Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty, or annoyance without getting angry, anxious or upset.

I've come far in my Dear Jane quilt journey and when I stop to think about it I'm always amazed at how much patience I've gained in regard to my sewing. Life too, perhaps. Nineteen more blocks to go and then I will be finished with the center part of the quilt. Then, 56 triangles and "kites." Plus sashing, scalloped border, quilting.  Oh my goodness, when I think about all I still have left to do I fear I will never finish.  Then it's time to draw on the patience that I've learned throughout this journey.  

Some blocks require more patience than I used to think I had. Others take much longer to complete than I expected. But I'm not in a race to get my quilt finished just yet and reminding myself of this makes it all seem okay.  At times I don't really care if it takes me all day to make one silly (but beautiful) block. The movement is still forward. I've definitely developed patience and I think it's carried over into other areas of life. 

Learning to paper piece has taught me patience. 

Curved piecing has taught me patience.

Patience, patience and more patience with each and every block.

I've learned recently that being patient with myself is a way of treating myself with compassion. Compassion means reaching out to others when they are suffering but how often do we extend this to include ourselves? Sometimes it's hard to remember to treat ourselves with caring and kindness. Whenever I'm sick I find myself becoming impatient with myself because I simply cannot do all the things I want to do or am used to doing. I have to slow down. It's very frustrating for me to see things that need to get done and not being able to do it all or ask for help. I cannot push push push myself  or I become irritable, exhausted and stressed.  Why is it so much easier to be patient with others than it is to be patient with ourselves? I'm learning that practicing patience with myself is a way of taking care of myself and is truly an act of self-compassion. Working on my Dear Jane blocks has helped me with this. 

Looking at Jane's actual blocks always gives me a boost. There's a wealth of patience in this quilt.

(Photos I took of the Jane Stickle Quilt at the Bennington Museum)

Often, I hear people say that they don't have patience for sewing or quilting. I don't believe we are born with the patience gene. It's definitely learned. You learn it by being patient, practicing patience, over and over. Living in the present. And, as far as quilting goes, when you find something that you truly enjoy making, that makes your heart full of joy, then sometimes patience comes right along. Above all, be kind to yourself. 

The Difference Between Pain and Suffering  Centering Down |  #mindfulness:


Teresa said...

Words to live and sew by ...

Sarah said...

I am 117% addicted to english paper piecing and take it with me everywhere. People are always telling me they don't have the patience for hexies - I always counter that hexies GIVE me patience. Patience to sit in a meeting or the doctor's office or whatever. I despise sitting and doing nothing so hexies allow me to keep my fingers busy and (bonus!) actually help me concentrate better in meetings.

Sheri in Iowa said...

Your blocks look awesome! You are soooo close! You can finish, I am cheering you on! Hope you are feeling better.

Sue Bennett said...

Wow. It looks amazing.. You are so close now.

quiltgrannie said...

Kathy, thank you so much for this post. It reminded me to take better care of myself so I can be a better person to others.
Your DJ is really coming along, it is going to be beautiful!!

Val said...

You are exactly right Kathy, and your blocks are lovely. Dear Jane made us all grow, I learned to applique and paper piece on my quilt and I learned to piece accurately. Most of all I made friends along the way, they are my greatest treasure.

Janet Maly said...

Thank-you so much for today's message !! I am with you !!
I spend the morning with 4 and 5 year old !! Pre -school
I love it !! Get many hugs ! And no problem giving them the time they need to learn
And clean up their messes !! But no patience for me I push push and push !!
Breathe !!!
Thank-you !! Again !!

Karen said...

I love your blog, Kathleen! You teach so many things about quilting and life. Today it's about patience...and your so right how often we neglect ourselves with being patient and enjoying the moment of the day with what we're doing or how we're feeling. Your Dear Jane blocks are beautiful! When you put them all together on your board, I see a quilt in the near future that you will enjoy for years to come. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

Anonymous said...

Your blocks are beautiful!! Inspires me, once again, to put this nearer to the top of my "to do" list. Good to hear from you again and hope you are feeling better.


Sharyn Mallow Woerz said...

I don't think patience is even involved when we are doing something we love. I don't have the patience to go bowling, and dinners with courses...! Give it to me all on one plate, I have better things to do that eat.

That said I blogged recently about my Jane too.
I'm losing my vision so am stripping down my quilt book library.

Viva La Jane! Sharyn in Kalama

Scrap and quilts said...

Such a lovely and wise message today. Thank you for sharing and for the lovely pictures of your blocks. All are so beautiful. I too get discourage when I think of all the work still have left to do on my hexie quilt. So I think of only a little section at a time. Only need to do this one diamond this week, only need to prep this many hexies this week, and so on. Eventually I will get there. It grows like a garden; very slowly. Your Dear Jane is growing too and very beautifully. Keep up with the great work. ;^)

kiquilter said...

Good to hear from you, and to be reminded of the importance of being patient with oneself. Thank you for good advice.

Kathy said...

Tracy, your Dear Jane journey has been a true inspiration for me.

Jennifer M said...

Kathy what a wonderful message to us all! You are a beautiful person and so are your blocks. Both you and your blocks are a huge inspiration to so many and I feel so grateful to have come across you and all you have shared with so many. I am so lucky for all I've gained through you:)

Kathleen Tracy said...

Jennifer - you're a sweetie! Thx.



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