Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Me Being Authentic

Looking back, I see that my first blog post was five years ago. Mind boggling. Sticking with the blogging is an accomplishment. I have had lapses, but have really leaned into posting at least once a month. Sharing some of my creating struggles and accomplishments has been a great way for me to have a record of my journey. Plus, I try to be upbeat, kind, and look at the bright side. No kvetching, no politics (well, a little bit of each when it is unavoidable.) I have shared the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have shared projects that I still shake my head at; wondering what I was thinking? I have even annoyed other people along the way. That is the true test of authenticity.

One of my most recent projects is going to counseling to learn to be more assertive, and to get to the bottom of my hang-ups. Today's assigned reading is about Authenticity. I know what it means, Originality,  but just how to do it is sort of ephemeral. I think writing a blog post and sharing it in social media is pretty authentic. While I was writing my morning pages today, defining authenticity and attempting to write some measurable objectives, I realized that I was in my yoga uniform: racerback top and matching tight leggings, definitely conforming. Hmmmm.

Authenticity seems to be a mental thing. An emotional thing. A Be True to Yourself thing.  But don't overthink it! Good luck defining it, that really gets twisted. We are all original inside, but there is nothing new under the sun. I mean, for Pete's Sake, there are over 7 BILLION people in the world right now, and lots more before us, so how can there be any originality? Well, we all have unique fingerprints. How amazing is that? That must mean there have been over 10 BILLION different sets of fingerprints in all. Wow. And every one of those sets of fingerprints belongs to a unique person who smiles and thinks differently. Even identical twins look a little bit different. To me, that says there is hope!

When I look at a book of quilt ideas, I love to analyze the colors and overall effect. I like to read the text, and study the pattern instructions. I look for fabrics that I recognize. And then I dream about how to take the ideas, and make my own quilts. My sister gave me a dreamy book for my birthday, Cultural Fusion Quilts by Sujata Shah. It is a melting pot of piecing and fabrics from different cultures. Her work has lots of contrast, and lovely saturated colors. The instructions are ridiculously simple. Her enthusiasm is contagious. When I look at this book, I want to dump out boxes of fabric and start cutting stuff up and sewing it back together. Which, in case you aren't a sewer, is a good thing!

The little quilt in this blog post is based on her quilt, Sunset. She uses blues and oranges to create a tropical sunset over the Arabian Sea. It almost shimmers with breezes, and ripples of water. Her half square triangles are uneven, and graduate from lighter to darker to cause the effect, which I love.

I have been wanting to use some triangles of pastel left over from a baby quilt, and paired them up with variations of celery green and soft butter yellow. I think the effect is like an English garden, very soft and muted. I chose a lavender Kaffe print for the border, which draws the eyes toward the violets in the middle of the quilt. The binding is plum with a flange of grey and silver. The back of the quilt is yellow gingham, like a picnic cloth.

To make this a Cultural Fusion quilt, I thought of Mary Lennox, in The Secret Garden, a little girl who came from India and was able to become free and authentic in an English garden. This is my original version of a traditional pattern. Me being authentic.


  1. Well, if there's anything more comforting than a name like Sujata Shah, it's that quilt. Love greens, purples and yellows. The Kaffe print border and all the little flower patterns are precious. Something about that yellow gingham print, but I want to snuggle in, on, under or around it.

    1. Thanks, AJ, it really begs to be touched. It is about the right size to cover Olive, who would look very regal with it draped over her.

  2. Soft colors make a soothing comforting quilt. The flanged binding adds a perfect touch of elegance.

  3. oooo you're my kind of person. Seeking answers, being authentic. It is more than original. And there are a lot of people alive now for sure, but...
    you are the only one with your history, your family unit, you're skills, your thoughts, your opinions, your goals. You are it. People may share one of these attributes, maybe two or three but not all.
    Being authentic to me, is unashamedly accepting who you are and expressing it. Not forcing it down someone's throat, but being it. That's not easy when we want acceptance and some people will not accept us for the person we are. Those who do, are worth spending time with and listening to.
    My two cents, and thank you for the thoughts today. I hope to keep in touch. I'd love to know how you are progressing on assertion. I used to teach teens how to be assertive not aggressive. It's endlessly fascinating to me. The line between fitting in and going along, with not being a doormat. LeeAnna

  4. Thanks, LeeAnna, I think we are kindred spirits! Encouraging teens to speak up is an honorable endeavor.