What's in a Name?

     If you are here, it is probably because you found me on Instagram.  I am so glad you are here and have checked out my site!
The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity as I have pursued my dream of having a fabric shop and a place to sell all the fun things I make with said fabric.  I hope you have found my Instagram page to be a place of community and inspiration.  And now, I hope this blog will be full of old-fashioned quilting fun.  For today, I wanted to share a little about me and to explain how I came up with Midlife Quilter as an instagram handle and now, my shop name! (After all, it is always fun to hear about one's back story, isn't it?)
      First, sewing is the fulfillment of a dream for me.  Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by sewing.  One of my earliest memories is of a family friend making my flower girl dress for my aunt's wedding.  I can still remember it clearly.  It was a burgundy satin with cream swiss dot lace at the neckline  (Remember, this was the very early 80's...so it was THE height of fashion).
I remember being mesmerized as I saw our friend bent at her sewing machine.  It seemed so magical to see those piles of fabric take shape and become something completely new.
     This fascination continued my entire life. It was always something I wanted to learn, but never felt like I had the time or the money...or even anyone to teach me.  
      When I hit 40, though,  I went through a mild mid-life crisis. Some people get tattoos or take that trip of a lifetime. I bought a sewing machine. When reviewing my life, the one thing I regretted most was never having learned to sew. It is strange, but it was this undeniable urge to just dive in.
     I was wary though.  Although my degree is in art history and I have a solid grasp of art and design, I was always better at appreciating art rather than making it.  I also didn't have a track record of sticking with anything.  I had drawers full of beginner kits for crochet, watercolors, knitting, embroidery...you name it, there is a good chance I've tried it and didn't stick with it.
     But, again, I just HAD to learn how to sew.  So I found a moderately priced Singer Stylist sewing machine on Amazon, figuring I could resell it if I hated sewing or had no talent for it.  And since I didn't really have anyone to teach me, I bought the book, "School of Sewing" by Shea Henderson and decided I would tackle every project in it and work at my own pace.
     To my surprise, I fell deeply in love with sewing and discovered I had a knack for it.  It was the first thing I had ever tried that I seemed to have a natural talent for.  I was amazed and, before I knew it, I had worked through that whole book of sewing projects and was ready to make the final project---a quilt. My story of my first quilt is a story for another day, but let's just say, I now make quilts on the regular. :-)
     On the surface, this is a story of someone who learned how to sew.  But it is so much more for me. Sewing has helped me grow and work through so many other issues as well. For one, my fear of failure. Learning to sew was daring to fail. What I learned is that I would never know what I COULD achieve if I didn't start trying. I fail all the time now. It is never fun and I don't LIKE to fail, but it is so much better than wondering, "What if?"
      I can tell you, three years ago I never would have had a public social media page. I never would have set up an Etsy shop. I never would have written a blog. I never would have volunteered to be a pattern tester.  I never would have had the courage to start a business.  But with age comes wisdom--if only we could live our lives backwards, all of us would be unstoppable!
      So when I set up my Instagram page, I called myself the @midlife_quilter. Because I wanted everyone to know that it's never too late to change or to try something new. 
     I hope that if you have wanted to learn to quilt or sew, that you will be inspired to do it.  The quilting community is one of the kindest, most supportive communities and I have been so fortunate to meet some of the best women in the world as I have pursued my sewing dream.  
     So take that chance.  Follow that dream.  Whether it's quilting or ceramics or photography, don't hide your gifts.  Listen to your heart and let it shine.  We all want to see and will be here cheering you on!
     I love to chat with new (and established!) quilters.  Drop me a line and follow me on Instagram.  If you love pretty fabrics, my page will not disappoint.
     Until next time, happy quilting!

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