Wednesday, September 19, 2012


In my previous life before retirement, I was a quiltmaker.

Over a span of three decades, I had some moderate success just lolling around making quilts.  I guess it was work, but it didn't seem like it; because I was doing something I thoroughly enjoyed.  I designed and made 
 quilts that were featured in magazine articles.

Then, I was fortunate enough to receive contracts to write two books on the subject. 
I traveled and taught quiltmaking nationally; and my quilts were exhibited all over.  Some of my quilts are more well-traveled than I am!  I've never considered myself to be an artist, even though I've had several one-woman gallery shows.
Occasionally, I was even asked to furnish an Artist's Statement. Who Me????  I'm not an artist!
I just made quilts because I loved geometry, fabric, and to sew.
 Writing an Artist's Statement was much more work than making a quilt.  As I would labor to write about my artistic (?) journey, I would start by mentioning my sixth-grade art teacher who said I didn't have an aptitude for art because I couldn't draw or paint.  But, I loved color, texture and shapes -- At the time, I wondered why can't that be art? 

Fortunately, I had a high school math teacher who said I was a whiz at understanding proportions, design, and geometry.  And previously in grade school, his wife had been my 4-H leader; and she taught me with such enthusiasm to sew with accuracy.  Together the two of them led me to find my niche. 

Do I consider myself now to be an artist?  Not yet, as   
  I remember so vividly when that art teacher told me that the pig I had drawn looked like a cow; and to give up any thoughts of future art endeavors. The message I received from her was that I would not, could not, should not be an artist.  Those are hard thoughts to shake!

The point of this post is to never discount how our words might translate to a child -- there is no way of knowing our influence or where those words might lead that child.   As an adult, it is important to always encourage young people; so they may attain their ultimate potential - whatever that may be!  Who would have thought -- a career as a quiltmaker?

I'm joining the following parties.  Please check out these blogs for great inspiration.
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
Jann Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays


Marilyn said...

I am in total agreement with your caution for one to be careful about what is said to children. We do remember for a lifetime! Hope you are enjoying some quilting now, too.♥♫

Sue said...

You are a true artist with a capitol "A"....your quilts are a work of art...I never knew you had one women shows...Your incredible...
As for watching what you tell children....My mother was told when I was in HS that I basically was an idiot and wouldn't amount to anything so I should just learn how to college in my future...But was the best in Home Economics....I could cook the other girls under the table....did ever once someone in guidance suggest I apply to the Culinary Institute in NY to become a chef....Nope. So my talents all these years have just amounted to me and the Boss being fat from over eating my food.....Luckily we praised daughter from the day she was born and look how well she turned out.

Elena said...

Your quilts are so very beautiful! I have a love for quilts too. My grandma and Aunt were Amish and made many lovely quilts in their life times. I always loved seeing their beautiful stitch work.

Anonymous said...

Your quilts are lovely, and true works of art. In a family of quilters, I had never tried my own hand until two year ago. I have sewn since I was a girl and am a good seamstress, but I am finding I need a whole new skill set. And it is really fun.

Yael from Home Garden Diggers

Doll in the Looking Glass said...

Your quilts are breathtaking. You truly are an artist.


Anonymous said...

Good for you for not letting what that teacher said keep you from an artist (yes you are!). I was reading a book- Drawing With The Right Side of YOur Brain as I really would love to be able to do so. I told someone I knew that was an artist and she just started laughing. Said you either have it or you don't- you can't learn to draw it is an art. HMMM wonder if she was your teacher!!!

Carolyn is coming next month- will email you and see if we can come up with a day for you to come have lunch and meet her!

bee blessed

Schulz Family said...

Visiting from Show and tell friday. Excellent blog post. Am now over visiting your other blog - Q-Bits

Terra said...

Wow, your quilts are masterpieces. I can see why you were asked to write two books on the subject.

Jann Olson said...

Sally, I knew that you were talented, but I had no idea that you had been published and traveled all over teaching. What an accomplishment! I've never understood teachers that discourage like that. After all, like they say if you tell a child he or she is a failure too many times they will become one. Thank heavens for your math and 4h teachers that told you differently. Love the first quilt! Thanks for sharing with SYC.