Best Lesson Learned

Last week I spent two wonderful days with the women of Q.U.I.L.T.  of Delmar, NY.  I had been invited to teach two workshops and to present a trunk show/lecture at their guild meeting.

Back in the late 1970s, as a brand new quilter,  I had been a member of this guild. Last Friday,some 35 years later, as I stood facing a standing-room only crowd of 200 plus, I couldn’t help but revel in the fact that I was now the guest lecturer.  How the heck did that happen?  Never, in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined such a thing.

I remember standing with shaky knees and trembling voice as I raised my first piece during the guild meeting’s “Show and Tell” so many years ago.  I was so unsure of my creative abilities.  What if everyone laughed at me? How critical would they be of my first feeble attempts at quilting?  Would I go home mortified?

I brought to last week’s presentation one of my very early quilts, Stars and Stripes Forever, made for son Ric’s 21st birthday.

Made in 1982

Made in 1982

I originally showed the quilt at a guild meeting in 1982. One of the founding members, whom I so admired as a quilt maker, had made my day when she commented “Wow, I’m going to be collecting you some day!” Thank you, Shirley Hedman, for giving me a glorious memory that has lasted a lifetime.

How did that once very timid young woman now stand with such confidence, minus the shaky knees and trembling voice, unafraid of criticism and hoping everyone WOULD laugh along with her as she told of her journey as an art quilter?  It really is a very simple answer.  I know who I am and I like me. It is one of the perks of old age. I have a new favorite quote…  BE YOURSELF. EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN.  It sure has worked for me.

Nancy at QUILT Delmar meeting

Nancy at QUILT Delmar meeting

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