How do you know you're a quilter? Is there an official moment a person becomes a quilter? Or is it a metaphorical status? While I believe I became a quilter in my heart before I finished my first quilt, there might be some purists who would argue you are not an "official" quilter until you have completed your first quilt, as they say, "from soup to nuts." By the way, I looked up "from soup to nuts" and it's derived from the description of a full course dinner which historically was comprised of all the courses - beginning with soup and ending with nuts!
I also suspect that some folks like to add some qualifiers, like "beginning", "novice", "intermediate" or "dabbling" in front of the word "quilter". There are other descriptive words that can be attached to quilter like "traditional", "modern", "next-gen", "art", and my favorite, "totally-completely-utterly addicted"!
Just like in most things in life, we don't always think of ourselves in a context. For example, I didn't think of myself as old until I received my first AARP advertisement. The day that postcard arrived congratulating me on my invitation to join felt a little like the moment your kid heads to college. You are happy you made it this far, but unsure of how to celebrate.
As I travel through my quilting journey, I feel fairly certain, I won't be receiving any postcards announcing my arrival at quilting milestones. Yet, many quilters can and do receive notice along the way. Some quilters enter shows and find their work judged. This process helps them grow and often results in accolades. We can also share our work with other quilters in organized groups like bees and guilds. This is another wonderful way to receive feedback and feel recognition from our community. It's an affirmation of our "quilter-status".
I personally love my quilt bee, they are wonderful, creative women who share so much with each other. I love the local guild I belong to as well. It's a place where I can view the work of many women within my community and there are often great educational opportunities folded into the monthly meetings. It's just plain fun to be part of these groups.
In spite of all the things that I do to identify myself as a quilter, it took a funny experience today to make me realize, "oh yeah, no postcard required, YOU ARE A QUILTER!" I was in the kitchen cooking dinner with the television on for background company. I heard bits and pieces of the report and heard the announcer say, "a great way to get ripped" and I immediately looked up thinking I would see a seam ripper. Instead, it was a hollywood hunk who was "ripped" in a completely different way!
So Lola, I think we can safely say, there is no doubt, I know I'm a quilter.
Hugs and stitches,