Patterns are good. They provide us with the guidelines for making a good product. About a year or so ago a friend gave me a few of her patterns to try out. They are incredibly well detailed, and instructive patterns. I made one once, and the thing wasn’t as tidy as expected. We ended up having a great conversation regarding the differences between quilters and garment sewers. Well I’m going to change the language a bit: between the quilters who read/follow patterns, and the ones who don’t. I can, and do follow patterns when necessary. If I’m following the pattern that means I’m making it to test, and edit it and it’s necessary to follow the pattern to the letter so that all the things can be fixed along the way. Then there’s the usual way I follow a pattern, which kind of a, “Hey this works, and looks good so I’m going with it!” or “I like the general look of this but I’m thinking this size instead of that size because…” or “eh whatever there’s a mistake and I’ll live with it.”
This has it’s roots in my personal learning style of grabbing onto the general concept, then making something based on the techniques learned rather than the pattern itself. Learning to knit and crochet is proof.
It’s also something of my teaching style, I don’t try and keep the class together. while in and of itself this keeping together is a good thing, moving students forward at their own pace honors who they are, their learning style and their pace. It is this general concept to the thing that permeates what I make as a quilter. It permeates knitting and crocheting, it permeates writing. Sometimes projects take me a long time as they need to either sit in time out, or I need to think them through.
Reading the stories of creation (Genesis 1 – culminates in the creation of man; Genesis God creates man then the whole of the earth) whatever the order the life begins, human beings very much part of that creative process. Both the created world and humanity are given, by our Lord, the freedom and the space to grow. Humans are given free-will – meaning that we get to make choices – bad ones included. For each of us the creative path is different, and unique.
We, as quilter, know that there’s more than one way to do this thing, to be creative, to enter more deeply into this relationship with God, and with one another through our work as quilters. With so many choices, so many ways of doing this thing sometimes it’s challenging to figure out what works for us. That’s the beauty, we get to try loads of things. No matter how we approach these things what matters in the end is that we are entering into the creative process to make quilts.
Making quilts is, sometimes, a bit of a struggle. It has to be. Because out of struggle comes growth. It’s the same in the Faith life, out of struggle comes growth. We’re told we’re going to be pruned. Though it always seems a bit of a surprise when God decides to prune “this!”. Right?!
Prayer: God of all creativity, thank you for the opportunity to delve deeply into Your creative spirit. Thank you for the gift of quilting, the ability to wrap friends, family, and strangers in the comfort of the work of our hands. Thank you for the gift of creating art that encourages, inspires, and offers us opportunity for growth. For challenges to keep us interested, for new fabric lines that provide just the right shade of green. Thank you for the rest that comes in each stitch we take. Amen.
Work: Spend twenty minutes tidying up some space in your sewing room.