I have done some tiling in my time–backsplashes, fireplaces, etc.–but this is the first time I have done it in an embroidery project. It is almost as challenging as tiling with porcelain tiles.
My first project, “Dashing through the Snow” was quite a challenge but one undertook with enthusiasm and ignorance of the process. I loved it frustration and all. I want to do this pattern again and next time do it correctly. There are some minor errors in the one that I completed that I would like to correct. Nevertheless it still came out well and I love it.
In fact I enjoyed the process so much I purchased another pattern that I absolutely love and, for the most part, is progressing well. But boy! the stitch count is up there!
This one is called “Santa’s Workshop.” So far I have 17 out of 32 tiles completed. It is a lengthy process. One of the tiles took 97 minutes to complete. Patience is a very necessary ingredient in this tiling process. Well, really I guess it would be necessary in any kind of tiling process.
In case you have not noticed, I love to sew, quilt, embroider. I love learning new techniques and new ways to create old patterns. Needlework requires lots of patience if your goal is to create a flawless (almost flawless) piece.
Patience is something that I have come to appreciate through the quilting process. Take the time to do it right then you won’t have too many mistakes to correct. And don’t expect to complete your project in one sitting. Since I’ve learned this lesson the quilting process has become much more enjoyable.
I approach my work time with anticipation of working on a particular project with the added bonus of listening to a book, podcast, or music. TV is great for keeping you company when you don’t need to pay attention to it. As the mother of four I still find some kind of noise (voices) in the house somehow soothing.
Patience also allows you to enjoy the process along the way. Worry over completion of the project is removed and the love of the creative process becomes dominant. In addition I have discovered that a by product, for me, of learning patience is contentment.
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content (4:11).” This is so much more difficult than it sounds because contentment is something that we learn. It is not a natural part of us. We’re not born with it. It is not a gift. For some of us it may take years and for others, not so much but it is something that is learned by those who choose to pursue it.
Generally we tend to look for things that will make us content; those things that we deem better or the next rung in our career rather than putting forth the effort it takes to learn how to be content. If only I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone (and myself) say, I will be happy/content/satisfied when I am promoted; when I am married; when I am single; if I were rich; if/when I am healed; so forth and so forth.
Contentment is not about denying one’s feelings about wanting or desiring something they can never have, rather being content brings to the individual freedom. Freedom from being controlled by the feelings of always wanting and never having enough.
Contentment is not pretending that every thing is all right when it is not, but rather contentment brings about the peace that comes from knowing that God is bigger than any problem and that he will work all of life’s problems and difficulties out for our good.
“Contentment isn’t a feeling of well-being contingent on keeping circumstances under control, but instead it promotes a joy in spite of circumstances, looking to God who never varies. Contentment is not based on external circumstances, but rather on an internal source. Contentment is of the heart” (Rick Ezell).
Let me leave you with a John Wesley story of contentment and gratitude. John Wesley was about 21 years of age when he went to Oxford University. He came from a Christian home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet, in those days he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic. One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even have a bed. Yet, he was an unusually happy person, filled with gratitude to God. Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the man’s misfortunes. ‘And what else do you thank God for?’ he said with a touch of sarcasm. The porter smiled, and in the spirit of meekness replied with joy, ‘I thank Him that He has given me a life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a constant desire to serve Him!’ Deeply moved, Wesley recognized that this man knew the meaning of true contentment.” (Source unknown)
Who knew you could learn so much from quilting? Or from a railroad porter.