In honor of the Quilt Auction this past weekend, it's Quilt Week over here at Shalom! And by that, I mean I'm going to write one entire post about making a quilt.
I've been working on a quilt for... well... for about a year and a half.
Well! I'm excited to say- I finished it!
And, like typically happens when you try something still pretty new and kind of difficult, I learned some things about myself.
Well, and I learned some things about that minky fabric that feels so nice. Spoiler- minky fabric is so very horrible- it stretches and makes everything uneven. Ugh.
But! If you look at the quilt from far away while someone shakes it, you can't tell how uneven my rows really are... so we'll still call that a success.
I hadn't touched this project in months. The front was almost completely finished, but I still had to quilt and bind it. And so it sat in a little bag in the closet of the sewing room/office, all sad and lonely.
See, first, I was busy. For a couple of months, balancing home and work filled up the majority of my time, and quilting simply wasn't a priority. We've all been there, right?
But secondly, while I really enjoy quilting, it's hard. Well, at least, for me it is. As a novice with almost no experience, it's hard. So I avoided it and started other projects! Because I do that.
We had a group of quilters here at Camp one weekend, and I remembered the lonely quilt. I thought maybe I could ask for some help or pointers or something. Something to make it easier. So I quit avoiding and finished up the front (which isn't perfect, but is the part I struggle with the least), and brought the whole thing to the ladies to beg for suggestions.
Do you know what they told me? They said I did a great job, and that I was done! My little creation was ready to go off to be quilted by a professional.
I was pretty set on the quilt being a DIY project through and through, and I had planned on quilting and binding it myself. Besides, getting it professionally done would cost quite a bit of money... and I didn't want to do that, either.
I told one of the quilter ladies that I wanted to quilt and bind it myself, and she said, "Oh! That part is really hard."
So I took the quilt home, watched a couple YouTube tutorials, and I finished the quilting and binding myself that afternoon. The project that was in limbo for a year and a half was all finished in three days. Why the sudden determination?
1. She said it was hard.
2. She told me I was doing a good job.
That made all the difference. See, just the fact that I was validated, that someone with experience and know-how told me that I was doing something hard... it made me feel like maybe I wasn't so incompetent. Like maybe I wasn't alone.
And to be complimented on something I wrestled with, on something that I wasn't very confident in... it made me feel proud, ready to take on anything.
What a wonderful gift of community- to feel like we're not alone, to be told that we're doing something that's difficult.
That can really make all the difference. Being acknowledged like that can give us strength to keep going.
So, if you know someone who is having a hard time, tell her so. A kid studying for an SAT? A newlywed figuring out the "marriage" thing? Someone trying to find a job/a house/a car? A work-outside-of-the-home mom? A stay-at-home-mom? A gal who wishes with everything that she could be a mom? Working through college? Starting a business?
Tell her that you notice, that she's making a difference, that she's doing a great job. And tell her that you've been there- and it's hard. It may help her keep going.