I have a wonderful friend who has stuck by me since the day I met her. When I tried to run away (as I so often did until recently), she would not let me go. At one point, I really thought she could never really understand me; I could never really let her know all of me. Fortunately, she was relentless in her love and friendship. She would not let me go. The connection was a distant connection for many years. We would occasionally connect over some event or some party, but because she so graciously and lovingly held onto me, I was eventually drawn back to her more closely. She had such a way of pursuing me without infringing or pushing. It was just enough to keep the connection until it was time to go deeper. And, as it turned out, I was wrong about her not being able to really understand me or know me. When I began to be drawn back to her and the church and community we had so abruptly left years before, and I had come to a place in my life of honesty. I was able to open up and share those things I thought she could never know or understand. Low and behold, she was not driven away; she was not disgusted. She was grateful for my openness and sad that she had not been allowed to walk through some of the struggle in our early friendship. The reconnection was beautiful and authentic; it was a relief and a breath of freshness. It was the beginning of really community, connection and depth.
What does all this have to do with the Plano Quilt show?
She is my connection to the show. She is the one who introduced me to this amazing world of quilting. She is the one who has given me a little peek into the lives of some really great ladies that I am so excited about getting to know better. She invited me to come and walk the show. She escorted me through, explaining the quilts, the venders, the techniques. She introduce me to the many ladies in the guild. She has been such a patient and great friend and she has opened my eyes to this world that I am so anxious to dive into.
I don’t think my friend has any idea how much her relentless pursuit of me and her relentless love for me means. It is as if she is a tangible picture of what God does to each one of us. She is one of the few people in my life that would not just let me run away and shut the door. She was and is the beginning of learning to stay and forge relationships that are not dispensable. Her friendship is a treasure to me that I hold deep in my heart.
I am not a quilter…. yet. But I am inspired and intrigued. I am joining the Guild and I am undertaking my first project, a wall quilt.
So after that long introduction, here is what I have to say about the show.
As I walked the show, I cannot really express the sense of awe I felt looking at some of the quits. They are breath-taking. Sometimes, I had to just stop and stare; it would take a minute to take it all in. The talent of these ladies (and men) to put such beauty together is amazing. My heart was stirred and my imagination inspired.
I have to say that I am not a traditional quilt girl. I like those that are a little off the beaten path. I especially love texture and sparkles. I loved walking around looking at all of the quilts and all the work that these women and men had put into the quilts.
As much as I admired these quilts, and as much as my heart was stirred to be able to create such beauty, I also began to feel overwhelmed at the thought of being able to accomplish something so big and beautiful. I began to feel that there was no way that I could do it. I have really loud critics in my head and I have a really bad habit of listening to those critics. I often let them talk me out of ideas and desires. They like to tell me one of two things.
1) That is a really stupid idea; it won’t work.
2) That is too big; you will never be able to figure out how to do that.
I let those voices hold me back from so much.
Writing my book
making a lot of creations in my head
pursuing my hair career
teaching people about makeup
using my dancing gift to minister
There are so many things I let the critics talk me out of and keep me from pursuing. I know I shouldn’t listen, especially since I am aware of them and what they are trying to do. But I do, none the less.
As I walked around the show and took in quilts, stirred with desire and intimidated by the voice of the critics, I started to see God had me at the show to teach me. He had a message for me.
Quilts, most of the time, are made one square at a time. One step at a time, they are built. Instead of looking at the whole quilt and thinking, “I can never do that,” I need to look at each square. I let myself get overwhelmed at the enormity of the project, instead of talking it a bite at a time. Some of the quilts are strip quilts which can be made one strip at a time. I don’t have to have the whole picture; I can make a strip at a time and then figure out how to put them all together. Maybe just knowing what the inspiration for the quilt will be is enough to start with. That is such an easy concept for me to get when I am studying complex math or physiology. I have even said to people who are struggling with learning something in school, “one bite at a time; don’t try to swallow the whole thing in one bite.” It needs to be applied to creative areas of my life.
That is easier said than done, but I am going to try. I just need to walk forward one step of obedience, one square at a time.
This applies to me book-one story or chapter at a time. This applies to my quilts-one block at a time. This applies to me art-one layer at time. This applies to every area. It is time to stop looking at the whole picture and being overwhelmed. It is time to start looking at my life and projects like a quilt. I only have to do one block at a time.
As we closed the afternoon at the quilt show down, my friend left me with homework to do. She gave me a deadline. Deadlines are a huge motivator for me. I cannot explain it, but if I have deadline I will meet it. If there is no deadline, I will procrastinate forever. The deadlines can be as simple as a birthday I am making a present for, or a homework assignment. Deadlines motivate me for some reason. I am so glad that my friend is intuitive enough and loves me enough to give me a deadline. I truly believe, for some reason, the lack of deadline keeps me from accomplishing many of the things I would like to accomplish. Without it I can put things off indefinitely. I have already completed 3/4 of the homework she gave me yesterday because I am now accountable to her for it.
Here is the link to the pattern for the wall hanging quilt I am starting on
This shop is really cool.