This past week I was invited to speak to the wonderful Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild members, and to teach a workshop at Harper's Fabrics. I have to say that it could not have gone better! Everyone was kind, warm, and welcoming - it was a dream come true! What was I so nervous about? We all come to the table with a love of quilting, a love of fabric, a love of sewing, and it seems; a love for others.
My topic for speaking to the MQG was me; my story, my journey, the path from the beginning to now. I thought I would share I few things that I shared that night, some things that have shaped my life, the lives of my children; and unbeknownst to anyone - the lives of those that I teach to quilt. I know these things are very personal, and I hesitate to share them; but maybe in sharing them someone else could find some hope.
For too many years I was in an abusive marriage, when it finally ended I was very grateful, but completely numb. For one whole year I couldn't sew, couldn't touch my sewing machine, I couldn't buy fabric (horror of horrors), I couldn't do anything. I would look at my sewing machine longingly, and wish that I could sew, but I couldn't. Miraculously I started to get better, my healing began by sorting and petting fabric (only a quilter will appreciate this, I think), then I began to sew about a million string pieced blocks - mindless sewing was all I was capable of at that point. Next I began to sew the blocks together - not for any purpose, I just wanted to see them all together. After several months, I began to start making quilts out of all of those blocks...the healing was well underway. To a degree, quilting saved my life. That was in 2004, 6 years later I have a quilt business, a book, and all of you!
Quilting has the power to heal, the power to build confidence, the power to rebuild a life, and the power to bind people together. I am so grateful for quilting! My passion for teaching quilting is this: if someone believed they were not capable of creating something of beauty, and a teacher showed them that they could; their perception about them self would change, because something they once believed true, was proven not true. How could that affect other areas of their life? It is a ripple in the water occurrence, one change in perception about one self, changes everything else. That is the Gospel of Quilting! That is why I teach, and that is why I share my love of quilting with anyone that will listen.