Wondering Thoughts While Quilting

Wondering Thoughts While Quilting

Posted by Ian Garland on 6th Mar 2023

I don’t know if you are like me, but when I sit down to sew, I normally put on a mindless TV show or movie to watch while working on a project. Sometimes I will put music or a podcast on. It just depends on my mood and what I want to do that day. Also, how complicated the project is plays into the choice of what I’ll watch or listen to. This allows me to focus on my project and not get distracted too much. Then I get into the grove of the project and away I go. That’s when it happens. That is when my mind starts to wonder, and I explore topics I haven’t let my mind explore while focusing on day-to-day life. Recently one of those thoughts really hit me kind of hard and thinking about it while sewing was almost therapeutic. Would my dad be proud of the person I have become and what I am doing with my life.

Sorry, I didn’t warn you. if you were looking for a lighthearted blog post today, this won’t be it. This is going to be one of those deep though blog post that I hope makes you feel something. My dad died in 2017 due to a combination of a few medical conditions, one of which being Alzheimer's disease. I should back up some and fill in some gaps. My dad wasn’t the best father. My family never went without a roof over our head or food on the table, but he worked all the time, workaholic if you will, and didn’t spend much time with the family as I grew older. We grew apart and I didn’t really involve him much with my life. Though his death wasn’t unforeseen, it was a lot sooner than anyone had predicted. He was only 63 when he passed, far sooner than he should of if you ask me.

So more than likely you are asking “If he wasn’t involved with your life a lot why are you asking if he would be proud of you?” I’m sure if I had a master’s degree or Doctorate in Psychology, I could explain why I have those thoughts. I don’t however and have to go off what I feel and what I observe though others. I think to a degree most of us at one point have wondered if our living or passed parents are proud of us. Maybe one of the factors in this moment was having the movie Tron: Legacy playing in the background as I sew. If you are not familiar with the movie it is the 2010 sequel to Tron which was released in 1982. In the movie Sam (Garrett Hedlund), the son of famous video-game developer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) ends up being transported into the same cyberworld in which his father, its creator, has been trapped for 20 years. During the movie the two catch up and the underlying tone is reconnection, redemption, and of course is the father proud of who the son has become. Maybe I should pick a lighter subject matter movie when I sew? Needless to say, the thought crept into my mind as to if my father was proud of me and what he would think of me sewing quilts.

I have to believe that he would be proud of me. I have entered a few quilt shows. Won one blue ribbon so far, have had lots of amazing compliments on my quilts across social media, and have made some great connections from my quilty explorations. I have to believe all my accomplishments thus far would have made him happy to watch my success and how far I have come from a beginner sewer to, what I would consider, a intermediate sewer. I have had some rather lofty ambitions that I have yet to reach, but I am still working towards them, and I feel he would be proud of me for reaching for the stars. In a way I follow in his footsteps. He accomplished some very great things in his lifetime. He was one of the founding members of the Texas Star Party. The 2020 QuiltCon Community Outreach Challenge that I designed and my guild executed was somewhat inspired by him. He also was what I would like to say a local Superman. He was also very well known in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. There were many times I would cross paths with people who would end up finding out who my father was and would sing his praises on how amazing he was. So, needless to say I have some huge shoes to fill, and I hope that I am doing so with the projects I make.

It’s odd, it seems like I have a deeper and more connected relationship with my dad now that he has past. Though I’ll never know exactly what his thoughts are, I can assume that I do make him proud with what I do and the joy I hope to bring to people when viewing my projects. It sure does make me proud when I get the compliments and words of kindness as people talk about my quilts. So, onward I go. Continuing to make quilts that I hope spread joy into the world.