It’s only a couple hours a month, and I arrive haphazardly, but I must say I am restored to sanity afterwards. I attend the Quilter’s Trunk Sew In on the fourth Thursday of every month. The chocolate covered licorice and pretzels is always a winner with us. We do show and tell of the textiles we’ve made. And the stereo speakers play the soothing sounds of Nora Roberts and other musicians we all enjoy. The CD Come Away With Me reminds me of when I was working full time as an LPN, attending RN school and studying for RN boards. I was trying to make it here, this night, literally 15 years ago, knowing my day job was a vehicle to the life I have right now, wanting a more creative life, but not sure of where I was going or what I was going to do next. I recognize that this is the moment I was working towards and I am glad about it. I always leave the Sew In satiated in spirit and trying to figure out how I am going to survive another month without this.
This year, the International Quilt Festival had a Rubies quilt exhibit. The International Quilt Festival is held each year in various locales throughout the country: Chicago, Houston, Long Beach and Cincinnati. Although the International Quilt Festival was a few months ago in Chicago, I feel writing about it in light of the patriotic holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day) is appropriate, hence all the red and white fabric from the main quilt exhibit. I love Americana fabric (fabric with a patriotic theme). I donated my proceeds from working the festival to Quilts of Valor, an organization that makes quilts for veterans.
Considering my father is a Vietnam veteran, the Quilts of Valor organization was of interest to me. Also, because Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), a very breakthrough trauma treatment I personally had for PTSD due to rape trauma and domestic violence, actually originated in the veterans hospitals. I felt my donation was a way of giving back for some of the help I received, thanks to the veterans and their advocacy for appropriate trauma treatment.
Other than that, the International Quilt Festival is one of the most wonderful times of the year for me. Other people live for the holidays. As a healthcare worker, I usually work the holidays. So, I live for the International Quilt Festival.
I adore being a part of the quilting process, whether it is making them myself, packing them up at the festival, unpacking them and/or displaying them. It is all pure joy for me. Quilters from around the world send their quilts to be exhibited within these conferences. There are a lot of traditional designs as well as art quilts that are featured. I meet all kinds of different people and it is a lot of fun. I appreciate being around other people who know what goes into an endeavor like making a quilt. I also appreciate the fact that they understand the psychological benefits of creating something by hand and I do not have to explain it to them.