You Must Have a Lot of Patience

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Cartoon by Stephanie Forsyth

As a quilter/knitter/crocheter I hear this a lot. I get it, to someone who has never done it, it must seem like an overwhelming task to make something from scratch. They see all the tiny fabric pieces, or the little knits and purls and just see time consumption and frustration.

I am still bewildered every time someone says, “You must have a lot of patience.” You can ask anyone who knows me (especially anyone who has ridden in a car I am driving), and they will tell you I’m probably one of the least patient people on the planet (with one of the filthiest mouthes.) And for the most part, I am a huge instant gratification personality, despite my trying to work on that. (I mean, come on…it takes patience to change a personality trait and we’ve just established I like instant gratification!)

The thing is, I love doing these things, so it doesn’t feel like I am exercising patience at all. To me, patience is more like suffering through something that isn’t really pleasant (like driving in rush hour traffic or listening to the ‘quilt police’ bitch and moan.) It makes the process sound like it’s stressful. For me, at least, that’s not the case. I suppose there are some techniques or quilts that have challenged me frustrated me while learning them, but then, I would be more likely to use the word perseverance than patience.

I get it though! I know I have looked at people that do other things that look tedious to do from my perspective. But I know from my own experience, that if that it’s their passion, they aren’t feeling that way when they are in the throws of creation. In fact, when I am in that mode, it’s as if time is standing still. When I start quilting a quilt that I really love, six or eight hours can pass before I realized it’s time to eat and settle for the night.

It’s all about loving what you’re doing. It’s about doing what you love. I love quilting, and knitting and drawing. Those activities are invigorating, time skewing and make me feel awesome.

Do you feel that quilting means you’re a person with greater patience? Do you get told this often too?

3 replies

  1. I do hear this, and I agree perseverance is a better word than patience. However I have been building my patience muscles, which comes in handy when picking out 24″ of FMQ stitching that took 8 seconds to make, and half an hour or more to take out. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

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