My mother was an avid, talented quilter. On the back of one of the quilts she made me is the embroidered acronym ARHM, the shorthand version of what she often said and wrote to me: “Always remember how much I love you.” Mom died almost 14 years ago, and having her quilts is like having her near.
I am a beginning quilter, with many good intentions and a few modest outcomes. I love the fabrics, the colors, the art of it all. My granddaughter, born four years after my mother died, loves sewing. She took a local quilting class recently, and was (rightly) proud of her finished quilt.
I am an avid, talented grandmother. I decided to post Z’s photo in the Facebook group Quilting Space, which has some awesomely gifted quilters from around the world. It’s a huge group, and they are often very helpful to beginners, candid in their critiques, focused in their skills. It’s not unusual for posts to get several hundred responses.
I was absolutely blown away by the response to Z’s quilting: about 2400 people “liked” it, 420 “loved” it, and 65 said “wow:” more than 2,800 people.
What generous hearts.
Beyond that, over 300 people took the time to comment, and every single one was encouraging. “Way to go, sweetie! We’ll be so pleased to see how you grow into a Master Quilter.” “Very pretty–the yellows are awesome.” “Spectacular first quilt!” “Wow, you are a great quilter. I could send you some fabric if you like.” “Hugs from Idaho.” “Keep it up, baby girl. Grandma will not steer you wrong!”
Our whole family was proud of Z, because that’s what family does. My mother would have adored her great-granddaughter, and I like to think she is guiding Z’s hands. Reading these encouraging comments from strangers who took the time to offer compliments and support to a little girl they don’t know was almost overwhelming. I am sharing this today because, for me, it was a lovely reminder of how kind people can be. Even in the comments.
Bonus: A common saying among writers is “never read the comments.” I’m all for healthy discourse. Nonetheless, we have all read our share of trolls, meanness, vulgarity, and cruelty in comments. I thought this was an interesting approach to consider: “How To Wage Peace In the Comments Section: Three Things You Should Start (and Stop) Doing.”