Old ladies and quilting……….
Now, before anyone jumps on me and comments something in defense of the “Old Ladies and Quilting” title of this blog post – please continue to read on.
I’m 39 years young and will be turning 40 in October. In my children’s eyes and I’m sure the eyes of their peers – I am old – practically antique. In the eyes of the world, my life is half way over. In my eyes, I’m still young, have many things to learn and have many years left ahead of me and have much to do. I’ve been fortunate to have several women in my life who are older than I am that I’ve learned a great deal from through their actions, words or the stories of old that they have told.
(this picture is of my Grandma marking a quilt for hand quilting)
I’ve also been fortunate to learn many great lessons from people younger than I am.
Today while reading through some of my favorite blogs the subject of “Old Ladies Quilting” came up and it perked me up and got me thinking right away. Here is the original post I read:
Which led me to this great and well thought out blog post:
Is is a fact, that when you walk into a quilt guild meeting, a quilt shop or any quilt show whether it be large of small – the majority of the people in the room will be “of a certain age” and above. I myself still to this day feel in the minority. I myself have been made to feel like an outcast while at quilt shows or guild meetings. I myself have felt “not so welcome” at quilt guild meetings by rude stares, comments under breath or just plain looked at and ignored with never a welcoming word coming from anyone’s mouth. I myself have been made the subject of the room by my quilting peers pointing out to everyone in the room at a quilt guild meeting “Oh how young you are!” or “You’re the baby here!” or my favorite – said with much shock and that “look” in the eye of the beholder “You’re a quilter?????” – which by the way always made me feel like a circus clown in a room full of people that I only wish to become friends with and feel like I belonged!
When I began my adventure in the quilting industry I was at the ripe and tender age of 26 – (I actually began sewing and dabbling in quilting at a very young age – single digit age to be exact.) If you consider my craft show days as part of being in this industry – I began in my teens to earn extra money. When I started in the creative industry I had two wee little babes – one strapped to my back in a baby carrier and the other attached to my leg trailing along beside me in my craft show days and a few quick years later as I began this journey in the quilting industry as a career – they were both toddlers. They have grown up in this industry right along beside me. For this I am blessed. I have found memories of my two precious toddlers along with my husband taking this first adventure with me to Atlantic City, New Jersey to vend at our first International Quilt Market. I have pictures of my cuties sitting on a pile of boxes in that single small booth at that quilt show with big huge grins on their faces while their Momma was near heart attack status at the worry of them falling from a top those boxes and the stress of doing a “first” quilt market and having no clue what I was doing.
Thankfully I never gave up throughout the past several years along this journey, but their have been many times I came close.
Yet, I better stop rambling and get to the point.
I have seen and done many things in my short amount of time in the quilting industry. I’ve met some wonderful people and I’ve met some people that we will just think of as “not so nice” to put it kindly. I’ve learned to overlook the not so nice and look for the good in all people. I’ve seen many different attitudes and learned a lot through all of the quilt guild meetings and quilt shows that I’ve attended.
One thing I would like to stress today is the fact that we need the “old ladies of quilting” or let’s say “Ladies of a certain age” (I like that better) in our industry to keep it alive. We have much to learn from “Ladies Of A Certain Age”. Without you, we would lose a great deal of our heritage and lose many lessons we “middle age” and “younger” women have to learn.
So, for those of you women and men in our fine industry that are “Of A Certain Age”, I challenge you to a few things in your quilting adventure in life. I beg of you to help me teach my children, my peers and anyone of any age for that matter looking to become involved in quilting the fine qualities of our chosen craft, hobby or passion.
Always be kind to those wanting to learn. Leave the negativity at home. Leave the “looking down the nose” at others persona at home. Put on a smile and keep it positive and encouraging to all those looking to become a part of our great passion.
Think before you speak. If something could be perceived as negative or taken “in another way” or coy – don’t say it.
Always be encouraging to the younger generation at quilting shows and guild meetings and involve them in their surroundings and make them feel welcome. Trust me – you will never be forgotten for your kindness and generosity.
Offer to volunteer at your local schools to help with crafts, teach after school activities to promote home economics type lessons or if you are lucky enough to still have a school that has a home economics department in your area – offer to come in and speak about your quilting passion and offer demos.
Take a child or younger person under your wing and encourage them to explore creativity. There are so many children in this world that are looking for outlets and many of them would enjoy our passion.
Or one of my favorite quotes from a recent excellent book titled “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
You is Kind
You is Smart
You is Important
Isn’t that something we all want to feel about our selves? Kind, Smart and Important? I like to feel that I’m kind, smart and important – but I also like to make other feel like they are kind, smart and important. And to do that I never wish to belittle anyone or make them ever feel as if they were not kind, smart or important.
I really believe in keeping our industry growing and alive. I encourage each of you to be kind, smart and important at your next quilt guild meeting, quilt show or whatever opportunity you find yourself in. It is possible to pass on your quilting knowledge and make whomever you come in contact with feel kind, smart and important in a nice and pleasant way.
Now – I’d like to remind you of the fantastic Quilt Book Tour we have going on this week! Yesterday you read about this new quilt book by my friend Kathy Brown of The Teachers Pet
here on my blog. (Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post and comment for you chance to win a copy of this book!)
Well, today I invite you to visit this wonderful blog:
It’s my good friend Carrie and her cute pooch Miss Rosie’s day to blog about this great quilting book! Carrie and Miss Rosie are ubber talented and if you’ve never visited their blog I encourage you to do so. Always a good read and a good laugh or too when visiting there!
Here’s your link to visit them – now go and read and have a great, awesome day!