I need an ego boost

I’m still struggling with the judging thing. I think I will for quite some time. I am acknowledging it but it is difficult to deal with. I went to the Quilt Guild meeting, this evening. I had asked someone to help me finish a project I started nearly 15 to 20 years ago. Back when I was … a severe amateur … and now had no clue how to finish it properly. She appears to be so far beyond my level of capability, it was an honor when she said she would look at it and give me ideas (or help me) to finish it – finally.

I went to the quilt guild meeting tonight to turn in my 5 dozen Madeline’s. We ate too many and sent 40 of them to Brendan’s school (two for everyone), so Jen made a few more dozen this afternoon while I was running around – socializing. She did great, so it was nice to see she is learning my cooking secrets.

The Quilt Guild Madeline’s.

Twenty little bags of 2 Madeline’s each stuffed into Brendan’s backpack.

I have to show you a few pictures of this morning’s sunrise. I tried to get the color but, since it didn’t come out quite right, I’ll have to tell you. It was not too bright to look at, but it was a bright orange/red color. It was stunning – because it was nearly a perfect circle with no rays. The smoke-induced fog pro’lly had something to do with it.

And then, the sunset? Just as beautiful. Harder to get a picture of.

The sunset, we got while driving home from the Quilt Guild meeting. We left early. I was going to stay and show off (during their monthly show-n-tell session) the Americana Quilt I was working on for over five years. I thought it was a great milestone and a lovely finish. It has some errors and I know it. But it is a step on the path to me learning how and what I’ve been learning. I’ve gotten much better since working on that pink one above and the Americana one below.

I was trepidatious about showing it off. I know that the Americana blanket has problems – but it shows the path of how I’m learning and growing with my quilting.

The lady approached me at the meeting and mentioned that she was taught long ago that there are some blankets that just need to be scrapped and she hoped I didn’t get upset when she said that this one was pretty un-savable. I acknowledged that part. I mean, seriously, after so many years, it’s pro’lly nigh-impossible to find any of the original fabrics to do anything with it. It was the next part that hurt my feelings and I find myself begging for a small ego boost. She mentioned that, looking at my blanket, she felt she might need to start up a beginner’s class to help the younger generation learn the basics. She mentioned that my quilt was sewn every which way – with no real basics applied.

Ok. So, that blanket has had sections ripped out and pieced back in. I can understand how that would make it appear sewn every which way. And, I was still beginning and learning when I worked on it, nearly 15 to 20 years ago.

So, it was a serious ouch. I am not sure how to take what she said. I sat for nearly 20 minutes, watching and “learning” some really cool stuff on a video they were showing and thinking about it. I am now in search of funds to buy the “really cool” circle tool. I want to make a blanket with it!

Finally, I left. I couldn’t handle it. I kept thinking – if she commented on that old blanket, what would she think or say about the one I was going to show off tonight? It was a serious ouch moment and I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just went home. I started thinking about how rude and judgmental the ladies of the Quilt Guild are. They’ve spent 20, 30, 50 years quilting and taking classes (that cost money) and learning and perfecting their craft, their passion, their hobby. I’ve only dabbled in it for years and gotten serious in the last two. What right do they have to do judge me like that?

It’s unfair. It’s not polite or courteous and I shouldn’t have reacted that way. I know. I don’t know how to handle it, though.

So, I came home. I put the binding on two blankets that I got back from the quilter and hadn’t finished off and made two new ones for my babies.

Country Patchwork, with binding. Finished and ready for use by family. I did the edges and sides a little different. See, typically, I bind by pulling the back to the front and stitching it down. I plan all my blankets/quilts with this in mind and pick the colors accordingly. This one did not have enough material to pull the back to the front on the top of the blanket. The header. So, I moved a little differently.

Fr the top, I tucked them underneath together. I had enough fabric to do that. I think it gives me a little spark to the normal and it also shows which side of this patchwork blanket is meant to be the top.

I finished the Sidelights. Jen is still whining and crying that I won’t let her take it and hide it in her bedroom just yet. She has to share for awhile.

The next two are quick and simple blankets. I made them for my boys in under two hours (with Jen helping on the pinning part). I was wandering around a local home fabrics store and saw a blanket made out of fabric typically used for upholstery. It was amazing! I hadn’t thought about it, before. This green one was given to Brendan and is a duplicate of what I saw in the store:

I added five points of stitching to the top and bottom so that it won’t come apart very easily in the washing machine. However, as I was telling Jen, these blankets are “Boy Proof.” They can drag it all over the place and, because they are made from upholstery fabric, they’ll clean up real nice. On top of that, they aren’t all that “un-soft.” I tucked Brendan in with his when I was done:

He woke up, so I told him I was bringing him his new blankie. He wrapped up in it and fell back asleep.

