Quilty Support: Me, Myself and I

Recently, over the past two weeks or so I have been reading quite the handful of mostly blog posts regarding Swap, Bee Hives, Round Robins and so on; some good but mostly I have been reading the negativity regarding such creative outlets and not in the way I would expect to hear it. To be quite frank, I ended up scared and disappointed in some things. (I am specifically not linking directly to any one person as I am not looking to point fingers or blame, this is merely my opinion from my intake)

Continuing on with my Quilty Support posts I had been thinking about this a lot this past week and thought it would be a good discussion. I had an interesting conversation with a friend during lunch last Friday and she brought up Johari’s Window, have you heard of it?

Johari’s Window:
Source – Wikipedia

The Johari window is a technique created in 1955 by two American psychologists, Joseph Luft (1916–2014) and Harrington Ingham (1914–1995),[1] used to help people better understand their relationship with self and others. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.

Source: Wikipedia
Open or Arena: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Open or Arena quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that both they and their peers are aware of.
Hidden or Façade: Adjectives selected only by subjects, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Hidden or Façade quadrant, representing information about them their peers are unaware of. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not.
Blind : Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information that the subject is not aware of, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these “blind spots“.
Unknown: Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant’s behaviors or motives that were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of these traits.

You may be wondering the connection between Johari’s Window and the topic of positivity/negativity with Swaps, etc. Here it is: Self Awareness.

Being part of the quilting, sewing and crafting community for me, has been an outlet when I am so far away from home as well as being surrounded by people who I feel, “get me”. A born and raised California girl who thrives with oceans and lakes, now living in the Mid Eastern US in Kansas with lots of farms and snow… big difference. I don’t mind it, but there are parts that will always miss home no matter how much this becomes home. 

Reading so many comments and blog posts expressing their negative experiences with swaps, round robins and others alike has left me with a heavy heart. I don’t disagree with any of the disappointments that come along with these types of interactions with others; such as when they may not receive a gift even though they followed through on their end or if an item of theirs went missing, no contact made back from your partner and they are officially M.I.A. etc. I agree that there are frustrations when in swaps and they can become too much at times; however I find that most of that is what we do to ourselves by trying to take on too much or expect too much and forgetting the entire idea of the process to begin with. With that in mind, the more swaps you are a part of, the more likely you are to experience it’s downfalls more often. 

I completely related to the remarks regarding the other side of things that in-fact, do happen – What I was heavily disappointed in with these statements and comments was the way their frustration was being expressed including expressing the disappointed by the quality of work they would receive at times. Reading this, my heart began to break for others (and myself) who may not have 5, 10, 15, 20 + years into sewing or even the ones with little years under their belt who have been able to create even what we call ‘professionally’ done items and not looking so ‘hand-made’. I began to question my own sense of work because I am still very ”new” to the community. I am hard enough on myself as it is so this seemed to have made it worse. Then I question how strong I believe I really am if only that led me to begin to question myself. 

Isn’t one of the points to this whole thing, among other points, that we are making one another hand-made items? 

Reading comments and posts from others who (I know not intentionally and again, this is my opinion and feelings) attack specifically the quality of work or ones who may not carry of the greatest scale as others (we all start(ed) somewhere) for the procrastinator in me and knowing my work is under scrutiny, makes me anxious x’s 100. 
Many of us know people who seem to be more, what we would call, self-aware than others. To me, self-awareness is having a growing knowledge of yourself, your own issues, and how others might perceive you. While I think anyone struggles at times to be aware of themselves, most certainly during heightened feelings are in play, I wonder if others were self-aware of themselves and how their comments would be making others feel who already struggle with the feelings of their items not being ‘good enough’ for a swap? How the beginners who just jumped in are now wondering if they will live up to other groups standards? I wonder if they were self-aware of where they began and did they receive that type of feedback when they began? Were they self-aware that while others would agree with them, the others who are scared to already join what is supposed to be so positive and encouraging for others to create, now may not join because there really are people who judge what they receive to a degree that they are ‘disappointed’ for joining to begin with? I know and believe there was never any intent for those feelings to be, yet they are and I know I have been on both ends of the spectrum in a swap… the non-received and later sendee. 

