Checking Up and Checking In

For me the new year is a time for reflection as I am sure it is for so many.  I recently retired from my medical profession of 30 years and decided I needed to check in on myself and see how I am doing.  The last several years I did not have the opportunity to really enjoy my passion, quilting.  In looking back over the years I remember the frustrations I felt when I first began quilting.  My first quilt was a cardboard square, inexpensive flannel purchased at Ben Franklin and fabric scissors.  I had absolutely no idea how to piece a quilt and that you must use 1/4 inch seam allowance and that polyster fill was an absolute no no!  I had tied my quilt and proudly presented it to my daughter, who still has it and whenever I see it I chuckle, just a little.  I decided at that point to take a quilting class and oh so very proud of myself for taking that big leap. 

 I had no idea the costs involved with quilting, such as mats, rotary cutters, rulers and the cost of fabric and batting.  I was told only to buy my fabrics from independent quilt shops because you should only quilt with quality fabric.  I was so concerned because we had three little kids at home and we all know the cost in raising children.   My first teacher was not exactly the nurturing type and had no patience for a beginning quilter.  I was so proud of myself because I had purchased a brand new Viking 500 and admonished because it was not a Bernina.  I was told the fabric I had purchased was less then quality and should really find some other fabric, I was crushed.  From that point it went downhill fast.  After a few short weeks of the class,  I put the quilt down and swore I would never quilt again.  A few years later a lovely woman who i became friends with took me under her wing and gave me the encouragement, instructions and even bought me my first book, which I still have.  I now had the tools and guidance needed to produce my very first quilt.  We chose a Log Cabin because they are straight forward and a great pattern to learn.  With her help we chose some lovely calico fabrics (popular at the time) and I was set!  It was a beautiful quilt and I even quilted it myself.  I was not ashamed of my quilt and even to this day with all of the mistakes funny little quirks I am still so proud.

When I decided to check in on myself I decided to make another Log Cabin quilt and see how I was doing and if I would enjoy it as much now as I did then, and I do!   I have made so many quilts over the years that involved intricate designs which were all so beautiful,  but if the truth be known, I always loved piecing the Log Cabin.  So, here I am 30 years later and getting back to my roots and I am doing fine!

A good rule to follow is if you love something deeply, whether it is quilting, painting, weaving etc.  pursue it and keep it close to your heart.  Do not let anybody discourage you or admonish you for purchasing your fabrics or supplies at a box store, or discourage you because you do not have the tools or machines of their choice.  Quilt for you and for the passion and love you have for creating a piece of art.  Quilting represents love and when you create a quilt you are giving a piece of yourself to that lucky someone who is receiving a gift of love.

In closing, check in and check up on yourself often, not every 30 years.  You will be amazed what you find out about yourself!  Happy 2019!

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