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  • Writer's picturejanet mayes

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, "What kind of quilter am I? Who am I as a quilter?" I didn't know I had a choice when I started quilting. There was fabric, rules and patterns. I had researched different methods such as piecing, paper piecing, english paper piecing and applique. I didn't really begin to identify as a style of quilter until recently. I have always been a "color outside the lines" kind of girl. I knew that I was enjoying my new found hobby. I was pumping out quilts like a long wed pair of rabbits. Don't get me wrong I felt a certain amount of accomplishment in what I was doing but also a restraint.

I found myself wanting to create quilts that represented me. I wanted my work to reflect who I was. I knew that if I could somehow express myself I would feel free. I wanted to be artistically free but all to often I found myself watching what was trending, popular, newly released or expected.

Quilting is art! Remember that! Art is subjective! Remember that! Pablo Picasso said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” The definition of art is, "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."

I wasn't there I was still feeling confused about who I was as a quilter. I remember a bible study that once challenged me with the questions, Who are you? Who are you in Christ? I toiled over this for months. I knew I was a wife, a mom, a peach (grandkids name for me as grandma), a quilter and the list goes on and on with nouns that I could describe myself as being. But when I had to search for who I was in Christ I struggled. I remember finally feeling like I knew who I was. I felt like God had created me with a simple heart for the natural things around me. I knew I loved the frugal ways of my great grandma, grandma and mother. I felt a strong desire to be a good steward. My spiritual gifts are encouraging, teaching and giving.

Who am I as a quilter? It was as simple as stopping the search and allowing myself to just be me! So here it is. I seldom follow the rules of quilting (I am a little chaos). I am more of a follow-your-heart kind of girl. I love passing along fabrics, sewing machines and supplies that are donated. I love recycling used clothing and the feeling I get when I make a work of art with very little cost. I feel that encouragement leads to empowerment. Having the ability to give the gift of fabric, time and encouragement to someone and watching their creations unfold makes my heart leap

Who are you? My story isn't your story. You have unique talents, gifts and goals. I gained peace and confidence as a quilter once I accepted who I was. Find what makes you tick. Discovering who you are is a freedom you will never regret.

I would like to encourage you to explore what makes you happy, what makes your heart leap. Don't listen to the outside noise.

If following patterns and collective fabrics is what you love then follow your passion. If no rules and a chaos of fabrics is what you love embrace the chaos. Find what makes you tick. Discovering who you are is a freedom you will never regret.

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  • Writer's picturejanet mayes

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

I have been a quilter for 7 years, a mother for almost 40. I have raised boys and girls. To my astonishment the boys are the artistic bunch, the quilters and for the most part the cooks. Don't get me wrong we have some great cooks in the girls but, hmmmmmm not so much the quilting or sewing. I have longed for a girl to weekend quilt shop hop with, stay up until 2 a.m. and quilt with, hoard fabric with, share projects with and be all girly with.

Well I found her! Amy, our oldest son Lucas' wife, checks all the boxes in more ways than one. Not only is she an amazing woman, wife, step mom, cook and NOW, yes a quilter! I am giddy with excitement. Amy completes me, haha! She sends me quilty Pinterest pins, pictures of her newest fabric purchases, owns not one but 2 sewing machines. Be still my heart. Amy is presently planning a space for her "sewing room", does this get any better?

Lucas and Amy got the news they were going to be grandparents this year. She recently called and ask if she could come spend the weekend to make a baby quilt. I felt like the heavens had opened up. It was all I could do to wait for the weekend to get here.

We stayed up until 2 a.m., we laughed, plotted, planned and quilted together. I feel like I have given birth to a quilter. Now with the birth of their first grandchild approaching, birthing will continue. I have found a newness in my relationship with Amy, as they will experience a newness in their family. I am forever grateful to feel as if an important part of me will continue. There will be many projects, quilts and pillows that will be cherished. Just as I have experienced the birth of a quilter they will find joy in the birth of their first grandchild.

Much Love Amy!

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