Blog post by Jemima King
Several years ago I pieced together some fabric into a quilt. I was moderately pleased with the quilt, but because of a series of random events (moving, broken sewing machines, etc), I didn’t pick up that quilt again until this year.
Straight off I noticed several things: 1. What I thought was a wonderfully constructed quilt, was in fact, poorly done. The corners didn’t match up, so triangles became weirdly misshapen, seams didn’t come together in straight lines, several pieces of fabric came together and were lumpy instead of smooth, etc. 2. The raw materials I chose were a mixture of high quality and some cheap horribleness—you can tell! And, 3. The color combo is, well, interesting.
I began to doubt that it was even worth quilting because it’s a lot of work and subpar materials, combined with poor construction made for a judgment fest! Ultimately, I decided that I did want to quilt it, because while it is nothing to write home about (but apparently, something to write a blog about!), this quilt represents so much of my growth as a quilter over several years. Growth I had not remarked on, noticed, or paid particular attention to, simply because I moved on.
As I sat on the beach quilting, I began to realize, self-judgment and criticism, isn’t just limited to items we may have created years ago, but also often extends to how we are still anxious after years of trying everything to manage anxiety. How we haven’t quite figured out that relationship. Or how we haven’t got that job we wanted to have by this time in our career. We look at who we are and think; I am not good enough. I did a horrible job. I should have known X. Or I should have done Y better. We only see what we should have or could have done differently.
And so, we miss out on how we have grown and what we have learned. What came out of the experience we are so quick to judge? What did I learn in the process of that event/conversation/experience that I now use to do better? We miss how we react differently now. That today we made a choice we didn’t even know was a possibility last year, but now we can’t imagine not making.
From my sad quilting foray, I learned about something called nestled seams that allow several pieces of fabric to come together without lumps. I also learned how much ironing makes a difference in every step of the process—something I previously did as infrequently as possible. I don’t remember where I picked up on both of those skills, but they are a normal part of my every day quilting.
So my question for you today is, what have you done this week that would have been impossible or poorly done just a few short years ago? What do you do now in your relationships that you didn’t think to do before? What experiences or work opportunities do you have because of something you did a poor job of in the past? What is your quilt moment?
What can you take a minute today to celebrate as positive change and growth in your life?