As I mentioned I’m headed to Des Moines for AQS Quilt Week October 2 – 5. Teaching is one of my favorite things to do. I know I mention that a lot but have I ever told you why I love to teach and share? In the 5/6 years I’ve been blogging I’m sure I’ve said something but truthfully it bears repeating and searching the archives can be a pain in the backside. A way back in time, say oh 100 years ago – not really but all great stories start that way – sort of. I wanted to be a teacher and had life plans to go to college and get a degree in Early Childhood Education, giving me the broadest availability as a teacher. I think my specialty would have been third and fourth grade, these kids are curious, eager to learn and still have a delightful innocence about them. A few years ago I taught Religious Education and landed in that age group – being City kids these were a bit wiser around the edges but still delightful.
The Religious Education came to an end with a move, and a life changes. All through this there was quilting and message boards including rec-crafts-textiles-quilting, Alex Anderson Message Board, Quilts Your Way, this blog, The Quilt Show to name a few. On each one of these sites I learned and shared quilterly information. One of the most important things I learned is “your quilt, your rules” essentially that there is always another way of getting to what you want for your quilt. (Otherwise known as Quilting is a Beautiful and Complicated Art) Anyway. I had no intention of teaching adults – there’s a different mindset. Something changed though, a friend asked the question, “when are you going to start teaching”, and I had to think really think.
The thinking led to my asking a shop owner about teaching in her shop and the rest – is part of my quilterly teaching history. So back to the original question, why do I teach? There is something beautiful watching someone “get it”. The favorite moment is watching a quilters shoulders relax, her breathing evens, her focus shifts from every thing going on around her to listening to the hum of the machine. And I’m privileged to see this happen over and over and over again.
I have a secret
There is another reason I like to teach
A reason that is a bit more shocking
You see I love to watch the look on a quilters face when I give them permission.
slightly freaked out look
when I give them permission to do WHATEVER they want
it’s like the look, she sheer overwhelming, joyful look when looking at the Kona Solids card – the possibilities are endless and finding the right shade and tone perfect for the quilt.
And following that is this delighted moment of “Oh my Goodness she’s right and I DO have the skills to do it” look. I’ve seen that look over and over. I love that look. It’s my favorite look. Because in that look. In That moment there is confidence. Oh yes that is the look I strive for. One of my favorite things to say to a quilter is “You are a smart intelligent person, you can do this”.
Why does this make me so happy?
Why do I want This Look?
Because I know that fear.
I’ve given in to that fear.
I know what it is to be held back by the on-going monologue in my head saying that I can’t do something, that I’m not smart enough, I don’t have the skills to do this. When all I need is a bit of understanding, time and practice. And I need to know how to practice.
And giving quilters permission
to do whatever they want
however they want
when ever they want
by teaching them how to use their machines
is the best thing ever.