I was riding with a woman on a shuttle bus in Lancaster. I told her that I’d driven to Lancaster on my own, was taking classes without knowing a soul, and was staying at a hotel by myself. She said, “You are very brave.”

I admit that quilting has made me braver. Yes, the act of traveling by myself is new. I’ve been out of state to several conventions. And — even bigger — I navigated my way into New York City for Empire Quilter’s Guild meetings (well worth the risk). I’ve entered a few contests — placed in some; not even been selected in others. All of that has been very good.

The bravest part has been believing in myself. When I started quilting, less than a year ago, I had a vision of what I wanted to do as an art quilter. However I had a few problems — I didn’t have a lot of artistic or technical skills. I had great stuff in my head (or so I believed); I just needed a way to execute it on fabric. So here came  the brave part … taking classes and being the novice. Being the person who was  the slowest. Being yelled at by an instructor because I made a cutting mistake and she wanted to throw my project in the trash (yes, this really did happen!). Being patient with myself when I misread instructions or forgot to bring the right supplies to class. I think that took a lot of bravery. Because I tried to learn from each experience (I’m not calling them mistakes) and to grow as a quilter.

So my pin collections are my medals of bravery. All are self-awarded. Because this is an internal journey and I’m happy to be the one judging my efforts. March on brave quilters!


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