The real question; Could they have expressed their dissatisfaction differently rather than expressing it in such a way that left others (including me) even more intimidated to make for others and try new things? To send the item anyway even after much procrastination because you don’t think they will think it is, perfect? Personally, I wrote about my own personal experience a few weeks ago with a mistake I made with my first full paper-piece and being heavily dissatisfied in myself but decided to listen to that inner voice that was helped created by so many others encouraging me, to send it anyway… and you know what, while I still am not satisfied with how the item turned out and I wished I had done better, I am happy I still sent it. I am happy I still remained true to myself and who I am as a creator, right then and right now. A creator with many mistakes to love. A creator that continues to grow with each mistake. 

OOPS! This should have been a feather but ended up looking like a tree instead. OOPS!
I want to make this clear, I am happy that others have expressed some hard truths about what happens in swaps, round robins, etc. because things do happen and I have two separate stories to share (next week) which relate to much of the basis for my personal feelings towards the recent down-talk regarding swaps. I even get why they would have a Blacklist for swaps as I have heard of several people who join just to receive and never send which is ultimately defeating the purpose of the swap. 

What I have been unhappy hearing and reading is when we have become disappointed with what we receive from others. We teach our youth to be appreciative for what they have, many homes go by the old rule, “If you don’t like what’s for dinner, don’t eat.” (my house did) and we drill into them they should be happy with all they have around them as others don’t, to continue to strive for more but to not be greedy; yet I feel when we, as adults are feeling disappointments (and expressing it openly) with someone else making for us, taking time out of their life, thinking of you and putting everything they can into it, we aren’t really showing the best of examples, are we? I have received gifts from various skill levels, but I can assure you I love them each just the same with the mere appreciation that someone took a moment of their time (and especially never ‘meeting’ them) to make for me, I am appreciative for that all in itself. Maybe it is just me and knowing who I am and how I want others to feel… I don’t know. I just know that with each interaction I have with anyone – I am never wanting to leave them with the feeling that they are not worth anything. It may be because of my own personal struggle of self-worth, either way, YOU are worth it. 
I guess what I am trying to say in the end is I walked away from reading the posts and comments heavy-hearted and vowing that after I completed the swaps I am in I would be excusing myself for a bit. I walked away scared more now than I was before to send items I have made to someone else, wondering how truthful they are being with their posts on Instagram or anywhere else with how much they ‘love’ it… – am I the one they are talking about on their post? It makes me sad because I know we all join these group adventures to encourage every level of creativity to love it all the same knowing someone created for you. I walked away questioning myself and my worth within the community and where I may stand or how others may be viewing me who have better skill than I. I wonder if I am the one they are snickering about wishing I was not part of their group because they don’t think they will have any use for what I may make… or it won’t be worthy (there’s that word again) enough? The questions went on and on but eventually my optimism won. 

I have close friends and acquaintances that know right away that I am the epitome of optimism. I sometimes annoy myself with it because I know there are times I’m not looking for the pretty side of things when it’s dark; but in the reality of it, I am. In the midst of anything dark happening, aren’t we all looking for that light at the end of the tunnel? 

This brings me back to the Johari’s Window. As I stated earlier, I had a conversation with a friend (who happens to be a therapist) this past week regarding it, as I had never heard about it before. I am always interested in self-development and if I had the patience for the schooling, I believe I would have been a great therapist. That being said, I chose over the past week to analyze Johari’s Window and answer them, and truthfully. There are things I am definitely not the fondest of sharing; however we all have quirks within ourselves that really aren’t so bad and I think it’s time we stop being worried about who we are but become more self-aware of Me, Myself and I.

