Alexa, delete 2020.
The Internet and conversations regarding 2020 all point to our frustrations toward this banner year of destruction and devastation. How much more can we take? We have seen a pandemic, riots, protests, racism, tornadoes, hurricanes, killer hornets, devastating fires, scorching temperatures, business shutdowns and closures, employee layoffs and furloughs, and so on.
2020, what the heck? What is going on and what does this all have to do with the quilting industry? I think that the lesson I have learned from all this is two-fold. First, I think that 2020 has led us toward appreciating our time more and finding ways to spend our time in meaningful ways. By and large, the fabric industry has not been dealt the blow that other industries have. Quilters, sewers, crafters, and fabric artists in general know the therapeutic value of our arts. Moreover, it is a way to help people. Gifts of quilts have always been a tradition for house-warming gifts, expressions of love for the sick and dying, celebrations for happy occasions, and send offs for college students and others leaving home for the first time. Quilts spread love and warmth and we need that in 2020 more than ever. In addition, we have spent countless hours of selfless love in making thousands of masks to help keep people safe and well. The expression, “we sew a little love in all we do,” has certainly been proven over and over again this year.
Second, I think that 2020 is showing us how to appreciate what we have and to use to the fullest extent what we do have. So many things have suddenly become unavailable or limited and we have had to rely on what we do have—most importantly, time. We now have the time to do our crafts. We aren’t split nine ways to Sunday. We have been able to slow down and get all those projects done that have been piling up over the years. Our UFOs have been getting much needed attention and have been promoted to FOs (finished objects!). Our lives have slowed, and we are not used to that. It seems as though time is moving at a snail’s pace because, we too, are moving at a much slower pace. We are being forced to use resources we have and rely on ourselves for entertainment. Quilters are lucky in this area because there is never an end to what we can do and make. We have seen an increase in class participation because people have time to learn more and experiment with our machines and new products.
Although 2020 has been challenging, it has had shining moments and often without the disasters, those shining moments get overlooked. Unfortunately, we need the good with the bad. We need the bad to appreciate the good. We need the good to get through the bad. In our industry, the good has been the generosity of the thousands of seamstresses churning out masks, the reliance on our community at the Nest, and the time we have had to focus on our crafts. It is these things that have and will continue to help us get through 2020.