Parenting is full of judgment calls. When I was a newbie mom, I only had one rule. “No rules, just right” was my mantra. I am not kidding. Over the years though I have realized that sometimes rules can be a good thing (duh!). But I’ve never had any rules about creativity. The kids have an art center in the house and can paint, draw, stamp, cut, glue, make projects from recycled materials, whatever really, to their heart’s content. Sure, they’ve all cut their hair in not the most flattering styles and accidentally burned themselves with the glue gun, and last week Veronica cut my Pantone challenge pattern into a million tiny specks of paper as I was shoveling snow outside, but for the most part, I think the freedom and access has been worth it.
Just yesterday Esther, Veronica, and I made this pillow together while Bea was at school.
I helped, of course. But Esther sewed the hem on the envelope closure flaps and around the pillow perimeter all by herself. It was a major milestone in her sewing journey. When she turned the pillow right side out and saw what she’d made, her smile was pure joy. I think her dad was even a little impressed!
Then tonight Bea surprised me by asking if she could make a quilt. Especially since we’re losing an hour of sleep tonight I wasn’t really thrilled to get another project going at 7pm, but no rules, remember? Then she told me she didn’t want any help on this quilt—she was going to make it all by herself. I was a little nervous, but I shouldn’t have been.
The only thing I did was trim up the block she made to 12.5 inches and cut the batting and backing for her (I still don’t let her use the rotary cutter). She made the faux binding herself. She couldn’t remember how to do it at first, but then she took a shower and when she came out she had miraculously remembered and went back downstairs and finished it up all by herself. She took it off the machine and said, “See, no instructions needed.”
Today I went to DC to see Laura Gunn do a presentation about color. One thing she said that resonated with me is that everyone has the gift of creativity, but you need to practice, practice, practice to get good at whatever you do. Hopefully these kids will grow up to be great quilters!
Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!