Life Lessons Learned Through Quilting

“It always seems impossible until it’s done!”

Nelson Mandela

Motivational Sunday

This week I’m reminded about how essential sharing is to quilting, and how it’s connected to healing our wounded hearts, and bringing us together in sisterly friendship.  Sewing, twining and weaving blankets for warmth from scraps of fibers was essential for indigenous people of color surviving on the Outer Banks, Coastal Plain and Sand Hills of the Carolinas.  The creativity and resourcefulness are a testament to what can be achieved when women come together to learn, teach, share and heal.

Quilt Life Lesson #2: Quilting Is About Learning, Teaching, Sharing & Healing

Have you ever done something for someone else to later find you’ve received a blessing? Well, it happened to me a few days ago, and the blessings continue to grow.  I’m designing a quilt pattern for my sisters in Sigma Gamma Nu Social Club. Many are beginners in quilting, so I thought it would be easy for them to use precuts. So I went to my Electric Quilt software. It was out of date so I upgraded to EQ8.

Sigma Sisters Quilt Pattern | Designed in EQ8

In doing so, I realized that Electric Quilt needs teachers. My past experiences teaching Internet Technologies, Computer Information Systems, and Effective Teacher Training, make using quilting software easy for me. So, I completed the EQ Teacher Credentials Form. I have to wait to see if I’m accepted but either way, I’ll share what I know in my weekly All About EQ8 Tech Tuesday Blogs.  What I take for granted as effortless, isn’t the same for others.

I also realized the value of having one’s own unique quilt pattern, especially for a group identity such as Sigma Gamma Nu.  The ability to design your unique vision for a quilt is essential in continuing a quilting tradition in contemporary culture, especially for people of color.  While some of us practice free form accidental improvisational quilting techniques, many people desire more structure.  As a student in my quilting class told me, “she wanted to make something that looked like a quilt.”

The modern quilt movement in America has excluded makers of color.  By doing so, modern quilting cuts itself off from indigenous ways of knowing and creating.  Electric Quilt software can expand access to quilting to younger generations as well as to busy professionals.  The ability to design your own quilt pattern, calculate your fabric requirements, and test color combinations opens us unlimited “What If” possibilities.  Our grandmother’s and great grandmothers who survived Jim Crow have already shown us the healing power of quilting.  Now we are the grandmother’s tasked with reconnecting to quilting as part of our cultural heritage to pass down to future generations.

Published by Carola Jones, Artist

Indigenous Artist, Writer, Designer | Internet Techie | Pow Wow Dancer | Lover of Dyeing Cloth Especially With Indigo, Madder & Marigold | 4th Generation Hand Embroidery & Sewing Enthusiastic | Working Traveler | NC Toisnot & Mattamuskeet Tuscarora & FL Seminole | Algonquin Gullah Mixed Blood

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