I remember a pivotal moment in my childhood, when I was about six years old. I was sitting on the back steps of my friends house and we were painting. We started out using color-by-number sheets, but eventually bored of them and decided to color and paint our own creations. I drew a blank.
At that very moment, I had the world as my oyster; no lines to follow, no instructions on what color should go where or how the final picture would look. Just a clean, blank slate for me to fill with whatever my imagination could offer. I was distraught at my inability to come up with something to put on that paper. I was worried that my creativity had already dried up and that I had nothing unique left to create from within.
Fortunately, I was wrong. In fact, the opposite is mostly the case these days. I have trouble falling asleep, but not from worry about losing my paycheck from corporate monotony, rather it’s the excitement of tomorrow’s possibilities that keeps me awake.
My real confirmation that my career choice was correct lies simply in the fact that I LOVE my job, and I can barely wait to get back to it anytime I have to stop. I have many options as to what specific activity will fill my day, but I enjoy nearly every minute of it, whether I choose to create a quilt top I’ve been pining to make, or making new patterns on a charity quilt with my thread and my imagination.
My current excitement is based around three aspects: increasing my quilting skills by introducing modern and Asian drawing techniques to create new and interesting patterns, teaching and inspiring others to love quilt making and quilting, and educating myself to become a certified quilt appraiser.
I have taken on the latter task with a vengeance. I have acquired nearly half the books (there’s about 110 total) required, and read through most. While I have not yet tested to certify, I have been regularly and continually performing appraisals, increasing my experience and appetite to see more historic quilts. But you can still look for me on Antiques Roadshow someday in the future!
So in the meantime, if you find yourself drawing a blank, don’t worry, just make a tree or a sunset, because, inevitably, it will be beautiful.
OK, for the meat and potatoes (so to speak), I grew up in Minnesota, graduated from the US Naval Academy, and spent the next 5 years in the US Navy. After that I joined the corporate world in distribution management with Target and then Home Depot, with subsequent increases in responsibility and position, cumulating in the management of about 2 million square feet of warehouse space and a ginormous budget. Quilting had been my hobby for about 10 years at that point, and when I lost my job in November 2009 I decided to spend time catching up on it. Through a bunch of coincidences (too many to be sheer coincidence, I would call it divine intervention, really), I found that I could make my hobby my business and support my family that way.
I signed up for classes to increase my skills and took any and every difficult job I could to grow my experience. I challenged myself to quilt new designs on charity quilts, which paid off in more ways than one. I quilt for the Texas Department of Agriculture for the bi-annual State Fair Quilt and have won awards for my quilting and have given several guild programs over the past two years. I currently serve as the Programs Director at the Land O’ Lakes Quilt Guild of Lewisville.
In my spare time I grow female children, herd cats and travel with the man of my dreams.