Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I've been struggling with finding time and motivation lately.  I have hundreds of unread feeds in Google Reader from other quilting blogs.  Work is busy (I shouldn't even be taking the time to write this now), home life is crazy with anywhere from one to three kids at home, I haven't been sleeping well - the heat wave and no air conditioning on our second floor where the bedrooms are doesn't doesn't help - and it is SO HARD to find time to get to my sewing room, or even motivation as to what to work on once I get there.  I know this won't last forever but at the moment, I'm not handling it well.

When I read the blogs of people who accomplish so much sewing in a week or even most days, I feel raw with envy.  I have been quilting for twenty years now, and yes, I get envious when I see someone "guest blogging" somewhere prominent who just started to learn how to use a sewing machine two years ago.  I don't know why I'm both the youngest person in my quilt guild and yet somehow far less experienced than these fortunate people who can spend their entire days just buying, cutting and sewing fabric.  If I could figure out how on earth to make a living doing something related to quilting, I would jump at the chance.

I feel like I straddle some kind of gap between two categories of quilters:  old women who find a few moments to sew in between work, family and caring for a home, and young women who are independently wealthy enough and confident enough to just go out in the world and do what you love without worrying about how to pay the bills.  It's not a place where I want to be. 

At quilt guild last night, the president asked for volunteers to teach technique classes for a half hour before the monthly meeting.  Some of the techniques they were looking for volunteers to demonstrate and teach included hand quilting (i.e. quilters knot), photo fabric (how to adhere to quilt), postage stamp quilting and needle turn appliqué.  So last night, after nearly everyone left, I approached her and said that I would teach needle turn appliqué  if she still needed someone.  She was excited since someone who was new to the meeting had asked specifically for that technique.  It's the only form of appliqué I know how to do, and the elephants in the background of this post are an example, but I still have begun second guessing myself and wondering if I know enough to teach other people.  How arrogant am I to think that my abilities qualify me to teach others?  How do I know there won't be someone there scoffing everything I do as ridiculous?

It happens pretty frequently that I say out loud, "someone ought to ..." and when the listener points back at me as being the one who should - write an article, teach a session, develop a pattern - I respond, "oh goodness no, *I* don't have that kind of expertise!"  I am not qualified to homeschool my child.  I am not qualified to redecorate or renovate my house.  I have a bachelor of arts in languages and twenty years of experience in administration and data analysis ... NOT a degree in education, NOT a certification as a licensed contractor, and NO formal training in interior design, in garment construction, in any math concentration which might be required to design a quilt pattern.  I have no credentials whatsoever except a pile of quilts that I can say that I made, with all of their flaws and imperfections.

Huh.  Who ever would have guessed that my sewing room would have a glass ceiling that I installed myself?

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