Beth Markel

Persist. You can do it.

Posted on August 3, 2022 by Beth Markel

For many of us in the past 2+ years, it’s been a time of shut-down, illness, loss, fear, frustration, and loneliness. At the same time, for some it’s been a time of renewal, from painting rooms, home improvements and renovation, to trying new recipes, online shopping (yes, our Amazon delivery gal is VERY familiar with our address!) and even experimentation from Yoga to Peloton to scented candles. All of this is to say that while Zoom may be the permanent ‘new normal’ for many meetings, it’s also nice to be able to walk into a quilt shop, grocery store, or bank and actually see people’s faces. When I walk in one of our local parks, it is wonderful to see the kids playing and running about without masks. It’s exciting! It feels like we are coming out of our protective shells.

During the time that I was recovering from knee replacement last year, I worked on hand-stitching because I could just sit and sew. A number of neglected projects were completed when the binding went on, and a number of baby quilts have already been delivered to expectant moms. While this was productive, it wasn’t what I wanted to be working on. I really wanted to complete ‘Autumn’ which was about 90% finished, and ‘Chaos’, which I have been quilting. Persistence may be the word most often used in quilting.

It takes creativity, ideas, and courage to jump into making quilts, whether they’re art quilts, traditional quilts, recycled materials, etc. It takes failures to learn what ‘the dreaded reverse-sewing implement’ AKA seam-ripper is used for, but persistence to finish! There is a sense of accomplishment when a quilt of any size, shape or variety is completed. I’ve been to many different guilds where Show-n-Tell participants say, “It’s just a top.” I jump in, asking with a somewhat incredulous voice, “Are you kidding? You completed a TOP! Hooray! That’s a huge accomplishment!” Because. It. Is. You have created something that did not exist until YOU made it.

On that note, I’m showing ‘Chaos’ as it’s being stitched… in the ditch…which is tedious. Only the top 1/3 is completed, but slow and steady wins the race.

Persistence builds character
…a lot of character

I also just completed ‘Autumn’ and can only say, HUZZAH! It’s also stitched-in-the-Ditch (SID) except for the sky area. It is 48″ H x 72.5″ W and is so heavy I’m putting a Nancy-Crow-Special Double-walled sleeve on it. It goes to the photographer next week, and honestly, while I’m glad it is finished, I really just want it to transport viewers to a ridge or boulder outcrop that looks over the glorious fire and gold of autumn trees on a crisp, sunny day. I am in the autumn of my life, and enjoying the fruits of summer, grown children, 2 grandbabies, and lovely family and friends. This is a tapestry of my life.

This is 4 ‘blocks’ put together. It’s a start…
September, 2018
January, 2019
July, 2020
Completed, July, 2022

Create something beautiful today – even if it’s just a smile at a complete stranger!





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