And now, Caiden’s. He didn’t wake up – but it was fun unwrapping him and wrapping him back up with the new one.

So, it was a productive night and I enjoyed finishing up two and making these for my babies. But, I find myself with my feelings hurt and indecisive about what I am going to do about the Quilt Guild thing. Am I not good enough? Yes, I make beautiful things for my friends and give away what I do. I don’t do super complicated (yet) and I’m working on my skills.

My thoughts? What right do they have to judge me!? How does anyone get into a Quilt Guild when the “old-timers” are so judgmental? And, then If all back on, what about me? I’m judging all of them based on the random comments of one person. She probably didn’t mean to be rude. She probably didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. I played it off like no big deal when I was talking to her and she even said, “Oh, I’m so glad you took that ok.”

So, we’re back to my problem: judging others. No real resolution, yet. I’m working on figuring it out. Right now, I feel like I need an ego boost. But, I know that 10 or 20 friends/acquaintances would love to tell me how beautiful my work is and they love what I’ve done with this fabric or that. It just hurt to be compared to someone who knows nothing when I’ve tried so hard to learn and grow as a quilter. In fact, if you recall, I just recently started practicing doing my own binding. I mean, true binding. A separate piece of fabric added to both sides of the quilt to finish it off.

I need to keep working and keep practicing. Part of me really wants to make a super complicated, outstanding quilt and take it in for show-n-tell. The problem is, I’m not quite ready to do one of those, yet. I’ll get there. In time.

Thank you for listening,


Categories: Family, Quilting, Religion, Socializing | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “I need an ego boost

  1. A few things jump to mind reading your post..
    1. People are not always nice they have differing agendas and it’s often about themselves. While her comments were a bit ouchy the outcome might be good, just switch her term beginner to intermediate in your mind. Arrive with an inquisitive, humble heart to learn. I would show her my current effort and say this is where I am now, what could I do better? Remember everyone likes to feel a bit skilled and this is her *thing* so let her, it’s to your advantage and it might be nice for her too, who knows what’s going on in her life after all…
    2. Your quilts are lovely. To my lay mans eyes they are fantastic, the love and effort that goes into them is so obvious. I can imagine one of your children feels literally wrapped in love under one of your quilts. A true gift of love and yourself. Kids know that sort of thing too. I bet they both will have a fav quilt of childhood and tell a future wife. My mom actually made this, bit by bit just for me. no amount of fine stitching can top that.

    • I’m thinking you are right on point one and point two. I know my boys love it when I sew something and tell them it is specifically for them.

      Thank you, Fay. Your comments are very appreciated.


  2. I know I’m just one random internet-person, but for what it’s worth…she was out of line. While she may have been technically right, she had no business telling you what she did. Those are the sorts of opinions that you keep to yourself unless you already have a relationship with a person or have been specifically asked. That she then tied that in to a need for a beginner’s class (taught by her, no less!) made it even worse. I would have had a hard time holding my tongue. Really, she’s the last person who should be teaching a beginners class.

    There’s a reason why I won’t join a general quilter’s guild and folks like her are reason number one.

    I’m sorry that you went through that. I don’t blame you for not wanting to stay and share your other piece.

  3. Cindy @ In A Stitch

    OMG! The nerve of the “lady”. I would have told her to take a flying leap! Perhaps that lady needed to take a lesson in proper etiquette. I was never taught to talk to other people that way. Who would want to take her class? Certainly not me! No wonder the younger generation is not quite as enthusiastic about quilting as the older folks are. They have her and everyone else like her at the “vintage” quilt quilds as role models.

    I struggle to attend one of our local quilt guilds because just about everyone there has attended since the time of dinosaurs. They are not at all friendly nor welcoming. I’ve been to three meetings and find myself wondering why I keep going back.

  4. I think your pink quilt has potential! Maybe 15 years ago I wouldn’t have thought that but now I know there are an infinite number of ways to make what could be called a quilt. You would be amazed at how a “traditional” quilter 100 years ago would approach your pink quilt. They wouldn’t worry about finding fabric that “matched” because it probably wasn’t possible and that wasn’t the point of quilting anyway! I suggest you look at some of Tim’s quilts for inspiration. http://timquilts.wordpress.com/ He takes discarded vintage quilt tops and finds a way to make them work then finishes the handquilting. A lot of them have been handsewn when pieced, some sewn with string! Take a look at these Gees Bend quilts http://www.auburn.edu/academic/other/geesbend/explore/catalog/slideshow/index.htm for some inspiration. Also, take at look at the International Quilt Study Centre http://www.quiltstudy.org/collections/search.html — do an advanced search on “Style/Type” – African American and you’ll see some interesting ideas as well as a couple of quilts that might remind you a little of your Americana quilt.

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