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Past, Present, Future

10/09/2009

Let me just start out by saying I have so much I want to say today that I may end up writing a few posts today so stop back in more than once to see what I write later in the day… you know you wanna 🙂

Past:

I started quilting when I was 14 just because I needed something to do with left over scraps from sewing my own clothes. 

My box of scraps and fabrics.

My box of scraps and fabrics.

Yeah I was the teenager who was more little house on the prairie than teen pop icon.  I preferred to spend my days with my mom in the fabric store picking out new combinations for quilt squares than at the mall looking at clothes I didn’t want anyway.  My first quilt was made of all the left over pieces of fabric I had from sewing plus a bit of new stuff I bought to finish it off.  It was supposed to be a king-sized quilt but I guess I wasn’t good at math at the time because when I measured the final product it was about 24 inches too tall and 18 too wide.  I had to buy extra fabric for the backing and batting just to make it fit.  I sure as heck wasn’t taking any extras off.  I worked too hard.  Did I mention I didn’t have a sewing machine back then.  I did it all by hand in tiny little stitches.  It was about a 6 month process to get it done.  But I was so happy when it was done.  I was able to use it for me and my fellow piccolo players at all the football games for high school marching band…yeah I was a band geek too…and proud of it 🙂

My mismatched quilt of past quilts.

My mismatched quilt of past quilts.

I continued quilting for years, and years, and years.  I made an ambitious attempt at a complicated circle quilt called a double wedding ring for my best friend’s wedding when I was 16 (She was 21).  She asked for it and I couldn’t say no.  I was finishing it up right as I was out the door for her wedding.  Don’t want to repeat that again.

Some finished hand sewn squares

Some finished hand sewn squares

Somewhere in there I got a sewing machine.  Nothing fancy…just a cheepo machine that does straight stitch and zigg-zagg.  I don’t need anything else…for now.  Although I do drool over all the fancy machines in the fabric store each time I go.  But I plan on keeping my old faithful until she dies out and then I’ll think about replacing her.

Present:

I was quilting right along until my back injury.  I made several quilts for weddings, babies, friends, etc just because I love personal gifts more than store bought ones.  I don’t know if everyone agrees with me or not but at least they pretend when I give it too them.  I wish I had started keeping pictures of all of them.  Some of them I even forget.  But alas I was not techie enough back then to have a digital camera and I don’t take many pics (I just recently started) so I didn’t think to do so.  A few people who have them have offered to take a pic of them for me though so I might take them up on that offer. 

Side story:  I made a lap quilt for my good friend Shelly in college for her graduation present.  It was a pretty purple, green and white lap quilt with a fun chain like design.  She cried when she got it and I was so happy.  Recently we reconnected on Facebook and one of the first things she brought up was that quilt.  She said when her nephew was born she let him borrow it.  Then her second nephew took it over when he was a toddler.  She doesn’t know if they will give it up but she hopes to have it back someday when she has her own kids.  I told  her that I would make her another one if they just couldn’t part with it 🙂  (One of her squares is in that mismatch quilt in the first pic)

Back to our regularly scheduled post… So when I injured my back I couldn’t sit up to sew much anymore.  My back just killed from sitting for any length of time.  I mostly stood or laid down for the good part of a year.  Therefore all the projects I was working on stopped.  I was making a quilt for a teen I mentored and I just couldn’t finish it.  Its sat in my quilting box until now.  I have plans upon plans to get back into quilting and just didn’t.

Some of Julie's squares for her quilt I need to finish.

Some of Julie's squares for her quilt I need to finish.

 Then some of the ladies in my Women’s Ministries group heard about my quilting and asked me to teach them.  I thought it would be a great activity for a couple of weeks.  I picked a simple pattern and let them go “shopping” in my fabric box. We’ve spent the last month or so learning the basics.  And last night they finished up the tops to their wall hangings.  They were so proud of their accomplishments.

rachel's quilt 009

Two of my ladies... one was sick.

But I still didn’t work on any of my own.

Then Rachel was born.  Unlike my adult friends who just got married and didn’t mind waiting for their quilts, a baby was different.  I didn’t want to be making a toddler quilt. I had all the fabric but I was procrastinating until the last possible second to make it… Rachel foiled those plans by being born early.  I guess she wanted her present 🙂  So I busted my butt and realized that I can do this quilting thing again and I love it.  I worked on that quilt for a total of 6 hours and it turned out marvelous…if I do say so myself.  Now I’ve got the bug to get cracking on finishing old projects for people and starting the new ones that should have been done for weddings in June and planning more.

Plans for Monica's wedding quilt.

Plans for Monica's wedding quilt.

Monica's color choices.

Monica's color choices.

Future:

I need to be a little more organized when it comes to my quilting.  I don’t need to let my past of getting side tracked and not finishing things get in the way  of me getting all my projects accomplished.  Sure they are my gifts to people and I could just go buy something…but what fun is that.  I enjoy picking new fabrics and a different pattern for each quilt (no two people get the same pattern).  I can do this and I like to do this.  It fits into my schedule and I can even do it while watching TV.  Heck I watched So You Think You Can Dance? and Glee and Top Chef last night while cutting out some fabric for a friend’s wedding quilt 🙂 

So this really does have a point.  I’m not turning my blog into a quilting blog although it may seem like that these past few days.  But I got to thinking about this when I was reading Joyce again last night.  The chapter I was reading was about excuses we make to not change our mindset.  The first excuse was that my past prevents me from changing.  And Joyce was blunt (I like blunt) and said “Your future does not have to be determined by your past or present.”  Now I know it seems like all the things of our past just made us who we are and we are stuck with them…and that’s kind of true.  It does make it hard to change habits and problems that are so ingrained into us.  But it is possible.

I don’t have to be a victim to my past unhealthy habits.  I don’t have to eat all the junk I always did just because I’ve always done it.  I don’t have to not exercise just because I don’t “have time or money” and “just don’t wanna.”  I don’t have to get thrown off the wagon and dragged for miles due to injuries and stress.  I don’t and I won’t!

Instead I’ll choose to look at my future as mine to make.  I can change my eating habits one step at a time.  If I give into the sugar habit (I haven’t yet this week even though I really want the Subway cookie I won playing Scrabble) then I will start again.  If I have a hard time giving up the Diet Coke I’ll keep at it.  I’ll keep up with exercise even though my hip is throwing a wrench in the mix.  I will keep moving.

My Future is mine for the taking!  I can do it.  My past is part of who I am and my present is too but my future is where I want to be and I’ll get there…one step at a time.

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