I got a package today in the mail that made me laugh. It’s nice to have something to laugh about on a hot and steamy day. The first laugh was because the sender’s name was the same one as someone I used to know. The package was from a different Sandy, but it brought back memories of sitting on the porch in the summertime watching the world go by, children playing noisily in the front yard, dogs barking, bees humming. Neighbors walking by, waved and shouted hello. Life was uncomplicated. We were younger then.
The second laugh came when I opened the package and looked at the assortment of quilt blocks. I was excited when I won them on e-bay. I think it’s fun to take things someone else had made, and then discarded and change them into a beautiful work of art.. But it can some days be a challenge! I looked at several of the blocks and thought, “What were they thinking? Why would they choose those combination of colors and fabrics?” Other blocks said, “What pattern is that? I don’t know that one.I bet they made it up!"
My third laugh came upon examining the workmanship. No wonder they sold these. The seams don’t match. The edges are crooked. No two blocks are the same size. And selvedges weren’t trimmed. In fact, the blocks looked a lot like the ones I made. How easy it is to be more critical of other’s work than we are of our own. I had to laugh at myself this time.
What a great tool this would be for teaching a quilting class. “Things Not To Do And Why;” or “Some Color Choices Have More Impact Than Others.” Many times, when I take a quilt class, the teacher shows all her beautiful and perfect quilts. I could never compete with them.
I remember going to the Cocaran Gallery in Washington DC one summer when one of my favorite fabric designers had a show of some of her quilts. Being the only one in the room at the time I examined each quilt closely and read all of the displays and literature about the exhibit. A guard came into the room and proceeded to talk to me about the quilts. He told me things, which were different from what I had just read about the exhibit. I argued and explained that he was wrong, and why. Later, I was out on the bench behind a potted plant, waiting for a ride to come when there was a changing of the guard. The new guy asked, “how’s it going?” The old guy said, “It’s been quiet. But”, he whispered, “watch out for her, she’s a quilter.”