I have answered mine in quite some depth and I think I have narrowed or compartmentalized it into the core of the detailed answers I gave myself and thinking further into it and whether or not to share here, I thought I would first introduce Johari’s Window and the topic of discussion as well as invite you to join me next week with your answers (if you dare hehe). Next week I will reveal my analysis of my own-self and I would love to hear from YOU, whether it be regarding the Johari’s Window, the topic of negativity towards swaps or both. I believe the more self-aware we all are with one another, the more aware we can be of others and the better we understand. 

To help with some of the things you may answer with or ask yourself while analyzing, it will be good to be mindful to simplify your answers with Adjectives. I wrote down whatever came to mind and then grouped things that would be in the same category for the nature of what I was stating of myself.

Example: I can easily have any random conversation with a stranger. I think all walks of life are amazing. = friendly and/or open-minded.

You can go into as much or as little detail or however deep you wish to dive into it. I actually think it’s positive for us all to be aware of who we are but to also be proud of who we are; we all change constantly and evolve as humans, just because a personality trait or behavior worked then doesn’t mean it works in your life now; it doesn’t necessarily have to mean changing WHO you are. 
Source: Wikipedia


Whether or not you choose to openly participate or not, I welcome you to research Johari’s Window and it’s overall concept. I think I have personally been more self-aware than I thought; however I adapt quickly to my surroundings and am left a lot of times feeling, “off”. Also, if you have any thoughts regarding the recent commentary on swaps and the bad things that can happen. It’s one thing to have the truth out there, but are we sometimes getting ahead of ourselves with our expectations? Have you experienced anything really great or really bad? 
Quilty Thankful Thursday attribute: I am thankful for the freedom of speech and that we are all otherwise bold and proud to speak with how we feel. Disagreements or not, it rarely changes how I feel towards someone as I never expect to always be okay with anyone with everything. As a matter of fact, I find myself admiring the quirks of others more than anything and understanding how they think. A good conversation is obviously something I am typically always up for. 

I am linking up to Quilty Thankful Thursday w/ Quilting Jetgirl so stop on over and link up, too!

Quilty Support: Quilting/Sewing Community

I have neglected my posts of Quilty Support and am following up with it now as this past week has been a great reminder of the support, gratefulness and thankful nature that the quilting, sewing and crafter’s alike community holds. You can find all links for the Quilty Support posts, here

