Why Every Woman Needs a Needle
Lesson 4: A woman with a needle needs patience.

Like mother like child, they say. I think my mother invented the prayer for God to give her patience RIGHT NOW. Like her, I’ve never been a very patient person. Before I was married I was a reporter for our local daily newspaper. I think that’s when I got the writing bug. After marriage, I wrote short stories while raising my family and managed to sell a couple to national magazines. As the children grew older and I had more free time, I decided I would write the great American novel. After several years of trying to wrap my mind around such a large project (I thought I could just sit at the typewriter and bang out a novel from beginning to end with no effort at all), I finally decided that I just didn’t have the patience for that sort of thing. What I really think the problem was, is that I didn't understand the process. As the saying goes, age gives you wisdom. It was when I started quilting in my later years that I realized how much writing a novel is like making a quilt. Quilts (like novels) are made up of one block (chapter) at a time. Sometimes you throw in a little sashing (secondary plot line), and maybe a color that makes your quilt really pop (could be a secondary quirky character), and then you wrap it all up with the border (the ending). Quilting has given me the understanding and the patience to do that. Now, in this chapter of my life I’ve decided I’d rather be quilting than sitting at the computer typing that great American novel. However, the facts don’t change. Quilting, like life, is made up of one block at a time. Make your life beautiful by adding thought, color, and a little quirkiness, so that in the end it will be wrapped in something beautiful, something you are proud of so you can say it was a beautiful trip.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. - Marcel Proust, French novelist
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