Friday, July 17, 2009

A common fear

A couple of weeks ago I was totally rude to a friend of mine. She was all vulnerable and shared with me that she didn't know what to do for a quilt square for our wedding quilt. She just didn't think she could come up with something good enough.

I told her that was bullshit.

I used my nicest voice, though. I promise.

This is one of the women who taught me how to sew and made that first fateful trip to the Renaissance Faire with me when we were in high school. She weaves and is doing the flowers for the wedding.

I could not be more explicit in the different invitations to make a quilt square that whatever folks come up with will delight us.

Sure, my friend gets a little grace for the perfectionism of artists but seriously. One measly little quilt square? Bullshit. She smiled and said she'd get started.

I tell this story to tell folks that if my beautiful artistic, crafty friend is feeling a little timid about this project, there are probably many of you out there who are also feeling a little timid.

That's OK. Acknowledge the fear, know you're not alone and then move past it. It's that teenage voice that still lives in the back of your head that whispers that other people are total monsters who will judge you and chop off your head if you stick your neck out. That teenage voice is not very bright. Are there people out there who will do that? Of course. Are Jacob and I those people? Not a chance.

This is a true case of it's-the-thought-that-counts, only this time it's more like it's-the-effort-that-counts. Seriously, if you took the minimum time of going to the fabric store, selecting a fabric you liked and sending it to us, we'd be over the moon. Measuring and cutting it into a 6 inch square? Delirious. Cutting and piecing multiple fabrics? We'll think you're some kind of super-hero.

While I was in Florida recently for my cousin's wedding, I used 1/4 of my suitcase to take all of my green fabric with me and to walk them through making their squares. I tried to take a picture of their results to encourage you and make you jealous of my time at the beach. Well, I was punished for that thought because the lens steamed up as soon as I stepped out of the air conditioning but I didn't realize it.

This is the square my 12-year-old cousin Jake made.

Isn't that amazing? A 12-year-old boy! I love all of these. My uncle's fruit theme (one quadrant was bugs since I only had three fruit fabrics), my aunt's strawberries and vegetables, my cousin Eliza's huge Hawaiian-esque floral mix,my cousin Eva's random mix. They are all beautiful and have varying levels of quality in their stitching. That's OK, too. I'll reinforce some of their seams on my machine. Also, some of them ended up too big but I'm happy to cut them down to the right size.

So, you can do it. We want you to do it. It will be amazing to gather them all together into one blanket that will keep our children warm on the couch as we read them stories.

A note - I wrote this for the "wedding" blog for our guests but I'm afraid the tone isn't right. I figured I try it out on you all here. What do you think? Constructive criticism? What are your thoughts on the use of the word "bullshit"? It's kind of necessary to the story, don't you think? But maybe it will turn off readers who don't know me. Let me know what you think, please.

1 comment:

Jessica Young said...

I think that maybe telling the guests at your wedding that their fears are "bullshit" indeed may not be the tone you're looking for. There are those of us in your blessed circle of friends (myself included) who have not gotten their acts together to perform the challenge you've set for us, and we deserve the gentle, friendly chiding you give us. However, there are also folks whom you are asking not only to step outside the standard realm of wedding behavior, but also possibly to step outside their comfort zone. Dismissing their hesitation to do this in such a strong way might be misperceived.