And now for the good news…I talked a bit last week (here and here) about the folks I’m not so crazy about in the quilt world: The Quilt Police. Although I think we finally reached a consensus that we should feel sorry for them, it can be hard to do. I’d rather focus on the things and people I love in the quilt world. How about you?
One of the things I like most about quilts is seeing creativity put to use. Even given the same raw materials, no two of us will create the exact same thing. How cool is that? We each see from a different viewpoint and bring different skills, and different ways of seeing, to the table. So, while many quilts look very much alike, each one is as unique as its maker. (I suppose there are exceptions to this, if two people use a kit with the exact same fabrics and quilt patterns, but I don’t often see that.)
Some of my friends have heard me say often that I have the best job in the world, and you know what? It’s true. It’s very hard work, but I am absolutely delighted by all the people I meet. So many of them have become real friends. And can I tell you how many wonderful people I’ve met because I took my love of quilts to Facebook? I have my moments with Facebook…some days I truly dislike it. More days than not, though, I am grateful to be able to connect with other quilt-lovers around the world. What a wonderful thing!
So, not only do I get to see great quilts, I get to meet wonderful people. From the brand-new-never-sewed-a-seam quilter to the award-winning-rockstar, we are all united by a common purpose. The overwhelming majority of people I encounter, either at my appraisal table, or hosting me for lectures or workshops are kind, engaging, interesting, and interested. All of them are in it for a love of creating, a desire to make something beautiful, meaningful, and useful, to use and share their gifts. And each and every person has a story.
The stories I hear might just be about the quilt (and some of those are in and of themselves amazing), but so many people share with me the love of their children, the antics of their pets, and the tragedies of their lives. I am touched that anyone would tell me something about his or her life, share a struggle they have, or even just tell a sweet memory from years ago. Even of those stories is a little gift that is wholly theirs that they present to me. See? I do have the best job. I am so very blessed.
I’m often intrigued, too, by the ways lives can intersect that we never even know. This past weekend, for example, I met a woman who had come to Joplin after the tornado four years ago. Not only did she come to work at a church I know, but she stayed with people I know. What are the odds that we would make that connection?
Once I was talking with a woman whose quilt I’d appraised and she made a chance remark that filled in a gap in some research I’d been doing on a completely unrelated family. I had not so much as mentioned the other family, or that I was doing any research. She just told me something her dad had told her about growing up there, and about how he had known the person I was researching. I had to ask her to repeat what she’d just said, I was so surprised.
Because I’ve moved so many times in my life, I often meet people who have lived somewhere I did at exactly the same point in time. I sometimes wonder if our paths crossed then and we just don’t remember it. I will probably never know the answer to that, but it’s fun to ponder.
Yes, I love quilts. I see a lot of them. I’m enthralled with the creative choices people make with such humble things as needle and thread. But even more, I love the people I get to meet and the stories they share.
What (or whom?) have you found to love in the quilt world?