanging out with other quilters, a little part of my brain restarted and its the creative, problem-solving, can-do part. For a lot of us family life is a tug-of-war between the urgent and the important. I’m grateful to have friends to remind me to make time for both. I hope I do the same for them.
[I’m also grateful that my first crop of teenagers has become a group of wonderful twenty-somethings, and that the current crop is one, fairly well organized, 14 year-old who really does understand.]