Towards the end of the first Catholic Book Study for Women in our parish I was invited to enter into community with a small faith sharing group. I told them about this Forty Days of Prayer for Quilters project and they are holding me accountable for finishing by the end of Lent. There are 18 posts (including this one) to get to the forty. Thinking this through the last post will be Resurrection on Easter Monday.
Over on the Blog-versary post I shared that there was a bit of personal drama. It revolves around quilting and let’s just say for now that I was shown an area where I’m impatient, prideful and still wounded in a way I didn’t see. It was a hard and very uncomfortable moment. I’m still embarrassed and I’ll deal with it as best I can shortly.
I loaded a very mature quilt on the frame, it’s old enough that I don’t quite remember when I made it. That said it’s perfect for the project I’m working on right now, which is learning to longarm quilt. You can follow most of the adventures on TerifiCreations and a new YouTube channel. The quilt is made of blocks from an exchange on one of the message boards I participated in in the early 2000’s. It was then a learning quilt and it is once again a learning quilt. Learning to quilt on a longarm is as hard as it was to learn to quilt on a home sewing machine. There’s going to be a lot of awful quilting until I can get the skill set down and get comfortable with the different process. Most machine quilting teachers will say, and I agree, that this is the difference between moving the pencil over the paper or moving the paper under the pencil – both of which are serious skill sets. A quilter needs to understand the space where the quilting happens, which can shift on a large quilt as it’s rolled up onto the uptake bar, and the movement, setting the tension, changing the needle and threading the machine. That’s not all but there’s a good beginning in sharing the complexities.
So this image above is some of the quilting that I shared with some friends. This is not my best work. It’s not intended to be my best work as I’m learning. I’m learning. I said something to my friends that I wouldn’t allow my students to say. You see, I’m working six inches away from the quilt. I haven’t had the time to put a lot of hours into the quilting. I know there will be milestones. Right now there’s the whole “she’s not working up to capacity” running through my head.
As quilt makers there is through path to get to where we’re going to end up as quilters. This path has struggle to it, struggle that leads to better work. Quilting is a skill set with a lot of components that complete the whole: choosing fabrics, using a rotary cutter & the accompanying rulers, deciding on patterns, working on getting an accurate quarter inch seam. Then there’s the actual quilting skill set which is completely different involving thread and needle pairings, choosing color and thread weight, choosing what batting we want, choosing the quilting motifs and that’s the beginning of the choices. We need to go through a learning process, and it takes time, and each persons time is different. I can point out those “Bang Head Here” Moments I’ve had in quilting. I do in my quilting lectures. I do this because often people see how I quilt now and sometimes say, “I can’t do that” well I couldn’t either when I first started quilting, it took time. It took a lot of time with my seam ripper.
Our Faith life takes time to build. There’s a lot we need to go through to come to deeper understanding of Scripture and Teaching, and how we relate to it. The book study with the group that started in September helped me to see that women are valued and cherished through the whole of Salvation History. God never condemned Eve, he made a promise to her, one that He kept. Through times of deep faith and times of lacking faith God brings women into the picture in really prophetic ways, women of deep faith, women of prayer and commitment. Women who say, “Yes!”. As Catholic we have four women who are doctors of the Church. I’m also reading books written by women that are showing me areas in my mind and heart that it’s time to grow, to let go, and become more of the woman God wants me to be. For me quilting is part of this.
I wanted to share something in the group however I’ll share it here. Over the last few years there’s been a strong feeling that I need to work in some kind of Faith based ministry. I’m still not quite sure what that is or what it will look like. There was a moment when that door closed, hard. This particular moment sent me reeling, nearly losing my Faith, seriously if it wasn’t for Jesus in the Eucharist and understanding that hardcore Truth I would have walked away. Another moment when I thought there was a possibility I got the door closed again. While it wasn’t slammed in my face this time, when I was approached it was a firm and clear, “no” from me. Which turned out well as I got a traveling job shortly after that and fulfilling any obligation would have not worked out.
It was Through all of this that allowed me to be open to saying yes to leading the Catholic Book Study this round. I’m enjoying both digging into the books, seeing these women in Scripture in a different way, and leading the discussion.
To quote someone we have to “go through” the hard stuff in our journey of faith, and I’m bringing that into quilting. We have to go through the learning process to get where we’re going. I can see that in my quilts. After writing Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting Learn to Stitch with Reckless Abandon and having some time to sit with it I can see the “Through” of it. I can see how one quilt led to the next, I can see where I went through learning to paper piece, and machine quilt, and use color in the quilting and through a couple of seam rippers and through. Just like the journey of Faith I think there’s something on the horizon of quilting I’m not sure what it is yet. I need to go Through this season.
Through this upcoming season of Lent I will finish this Forty Days of Prayer project so you can expect consistent posting here on A Quilters Heart. Next up might be a reflection on the Trinity.
God bless you!