Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What an incredible feeling!!

I made a resolution on New Years to start living some of my dreams. To stop pushing things aside, to just DO IT (thank you Nike for the tag line!)! This year has been crazy, busy and very fulfilling.  I started this blog, bought a mid-arm quilting machine and last night started my first quilting class, to name a few...

Hubby is proud of completing his last prepped square
 And I must say it was incredible! I was a tinge nervous, I am not an award winning quilter, I have never even taken a class.  I am just someone that loves the sheer action of creating and sharing that with others.  Quilting is just one of my many creative outlets.

I am a firm believer that humans need art in their lives.  Not just for the creation aspect, but for the expression aspect and the sense of pride in what they have done.  In my world that old adage of "idle hands are the devil's playground" rings loud and true.  Anyone who has spent much time with me knows that I struggle to keep my hands still.  I listen and learn much better when my hands are moving.  Sit beside me in a meeting and you will realize that I can run a pen out of ink in a week, because I doodle.  It's mindless and random, but it helps me to focus...Good thing they don't provide colored pencils or paints - I would be a lost cause.

I love where I work, I love the people and I love the cause.  That being said there are many times that at my particular buildings (past and present) I have really struggled with balancing the many aspects that should encompass a Y.  What drove me there in the first place was the fact that it is there to build spirit, mind and body.  The premise it was founded on.

If you spend any time at all with me, you will know that while I will get very obsessive here shortly about not missing my morning bike ride and I love a good walk, fitness is not a top priority for me.  I have an illness that means it comes with the promise of pain, not a good motivator if you ask me.  And I have always argued that we need other things to round us out, to make us whole. 

So much focus

Last night, I started on my quest to build a new community at my Y.  To tie people together with more than a fitness class or work out.  We have a few instructors that have built amazing groups of people that love each other and will do anything for each other, I wanted to replicate that, for people like me!

Not a t-shirt, but definitely a memory

Hubby got me thinking, he asked me why more people don't... sew, cook, knit, garden, craft, etc... anymore.  I have my own theories on it, I firmly believe as we became more industrial we lost the drive to produce our own anything.  And with it I feel some of the pride of sleeping under your own quilt, growing the food you eat, washing with the soap you made or any of the other things we have given up doing for ourselves has helped us lose sight of some things.

That's a lot of t-shirt scraps

My class sold out!  I had seven eager and wonderful students in last nights class!  For seven weeks we will work together to create simple memory quilts from t-shirts.  Nothing fancy, simply cutting blocks out and putting together bits of the past to create a treasure for the future.  These are simple block quilts. 

Already, after just one class, I got to watch the dynamics start to play out.

Some of my class has sewn before, some of them have never thought about it.  They range from 16 - 61, both men and women, a mixed bag of race and ethnicity.  Some are born crafters, some of them insisted they have two left hands and they are right handed.  In an hour and a half, everyone had cut out all their shirts, started cutting out their fusible interfacing, some even got all of it ironed on.  Several folks stepped in to help those that were behind. 

One lady is making two quilts, a family member passed away last year and she is making two matching quilts to give one to his widow at the family reunion this year.  The wonderfulness of this is indescribable.  She's never sewn before.  I promised to help her, and then slowly others joined in the effort.  Another cycling instructor wandered in to check out what we were doing, he ended up helping her with her blocks. 

I knew I had come up with something good, when a member said to me "it's about time something like this was offered!  The Y is not just about working out it's about community".

I am so excited for this class.  I am so excited to watch these friendships grow right along side their quilts.  The "old time" quilting bee's were about so much more than finishing a quilt quickly.  They were about community, communication, bonding, mental health, keeping your group of people together and taking care of your friends. I cannot wait until the final class, we will celebrate and bask in the pride of completion, each of them will have that deep satisfaction of creating something of value for yourself.  What a rush!  Is it Tuesday yet?