Sunday, January 8, 2017

Youth is Wasted on Young

Youth is wasted on the young was a saying that made absolutely no sense to me when I was young. Now I find myself saying if I had known that when I was young... I would have done so and so. I also say, "when I was young I had enough energy to do that but didn't know I needed to do it." The sayings go on and on now. Some of my older people knew that I was wasting my youth, so they decided to teach me things that would come in handy later. Thank God for that.

This morning I am remembering how many things my aunt patiently taught me when I didn't want to learn. Ms. Marie Carmichael Ponder was an awesome seamstress and I wanted to be like her. She saw something in me that I didn't know was there. I was that fidgety little girl torn between wanting to learn and wanting to go outside to play. I have vivid memories of her teaching me to embroider roses on some fabric. She would add those dainty little roses onto little girls dresses that she made. I thought it was such a waste of my time because I will never do this again. Silly me.

Aunt Marie's patience taught me patience in an unseen way. I was absorbing her way of being just by watching. So when I was making the latest President Obama quilt, her techniques came back to me. Those little french knots that I thought I would never ever ever use again came to mind. They were just the perfect thing to make the textured hair that I needed. 
Another thing she taught me was smocking. She would often put smocking on the bodice of the little dresses she made for us. It was not necessarily my favorite look but she was exceptionally proud of it. So when she decided to teach me smocking I was not happy. I couldn't tell her how I really felt about smocking.  I thought to myself how old fashioned it was. I quietly listened and then tried my hand at it. The level of patience involved in making that happen was way too much for me as a young person, but somehow I managed and even excelled. I chalked it up as another thing I HAD to learn but would never ever ever use. Although, I have gladly used many of the techniques she showed me in my quilting career, smocking was not going to be one of them. As the long story becomes short, I found myself needing some smocking.

My first modern thought was that I could just go to the internet and buy something with smocking on it, cut it away and use it. Oh well. The smocking on a little girls dresses ranged from $69 to $129 and was definitely not the color I needed. That idea quickly went out the window. So as I work on the smocking for an old fashioned dress on a quilt, I think of Aunt Marie. She was right. I would need that information one day. If I had known that I would have paid better attention when I was young. That saying goes with a lot of things I can say as I look back at my youthfulness.
I don't know yet if this is really going to work on that quilt but we shall all see soon.