First of all, thanks for such a great welcome back! As anyone with a blog will agree, sometimes you just don't know if anyone is really out there reading. You've inspired me to make posting more of a priority like it used to be.
I also want to thank those of you who sent me sweet messages on my birthday which was a couple weeks back. It was a very special day for me (well, a couple of days actually) and made turning 50 about as good as it could be. Went to the Carmel/Pacific Grove area for a couple of days where the weather was beautiful and the sunsets were anything but dull.
Periodically sent Pam texts asking for restaurant suggestions, etc...and at Rosine's in Monterey I got my slice of birthday cake. Yes, that's one serving of cake sitting there. Delicious cake, I might add.
Before I get onto my next subject I just want to reassure all you quilters that yes, there soon will be pics of my latest project--but right now it's just weird chunks of fabric. And a rusty key. Hard to photograph. But it's a Valentine's project that Pam and I will both make but in different colors. For what I'm thinking will be a limited edition pattern. So stay tuned. Especially if you like pillows.
I've always wanted to learn how to ski but never had the opportunity. My parents were the ultimate stay-indoors kind of people. We'd go to Yosemite every winter, but it was to look at the snow. Maybe walk in it a little. In fact, my mother didn't learn how to ride a bicycle until she was 50. I do not have an athletic bone in my unusually tall body.
Just before Christmas, I took my first skiing lesson. It was scary but I did it. I didn't have fun, not exactly, but came away with the sense that I could have fun if I knew what I was doing. First week in January brought my second trip to the slopes. And by "slopes" I mean that area where the little kids who are barely out of diapers go effortlessly careening down the incline. There was nothing effortless about anything I did that day. Unless you count falling down. Which it turns out is something I have no trouble doing.
Here's the thing. I'm pretty good at quilting. It was never difficult for me. I learned by reading books--meticulously following the instructions and studying the techniques. Slowly, and at my own pace.
Well, you know what? Skiing isn't like that.
Last Friday was my 3rd day skiing. I'm 3 for 3 falling when I get off the chair lift at the beginner hill. My first time at that "real" hill? I froze. Metaphorically speaking. I ended up walking down the entire hill. Me, my new fancy boots and my new fancy poles. The ones with the flowers on them. I was told "you can't possibly walk down this hill". Oh, just watch me.
It was everything I could do not to cry like a little girl. Like a very big little girl. Got another lesson that day. From a fantastic teacher whose only goal was getting my confidence back. He convinced me to get back onto the chair lift (where I fell again). It took me 20 minutes to get down a hill that anyone else could have skied down in under 2. My hour long lesson had ended when I was probably still 3/4 of the way up the hill. But the instructor, on his own time, insisted that we try it again. And yes, I fell getting off the chair that time as well. And slid rather impressively I might add. But you know what? I did it again. I skied down that hill. I was terrified every single minute, but I did it. Once I reached the flatter part? I was having fun. I'm told I was smiling. I was a little too busy trying to keep my now jello-like body upright to tell.
Why am I sharing this story? I've had students who were afraid of the whole quilting process. From picking the "wrong" fabrics to the worries of less than perfect stitches, learning to make a quilt can be stressful. Accepting the fact that you simply can't control everything that happens. You learn by doing.
Tomorrow I think I'm gonna try it again. It's not defeatist to say that I'm gonna fall some more. It's just reality. I'm gonna fall some more. But I have waterproof pants and a waterproof parka and fancy gloves and a scarf to match. Gotta be stylin' when you're lying in the snow, you know.
And I may be the worst skier in the entire county, but I've got the coolest looking skis. Because I'm a quilter and my gear must color coordinate.
When I get back? I'll be curled up by the wood stove working on that pillow. Because making quilts is easy. You can't fall down.