Wow, what a busy week!
I've lately joined a quilter's guild, and spent Tuesday morning at an old-fashioned quilting bee hemming the binding on the annual Christmas quilt that is entered at the county fair and raffled off for fund-raising purposes. This is a HUGE quilt--California King-size--and we hemmed that entire binding in about an hour and forty-five minutes. And talk about pretty! All the squares were individually designed and pieced, and collectively hand-quilted, by the members of the guild. I think it's probably the prettiest quilt I've ever seen. (This can't be considered bragging: I got in on it very late in the game and had nothing whatsoever to do with the design and piecing together of the quilt itself. All I worked on was the quilting part of it.)
This is something that has been extremely enjoyable to me. I've wanted to learn to make quilts for years. There is so much that can be done with this skill, too, besides making quilts. It can be used for decorating in a home, making tote bags, slippers, clothing, potholders and oven mitts, hot pads--all kinds of stuff, even toys. The best thing about this particular craft is that there really is no wrong way to do it, either. You can follow a pattern and make beautiful geometrical or other designs; or you can just piece a bunch of odd pieces of fabric together and have a great quilt top. You can quilt the thing by following lines in the fabric, or use your imagination and just quilt it in bizarre or funny lines. Or you can tie it. The only limits are materials and imagination.
But you know what the best part is about learning to quilt and joining this guild? As I mentioned, I've been participating in "old-fashioned quilting bees." A whole bunch of women of all ages are gathered around this quilt, sewing, and enjoying each other's company
. I've made a bunch of new friends, and I'm learning that I'm not the "social moron" that I've believed myself to be for many, many years. I walked into this--scared to death, honestly--only knowing one other person (a very kind and supportive friend) in this circle. No one else knew me or anything about me. No one had any preconceived notions about who or what I am. No one knows anybody else that I know (that I've been able to find out yet).
It's the very first time in my life that I am being seen, in a face-to-face situation, for who I am as a person--not as a mom, not as a wife, not as a daughter, not as a sister, not as an employee, not as an employer, not as a patient, not as a label, and not as a potential
one of those things.
For the very first time (face-to-face) in my life, I am being seen as me. I stand alone, to contribute what I can. I am valuable. I am useful.
And I'm happy.
This has really contributed to my feeling of well-being that I mentioned in a previous post. As I've come to realize that these new friends are looking at me without filters and accepting me as I am--even in my ignorance, compared to their considerable knowledge and skills--and encouraging me to learn and to try the things they know and share in their camaraderie, I've begun to try to see me the way they do, and to try to accept me the way they do.
It's been an eye-opener, and somehow, a very humbling experience. Kinda like watching a scared and shy little girl begin to blossom into a poised and confident young woman.
* * * * * * * *
Wow. This post turned into something completely unexpected.
What I had meant to do was just give a quick rundown of the week: the quilting bee; unexpectedly winning fifty bucks in a sweepstakes; accidentally unplanting a rosebush, and digging up a bunch of weeds; cleaning my church meetinghouse; and watching a luna moth spread its wings for the first time, and then finding out that the adult luna only lives for seven days.
Didn't mean to get all philosophical and sappy.
I'll post a cool song or something next time.