What was I going to say?

posted in: Awards, Windblown | 8

Someone asked me what I was going to say at the IQA Luncheon last Wednesday, if I didn’t have a melt down like I did. Yes, I really did have something in mind, but I accidentally left my brain behind when I walked to the podium. Plus, my eyes have a habit of leaking when I’m feeling stress. I guess all that pressure just squeezes the water right out of my body. (Which, in that case, it’s a good thing it’s coming out of my eyes and not somewhere else!) Anyway, looking out at all those people, I suddenly felt a huge amount of stress. Leaky eyes and no brain is the reason my “speech” turned out the way it did. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

Yes, I really did have something I wanted to say. I would have preferred to say it from behind the audience where they couldn’t see me, but I guess this works almost as well.

Somehow, I did manage to thank my sweet hubby for all his support. Oh, and I thanked him for doing the laundry. Yes, I did. And yes, I really am thankful for that! Actually, he does so much more than just laundry. He is my biggest cheerleader. He is continually encouraging me and building me up. He is my chauffeur and pack mule. And taking care of me is his second job! He is a full-time pastor besides. He recently told me he wanted me to be the best loved wife, and I truly feel I am. There is no question in my mind that I would not be doing what I am if it weren’t for him. I’m pretty sure I remembered to say that. He helps me step outside my comfort zone. Okay, sometimes he has to push me outside of it. I could go on and on about all his good points, but that would just make his head big 🙂

I also wanted to say how thankful I am that I broke my arm in June of 2008. I sometimes wonder if God purposely tripped me. You see, it is because I broke my arm that I finally quit my full time job. It’s a long story, but to make it short, I was clinging to the security of that reliable paycheck, but the whole time I really wanted to be an artist. I squeezed the art stuff in all the spare bits of time I had, but it wasn’t enough. God was abundantly gracious, and despite my fears, He pushed me outside of my comfort zone so I had to trust Him completely. And, He has never disappointed me.

Here’s what my arm looks like today. The surgeon repaired my mangled bones with two plates and twenty or so screws. Then he closed the seams and carefully quilted 1/4″ away on both sides. See those two red arrows pointing to the scars? They are my constant reminder of how much God loves me.

Of course, I wanted to thank the International Quilt Association, along with its founders Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant. It’s amazing how much they’ve done for quilters worldwide. Opportunities abound because of them. I began entering the International Quilt Festival in 1999. “First December in Ohio” was the very first quilt I ever entered. Since that time I’ve had 14 quilts accepted. Each year, I have to step outside my comfort zone, take a deep breath, and mail in my entry. I won my first ribbon with “Redeeming Fragments” in 2006. I’ve had two other quilts win ribbons, but I’ve never won one of the big awards. I’m still in awe. I look at the little ribbon I wore on my name badge every once in a while to make sure it really happened.

I also wanted to thank Fairfield Processing Corporation who sponsored my award. I’m happy that I did have the opportunity to thank their representative personally after the luncheon. She was very sweet and took my picture.

I probably wouldn’t have said this at the luncheon, but since I’m on the subject, Pokey Bolton is also pushy — in a good way, of course! Another push ouside that comfort zone of mine. It is because of her that I teach at quilt guilds. She called me in 2009 and asked me to film a DVD workshop. I was dumbfounded and had no idea what I could possibly teach. She gently suggested that maybe I could teach about portrait quilts, which led to my “Making Faces” DVD.

Really, if I had a brain and my eyes didn’t leak, I was going to say all this good stuff. For many people, however, the tears seem to have said it better. I’m content with that.

8 Responses

  1. Beth Schillig

    Beautiful story! I loved reading it here. And if you had said it all in Houston I would never have known the parts of your story that you revealed here! Thanks for putting it in writing…….. it is inspiring and I’m so glad to know you.

    Beth Schillig

  2. Vicki

    What a wonderful post! I’m so inspired by your work and I’m sure I’m not alone:)

  3. Lisa Quintana

    Maria, I know that this was really hard for you, but we’re all so glad you were up there to receive your award and speak at the luncheon. Your hubby is a gem. Congrats and I hope life settles down just a little bit for you!


  4. Laura Krasinski

    Maria..I have always been a huge fan of you and your work..it is nice to hear that your husband is such a huge support..mine is learning to be. God has a plan for all of us and he clearly had this plan for you..He is so so Good!!! You are a great inspiration to us all!!! Hugs!!!

    • Maria

      Thanks, Laura! My sweet hubby isn’t perfect (and neither am I), but after 30 years he’s my favorite person to be with 🙂

  5. Sharon Driver

    Oh Maria – what a touching post. You & your DH have an enviable relationship – what a wonderful example of what marriages should be…. Who says we cannot have it all…..! Cannot wait to see your next work of art….