I wrote “If I were actually writing a book” in preparation for writing a book. Yes dear friends I’m going to write a book on machine quilting. I have a focus and I’m still thinking through what kinds of samples will go into the book, particularly the proposal so it has the best chance of getting published. The foreword to this as yet untitled book is all about gratitude for my husband and his support of this quilting venture, for the quilters who I have had an opportunity to learn from – books, articles, tv shows, guild members, shop staff, students – for friends who listen to my incessant conversation about quilting. Gratitude for those quilters who encourage and support on this journey towards where ever this quilt journey is leading. Gratitude for those who have trusted me to quilt for them and compete with them.
I’m so grateful that at some point I listened to that inner voice (and a few outer voices) and took up machine quilting. And in that I’m grateful for those moments of frustration that I pushed through to get an understanding of how machines work, how the mechanics of machine quilting works and understanding that I can teach it.
I’ll admit there are things that I long to be grateful for, oh, Lord! I long to be grateful. Life experiences that are challenging at best to deal with, you know the ones where God asks us to trust in him, in his mercy and grace. Then there are the quilting experiences like stitching my finger or having to rip stitches out because the quilting is just awful or wrong for the quilt. I’m grateful after the fact.
I’ll admit, working retail, generally I’m grateful for the opportunity to help out our customers. Sometimes customers really have me working so hard for that sense of gratitude that at the end of the day I’m ready to be home stitching on something beautiful.
I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to teach machine quilting. You know the look of sheer joy and surprise and AHA! when someone just gets the concept? There is nothing more amazing. Alright, alright, you’re right, there are a lot of things much more amazing than this. Like God’s Mercy and Grace. And most of all God’s Love.
I’m grateful for friendships that help me to grow and become more of who I am supposed to be. I am grateful for interactions with people who help hone and chip away at parts of who I am that are not welcoming, loving or good. I know am am both at times. I know that and it pains me, especially when my motives or actions are misinterpreted.
I’m grateful for messing up cutting sometimes. Know why?! Because it shows quilters that mistakes happen, or in some cases design decisions. These are opportunities to learn, opportunities to let quilters see that the process of quilting holds within its very heart places where mistakes happen. One of the greatest gifts is someone who offers advice like just stitch on a piece then cover it up with quilting. Now I’m GRATEFUL for that!
This weeks Gospel is one of my favorites: Mary and Martha. These girls crack me up. I’m grateful for the pair of ’em. I’ll share a bit more on that and how it relates to quilting at a later date.
For now I’m going to work on being more grateful.
2 thoughts on “Grasping at Gratitude”
Teri, this is wonderful essay