I Am a Quilt Designer

Early Thursday Jim and I headed for Oklahoma to see our son. In May we moved him to Vance Air Force Base, where Son is now immersed in pilot training. This week, assuming all goes well, he begins to fly the T-6 trainer planes, one of three types of trainers they have at Vance. And next September he’ll graduate from “UPT,” undergraduate pilot training, and head to another base for extended training.

I don’t usually talk much about personal or family matters here, but keep it on the topic of quilting. The blog Jim and I run called “Our View from Iowa” has a broad range of material, including a few essays that are very personal.

But I wanted to mention our trip for a couple of reasons. First, while gone for four days, I made no physical progress on either quilts or blog posts, though I spent a lot of time thinking about both. Second, at a moment while gone, I experienced a big shift in how I see myself.

I stopped in a quilt shop in Stillwater for a few minutes. It isn’t a big shop, but there was an interesting selection of fabrics, different than many things near my home in Iowa. My choices for purchase included two brights and one more muted.

Often shop employees ask, “What are you working on?” Well, right now I’m working on medallion quilts, samples for the Medallion Sew-Along. In truth, however, my focus is on designs rather than quilts. Process, not product…

And the answer I framed began like this: I am a quilt designer

The thought shook me a little. I have always designed my own quilts, from the very first one I made. But never before did I call myself a quilt designer. Never before have I named myself with that title. Yet, it fits.

I am a quilt designer.

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16 thoughts on “I Am a Quilt Designer

  1. shoreacres

    Isn’t it fun when our self-definitions catch up with the realities of our lives?

    And here’s something that really tickles me. My cousin’s son is a Navy pilot. He was stationed at Kingsville, TX for a time during his training. In fact, we spent one Thanksgiving with he and his friends and got some up close and personal looks at those trainers.

    Now, he’s back at Kingsville with several promotions and a new role as instructor. (Much better than flying over Iraq and such, the family thinks.) Wouldn’t it be something if your son landed there and part of my family was involved with part of yours? In any event – best of luck to him!

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    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      We are connected. 🙂

      Actually Son will go from Vance to an Air Force base, while the one at Kingsville is Navy. But YES, better an instructor stateside than over Iraq.

      At this point Son’s preference is to fly transport, rather than fighter. He’ll find out his track assignment in March, and then transition to the trainer suited to that track.

      Thanks for your good wishes.

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  2. Jim in IA

    I get to see both quilt designer and maker from my vantage point. I think you are right to ID yourself as a designer AND maker. I’m glad you found the more complete description of yourself. Both fit.

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  3. pamelajeannestudio

    Good for you! I started calling myself an artist and a designer not too long ago. Most of it is wishful thinking, but it is the direction I want to go. I think it’s all right to give ourselves those titles if it really describes what we do. We don’t have to wait until we make a lot of money or get famous.

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