Monday, June 7, 2010

Quilt Class & My Soap Box

Quilting seems to be a hobby whose participants are mostly women over the age of 40. No men tend to frequent quilting classes and very few young women find themselves involved in the quilting world. My quilting class yesterday was like cozying up on an outdated floral-print couch at your grandmother's house while your grandmother bustles around making tea, listening to your problems, cleaning the house, and being generally productive.  While you sit there sharing your woes, this busy little woman is accomplishing the world and still making you feel listened to and appreciated.


Yesterday I realized our generation is losing the graceful art of being productive and entertained... of being busy but calm... of being efficient but relaxed. 

I walked into quilting class at Quilting Delights unsure of what to expect. Would I feel alone? Would I be ostracized for being so new at quilting? Would I feel like a child in a room of adults - seen and not heard?  Instead of feeling any of these things, the experience was like walking into my grandmother's living room and finding myself put to work and feeling happy that I was helping.  It was as if I belonged in that room of women 20 to 40 years older than I.  As we sat around sewing, we laughed, talked, joked, and simply enjoyed eachother's company.  I soon realized that these women had discovered one of the secrets of happiness.

As I sat there, intently sewing my fabric together, I pondered why my generation feels so different. What changed? When did we decide that work and happiness are mutually exclusive?  I realized that something happened in my generation that has never happened before and which has changed the social makeup of our world - the introduction of technological media.

I appreciate TV. I appreciate the internet. I appreciate facebook. I obviously appreciate blogs.  And yet, when I stop and think about it, if I removed all of these from my life, what would I do in my free time?

And my answer is:

I would be productive.

I would quilt. I would read. I would cook. I would garden. I would paint. I would draw. I would play the piano. I would play the guitar. I would clean. I would do laundry (God forbid!). I would go for walks. I would interact with my neighbors. I would interact with my friends. I would pray. I would read my bible. I might even listen to God instead of tuning Him out while I watch a movie or stumble though the internet or check my facebook or...

When I take away all these things, I find that I start becoming the kind of person I want to be. 

I want to pass on the skills and knowledge I have to my future children and I can't do that if we watch tv at night instead of sewing together or playing games as a family or cooking or singing or dancing or reading or gardening... Our generation is going to lose (if it hasn't already) the skills and talents of the generations that have gone before if we keep turning to modern technology to entertain us. We will lose the art of entertainment and simultaneous productivity if we separate entertainment as activities in which others entertain us and productivity as that which is required to get by.

And now, I realize why no one in my generation quilts. Our generation was too busy watching TV to learn the skills of our parents and grandparents. We were too busy playing SEGA and Nintendo and Playstation. Instead of sitting around as a family and playing games, we were sitting and watching a movie.

I strongly believe the lack of quilters in my generation is due directly to the introduction of TV, video games, and the internet. Perhaps the women's rights revolution contributed in part, but I think that has less impact than the rise of technology as my generation's primary form of entertainment.

But, as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord [and find joy in being productive. :D ]


Anyway, now that I've ranted. I'll share some of the photos that Becca took at quilt class!

Me Quilting!

Becca's mom, Pam, cutting her squares to size.

Becca's AMAZING mad skillz! She finished most of her quilt face in one day!

This photo isn't from our qulit class, but it is the pattern that we'll be doing for the August class that Pam is teaching! Go Pam! Isn't Pam's quilt so pretty?! I love the colors that she choose for the quilt!

I also signed up for the July class and I'm so excited about the pattern that month! I'll post pictures of it next month!


Becca said...

I knew you had something on your mind yesterday. I kept asking you what was wrong haha! I am writing this comment as I lay in bed, on my laptop, and do what I do every morning before I get out of bed, Check my email/facebook/blogs for updates. I guess I am the epitome of what you are talking about! lol! Once I get up, I am going to head down to the fabric store, and chat with the ladies that work there, and show off my quilt from yesterday :)
Thanks for posting! I had fun at the class!

Jaggy said...

I like your soap box, and I agree that too few people embrace what I like to call "practical crafting."

Growing up, I had the luxury of living close to both sets of grandparents. My grandpas taught me how to play poker and blackjack, how to do crosswords, and how to appreciate a good movie. My grandmas taught me how to bake and crochet, knit and glue.

I've done everything from the rare needle tatting to origami/kirigami to flower arranging to quilting to baking contests. Some of those have been successful ventures (the flower thing... not so much). But all of my crafts have been practical in some way.

More than anything, we need to continue to pass on these crafts! In fact, crafting was one of the reasons I deleted my Facebook account. Some things change with each new generation, but the need for practical crafting won't die.

Happy crafting, and congrats on the tummy growth--The Man told me today at lunch. ;)