For those of you who have corresponded with me, you know my story of how I came to be a quilter sort of by exposure rather than by training. I have written here in length about my mother and have found comfort and encouragement from all of you who have had similar experiences in losing your mothers. This site has been a marvelous and rewarding means of expression in many ways and has been an impetus to get me going when I might have been otherwise intimidated,
My Mom's mentor was Jinny Beyer. She attended many of the seminars at Hilton Head Island and was a devoted student for many years and became very accomplished. You can see one of her finished quilts "Moon Glow" on my photo page which I am privileged to have in my possession.
I want to stress here again that most of the quilts displayed are my mother's work, not mine and they are on my page as a tribute to her since I have written so much about her here.
Recently, as I was unboxing some books in storage I came across one of JB's earlier books and while flipping through it stopped short when I came to rest on something that spoke clearly to me personally. Jinny was writing about her own daughter but it succinctly gave me an answer to explain why it is that I am not as talented as my mother. I will quote her here:
"Whenever the two of us are in the company of other quilters, there is the common question put to her, 'Do you quilt?'....My answer and hers has always been that she likes quilts and appreciates what I do, but hasn't been interested in doing one herself. I've always known she could make a quilt if she wanted because she is very good with her hands."
That quote came from The Scrap Look by Jinny Beyer, copyright 1985.
She goes on to say: "I always felt that the pressure of having your work compared to something your mother does might be a very difficult thing to deal with so I encouraged her in any other areas in which she became interested, and knew when the time came that she decided to make a quilt, if ever, that she would be very capable of doing her own thing."
For some reason I find that comforting. Kind of like it lets me off the hook, y'know?
My parents and I lived great distances apart but we visited as often as we could. Raising 4 boys didn't leave a lot of free time but when we were together Mom and I shared our interests and I gleaned from her what I could. For all those years I gathered knowledge while we talked and shared quilting experiences. She was prolific while I merely dabbled. How I wish I had paid more attention! But I always thought we'd have more time later for proper instruction.
Truth is, I was a little intimidated to break out and quilt "for real". After losing both parents within a year of one another I learned the hard way that there is no time to spare. If not now, then when? So right or wrong, good or bad, I'm doing my own thing. I may not enter my quilts in shows, I may not even display them here on my own page but I will do whatever hits my hot button without worrying about whether it measures up.
And that is very liberating.
I am so very lucky to have had such a gifted and loving mother. I cherish the good times we shared and all that she taught me. I wouldn't trade a minute of the laughter and the long talks we had. I can only hope that in some small way I can honor her by carrying on her love of quilting if not in skill at least in tradition.
I feel lucky, too, to have all of you to "talk" to. : )