Monday, December 14, 2009

Things I learned while quilting

This is the Advent quilt I am making -at this stage it had just come together as a quilt top. Since then I have had great pleasure in machine quilting -first with my walking foot doing straight lines. Next I will get out my darning foot, pluck up my courage and jump right in to the most fun you can have with a sewing machine (at least, that I know of so far!)

I have been reflecting on what I have learned in my quilting this year.

1. You have to be humble to learn something. I am coming up to my 55th birthday -most of the stuff I do in life I now do well, having had lots of practice. I can make a meal without a recipe. I can balance the household books. I can operate at a high level of functioning in my work environment. Learning to quilt took me back to being a learner. I made mistakes, I had to ask to see how it was done, I had to do less than I hoped for if I was ever going to get better. These lessons were good to have again in my life.

2. The sum is greater than the parts. The quilt takes little pieces of seemingly unrelated fabrics -some of them dull and insipid when alone -and when they are all together they are stunningly beautiful. Life is not made up of starry days every day, but over a lifetime it takes on a complexity and beauty that is truly unique.

3. You have to be able to keep going sometimes. This quilt needed a very tricky technique to make the stars around the tree -and I made an afternoon full of failures before I got them right. Those 24 pockets took a lot of discipline to make - I was bored and it seemed like I would never finish but I am so glad I did.

4. We all need a little help from our friends. In this case my lovely teacher Trish was a great boon - I have learned so much from her this year. And my DD who would not let me slack off but kept on insisting that I keep sewing until the job was done.

5. Deadlines help. Yes the fact that this is an Advent quilt has made me want to complete it -and hang it- before Christmas eve. Of course it would have been better to start sooner!

6. You can make yourself happy by immersing yourself in something challenging and rewarding! Life has not been too great around here at times this year -but this quilting has been a way of switching off all the negative thoughts and just enjoying myself. Sometimes it feels as good as meditation!

Thank you to all those who visit my blog -you are a great encouragement to me. That 'widget' that shows where people visit is amazing!

Thanks to the friendly West Aussie ALSer who made such nice comments on the Aussies Living Simply website about my last post.

Feel free to make a comment - I am always happy to hear from you.

1 comment:

mountainwildlife said...

It is looking beautiful! Really enjoyed reading your blog tonight... I've been out of circulation for a while! I just finished making an advent calendar that looks very like your Christmas tree quilt from earlier! though not nearly as intricate as your current project.

I love that sometimes lifes lessons come through our everyday activities :-)