Deborah Janes is my sherpa. I have the very good fortune to work with this talented woman and I learn from her every single day that I do. In addition to being one of the most talented quilters I know (click on the above picture) she has an endless supply of patience. Seriously. I know I sometimes ask the most basic questions of her and she manages to look thoughtful (like she has never been asked that before) and give me an answer that in no way makes me feel like an idiot.
I think I am most in awe of the latter – someone with her skills and abilities could easily take the high and haughty route but she does not. Heaven knows there are enough **QB’s on the planet. She demonstrates such a genuine love for what she does that it becomes contagious. I’ve seen people in the museum shop watch her, ask her questions, and she draws them in to whatever she is working on and always tells them, “Oh yes you CAN do this, it’s fun!” and they walk away shaking their heads in amazement….and encouraged by her infused energy.
I am inspired by Debbie for these and other reasons that go beyond what can be discussed here. She has faced major battles in her life and she meets them head on. I try to remember her example when I am asked questions (not about quilting) by tourists in my husband’s store, by people who think working at a quilt museum is (tilt your head to the side) “sooo cute!” and who generally exhibit a disregard for personal property. (I honk the hell out of my horn when I see someone throw a cigarette butt out their car window.) I think we all have knowledge and gifts that we need to share with others even if we don’t realize it ourselves. I hope before I leave this earth I have been a sherpa to someone, or a whole lot of someones.
**QB’s = Quilt Bitches. We all know a few….. make sure you aren’t one of them.