Over the past week I have been able to first-hand witness the power of community and the power it gives to everyone who takes part. I posted last week and earlier this week regarding a fundraiser being held for a fellow Instagram quilty friend Karen (@peaceloveandquilts). I don’t know Karen outside of Instagram but have enjoyed the small conversations we have shared and truthfully, I didn’t even know her name was Karen until all of this fundraiser began! It is ultimately her story to share, but her and her family were in need of a group hug from the place she feels most peaceful, sewing and quilting. As I said in my prior post, seeing Karen’s original post just last Friday tugged at my heart and something was telling me, “do something”. So I did something about it. 
Karen was selling her most beloved hexagon quilt and I immediately thought of how I wish I had just the funds myself to buy it for her. Not knowing really what to do, or how I could do it… I even thought of sending her what I could afford to send her and help her out. No matter what, I could not get rid of the nagging feeling of, “you must save this quilt”. Then as the minutes ticked by and I was still thinking of what I could do, I thought of my Super Quilt Woman t-shirts. I messaged my sister (@proffittmelissa) right away and ran by my idea with her and she told me to go full swing for it. I know it seems like I needed her permission to do this, but I think I was hesitant if I was going to look like a failure in the end; I kept asking myself, “What if no one buys the shirts and I can’t raise anything for her? What will that make me look like? How would I be able to help her if this doesn’t help? How would I show my face again to others who ignored such a plea from myself for someone else (side note: Karen had NO idea I was doing this and she only found out when I posted the details on Instagram)?” So many questions going through my mind, I suck at failing even though I know it is necessary. I just hate to fail others. 
Anyhow, I began putting everything together before producing it out into the world; in the end I offered the shirts for $15.00 (original $20.00) and FREE SHIPPING with the coupon code. From the sales of the the shirts over the weekend (Fri-Mon), 75% of those sales would go to Karen. 
The weekend came and went; Boy was I surprised by the overwhelming support and generosity of our community. I guess surprised wouldn’t be the correct word, maybe taken back would be more appropriate. Either way, I was overwhelmed nonetheless by how many really came together to purchase Karen’s quilt for her. I do my best to purchase each persons new patterns and especially if it is something that I know I will want to make (one day). I know that those few dollars (added up) go a long ways to the support of so much work that other quilters and sewers put into the patterns and creations themselves. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for my love of quilting or just simply, making. The more support we all continue to give to one another, the more we have support ourselves, right?
I thought this picture illustrated the power of community and TEAMWORK in this situation. In this time, it required a small purchase to help go towards a fellow quilter who was exclaimed by many to have been there for others in their time and now it was their turn to return the due diligence. Each puzzle piece being handed down the line was each shirt, donation or share of the post allowing for us to all get to our goal. I have never been so proud to be part of such people and be surrounded (even if virtually) by such beauty. If it wasn’t for the ones who were able to purchase, the ones who made a straight donation, the ones who shared the post on their Instagram to help spread the word, we wouldn’t have MADE OUR GOAL! We even went OVER… not by much, but we did it and 
During the time in which this fundraiser was taking place, Karen and I learned that we only live about 20 minutes from one another! It is entirely crazy how small and yet big our world is… heck even just the U.S. I will be meeting with her next week personally to hand deliver the funds to this beautiful woman and her family! I really can’t wait to put every hug and every ounce of love was given to this quilt that she can forever snuggle under and feel the warmth that she will always have an army behind her. 
I was graced with the most sweetest message from Karen that made me tear and she was entirely too nice in the message. I only did what I felt and acted on it. It is something I have missed for a long time now and I was and am only thankful that I was in the position to be able to help her. I just knew there was something in the original message from Karen that told me she would be losing a piece of herself if she were to part with that quilt and I couldn’t have that happen. 
Now tell me this isn’t the perfect picture and most adorable smile to end this with…
This will forever hold a special place within me
I am linking up and showing my thankfulness over at Quilty Thankful Thursday w/ Quilting Jetgirl so head on over and share yours, too!

Foothills Mystery Quilt Parade

Just wanted to share a quick note with everyone that Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is having her parade full of all of the wonderful quilts created during her Foothills Mystery Quilt – Quilt Along that she began hosting last year.

I found Cheryl’s blog some time last year (obviously) and when I saw her announcement about hosting the QAL I completely had to join in. I am definitely one to love surprises! I came into it about a month late but it was not terribly hard to get caught up at all, plus having a month per set of instructions it allowed ample time. The top was completed earlier this year and then allowed time for it to be backed and quilted and then binded; however not everyone accomplishes that (slowly raises hand). I did at least put the top together!
My Journey w/ Foothills Mystery QAL:

I really did enjoy the entire process and I am SUPER happy that Cheryl has announced she will be hosting another one this year! So I REALLY hope you follow her along and join in! Maybe we can get her to make a big linky party for them all each month so we can all see our progress! (hint hint Cheryl) 
Either way, please hop on over to her parade post because there are some absolutely BEAUTIFUL quilts there, one of the all time favs (which I think for many) is done by Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl (like holy cow!). Right along with it my other personal favorite is Cheryl’s herself… and the list keeps going because I kept being surprised each time I kept scrolling through! Each one has such a personality, so go check them out!
Quilty Thankful Thursday attribute: I appreciate Yvonne’s weekly reminders of what to be thankful for. It is another helpful reminder each week even when you’re in doubt, that there are still things to be thankful for and to keep the positive and keep on shining. Along with that this week, I’m thankful for people such as Cheryl to host such QAL which help continue keep the sewing and quilting community together even when we are miles (or countries…) apart. You still feel like you are surrounded by so many people even when you physically may not be. It will be interesting to see if this will become an annual thing with Cheryl and where we may be in 5 years? I will have to remind myself of my first QAL and joining in from the beginning. A part of Quilt a Long history, maybe? 
Today I am sharing over at Quilty Thankful Thursday w/ Quilting Jetgirl, so hop on over and show your stuff off!

