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I Like to Make Quilts January 31, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations, Uncategorized.
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I like to make quilts. That’s probably not an outrageous statement. I mean what could be more boring than making quilts? If you had told me even two years ago that I would be passionately interested in quilt making I would have told you that you were nuts. My reasons were valid (at the time). Quilts were for old ladies… You know the ones with the red hats and the loud makeup. And the only way you’d catch me in a red hat would be to put it on when I’m in my coffin. And to whomever entertains the thought of doing that—I will track you down and become your worst nightmare.

I also reasoned that one could only use so many quilts. Some people hang them on the wall to use as decorating accents. However my taste runs a bit more Zen-like. I don’t like lots of fru fru things hanging here and there. I want to be relaxed in my home, not overwhelmed by stuff on the walls. And if you can’t hang them, there is always the very non-traditional practice of putting them on the bed. Of course, my house has only two beds in it so that’s another problem… Plus, they take so long to make, I said. And I would run out of patience and leave the project unfinished.

In spite of the above objections and many more, I have indeed become a maker of quilts. And my reasons have a lot to do with my life in general. (Of course I have to make this into an object lesson—why else write the post?)

I often say that how you do anything is how you do everything. And I have found this to be true as I have observed myself and others.

So one of the things I really like in life is variety. (Could be why I’ve had a gazillion “boyfriends” but have only gotten married once.) OK, I digress… Quilting provides the most incredible variety of potential patterns, fabrics, colors, textures, and techniques. The sky’s the limit. (There are some other limits but no need to worry about them at the moment.) What’s more fun than to have a blank palette upon which to create a masterpiece? It’s all about possibility. Possibilities are intoxicating, enchanting, and so much more interesting than what is.

Quilting is also a process and I have found that I like process. My friend Mary, a very talented sew-er is a nut for getting things done. Once she starts a sewing project she cannot rest until she has put in the last stitch and gotten it out of her sewing room. No surprise that Mary has a ‘J’ preference in the Myers-Briggs world. So while Mary has made a small quilt or two, she has very little interest in making a quilt that could take a month or two (or more) of her time.

I, on the other hand, love the process of making a quilt. Each block is a meditation. I try to make my seams a perfect ¼ inch; I concentrate on lining up seams accurately and pressing them to the correct side. While I do all of this I can listen to wonderful music, a book on tape, or indulge my passion for NCIS re-runs. It’s a PROCESS; it’s therapeutic.

How does this relate to life? Well, in MY life it relates very directly. Possibilities and process…that’s what my work is all about. As an executive and life coach, that’s what I bring to the people I work with. I see not only who they are but who they can be. In fact, I often see their possibilities more clearly than I see their current limitations. I’ve also noticed that I much prefer the process than the actual outcome. I believe in enjoying my life as a journey rather than a project that has to be completed. (God, I’m not ready for that yet.)

Take a look at your life. What is it you love to do and how does it point to what you should and/or could be doing? Are you enjoying the journey or are you simply putting in your time? Even though I’m a great believer in reincarnation, I still think that it’s unacceptable to waste the precious hours and days of your life in being unfulfilled and unhappy. If after taking a closer look you don’t like what you see then this, my friends, is a teachable moment. What can you do to make your life the one you dreamed of having?

—-Amara

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