Quilty Support: Remind Yourself

This post will be the first of a series of posts that I am labeling, Quilty Support. I am labeling it Quilty Support as it more directly relates to the support all of us quilters and sewers alike give one another when we all are guilty of ‘putting ourselves down’. Whether it be in the crafty goodness we all make or in our own personal lives that go on behind the blogs, instagram pictures and facebook posts. We are. All. Guilty. (Raise your hand) I was inspired to do this series for two reasons:

1. In the past two weeks there has been a lot of emotions regarding my own self and my marriage and one big family emergency that required we all gather around one another even if for only mere support.

2. Angela Walters wrote a post recently regarding what we should not do or say to ourselves and it was something I found myself consistently thinking recently when in moments of slump with the events the emotions and events these past two weeks (I met a lot of those days recently).

In this series my goal, if any and even if for myself, is to be a journal towards the moments of growth which was really the start of my New Years Resolution. If you read along, then all the merrier and I hope you find some comfort in knowing you are not ever alone in this wonderful community. I am heading more of a quilting friends Quilty Thankful Thursday’s that she hosts and will post each Thursday for a specific Quilty Support over the next few weeks. You will be able to come back here with the updated related posts.

Quilty Support: Remind Yourself
Quilty Support: Quilting/Sewing Community
Quilty Support: Me, Myself and I
Quilty Support: Husband
Quilty Support: Family
Quilty Support: Friends
Quilty Support: Modern Quilt Guild
Quilty Support: Instagram Community
Quilty Support: Blogging Community

If you have read my blog for a bit now, you have read/heard slightly about my random comments and posts regarding striving for personal growth and ultimately ”finding myself”; well, I am just going to start off by first apologizing for ever seeming to be ‘secretive’ behind my words. It was never the intent but more like, “I really had no idea how to explain what I was feeling”. Really it all comes down to finding myself feeling lonely a lot even when I know I have a lot of people who love and care for me. I am married and my husband supports me fully to every extent he is capable of; however he is extremely limited due to other circumstances (another story in itself) and so to just say it, we do not live with one another. I live alone and support the whole house on my own while also taking care of the home upkeep, repairs, car, car repairs, blah. blah. blah. I am not the person to really be ‘sad’, I am the one who is always perky and very happy because really in my life, I am. Living as if you’re single, when you really aren’t single is a struggle and when you mix that with a personality that loves to explore and experience life, it doesn’t mix at times as your time is so limited because well, you’re the one doing it all. Topping it off, I don’t have support with friends and family because they are all in Southern California (where I am originally from). Call it growing up or call it home sick, either which way, it’s just how I feel. I am going to throw you a little off track by the next few things I am going to discuss, but I will tie it together at the end.

Earlier this week on Monday my friend told me she put a package in my sewing room. I did not get home until rather late and didn’t even remember until the following day after I returned home from work and went into my sewing room; with the package sitting on the cutting table. I instantly became excited but was also unsure what it was as I did not expect anything to be coming. As you can tell from the picture above, I was super ecstatic when I was opening this lovely package! This package came from the Liberty of London Swap 2 I took part of again and I had forgotten all about receiving one! LoL I had been eyeing this lovely Pear pincushion for some time after I had seen it on Amy over at Diary of a Quilter’s blog post from her trip last year to London and was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness from my partner @skirtfixation and her daughters because they literally got every love of mine!

This pillow has to be by far my favorite item and mostly because it really “hits home” with me. Not only do I have an obsession with pillows but I have a terrible love for California and the ocean. I miss it dearly. All the way down to the amazing detailed thread work in this United States pillow to the hand stitching of the Liberty fabric, it is perfect. Look closely and you will see how the states California and Missouri (Kansas City, MO) are done in Liberty fabric while all the other states are threaded. How amazing is that!?!?! I teared up when I saw this pillow because of how thoughtful it was and really meant that my partner had taken time to get to know me to really go beyond and do sentimental items. Items that I will never be able to replace and will treasure forever. I have had a few thoughts of marking the pillow with the states that I have lived in and states I have visited… I don’t want to ruin the pillow however and may use fancy pins to do that as this is definitely a decorative pillow I will brag about forever.

Next up, look at all of these goodies!?!? I am never (literally never) without Trident Spearmint gum, adorable embroidery scissors (who doesn’t ever need a fresh pair of these?), green tea which is something I drink a lot of at work, glass head pins, the “I can’t wait to use” Hot Iron Transfers all in you guessed it, FROG and a quarter yard of the lovely and colorful scenic Liberty fabric! There may or may not have been 4 Rice Krispy Treats as part of the extras that were harmed in the making of photos… but I am no tattle tail.

Now I know everyone has been either wanting one or wanting to make one of these Sew Together Bags that were created by Sew Demented. I know I did! Well… my partner beat me to making my own and even with that, she did something personal on it! See the block that she created for the front of the bag? That’s the Missouri Star State Quilt Block… I am beginning to feel like I need to majorly step up my game on gift exchanging. It was lined with some of the most beautiful purple liberty fabrics and she even went so far to put on the cutest frog prince charm on the zipper! I mean… I am balling at this point! It’s like crying when you’re pregnant for absolutely no reason but I am not pregnant by any means so I just get to deal with the emotions.

These bags really can hold a lot and I am excited for everything I will be able to stuff into it! Just look at how much @skirtfixation was able to stuff in the bag for gifting!
4 – Rice Krispy Treats
2 – Packs of gum
1 – Package of 100 glass head pins
1 – Pair of embroidery scissors
8 – Green Tea Packets
1 – Sewing Machine and Scissor Charm
There was plenty of room left!

You’re probably wondering a bit how this all comes together with the Quilty Support series I mentioned in the beginning, right? It all comes together because this package (like many others) seem to come at a time when it is needed most and needed for the support we all need when it comes to our craftiness whether it be because of things out or in our control. While I will be touching base for different segments of that Quilty Support over the next few weeks, I believe each one really relishes on its own.

Here I was winding down from an exhausting two weeks of drag out emotions and then hit with the family emergency which just took on emotions of its own, that I had not really sewing much in the past two weeks and would almost say I really hadn’t. If anything, I sat in there at times just to feel the happiness I feel when I am surrounded by it all, just trying to keep the spirit alive at that moment I guess. I had been questioning a lot of things this past Tuesday, more than the usual and this package could not have come at a better time. A better time to REMIND MYSELF that in the most trying and questioning moments in my life, I am surrounded by such a large group of amazing people that I love to support and love to support me back. It was the package that I needed to boost myself back into my A-game (humor me) with no further loathing and no further distance from the sewing machine. Some people after having some time away from their sewing machine seem to almost enjoy it but rather, I have realized it is what really drives me with happiness. It is a part that I am unwilling to compromise in the future as I seem to lose myself when I do as I have given so much of myself in many other areas of my life that I can’t afford to lose the things that allows me to ‘zen’ in good times, bad times and even the sickest of times.

I welcome you to remind yourself each time you question or doubt yourself in anything you do, because in this wonderful community of quilters and sewers, we have so much love to go around that there is never someone without a shoulder to lean on! I hope that each person I encounter and interact would always know that at any time, I am a friend that supports them in each endeavor they partake in their lives! And a personal THANK YOU to each and every one of you that I have had the pleasure to interact with and share a part of mine or your life as I cherish each person and their gift of friendship!

With that being said, I am linking up at Quilty Thankful Thursday w/ Quilting Jetgirl and Needle and Thread Thursdays w/ My Quilt Infatuation.