Posted by: jbaner | April 24, 2014

Patience vs Passion

The other day I had a client pick up a quilt and she had a friend with her who was admiring some of the quilts I have hanging about on my walls. She made the remark so many of us quilters have heard from non-quilters: “I just don’t have the patience for that”.  I have heard that so many times over the years, that I actually started to contemplate what that means. The conclusion I came to a couple of years ago is how I responded to her….and that is this:  It takes no patience whatsoever to do something you are passionate about.

Ask any artist. Ask a musician who practices hours and hours a day….because they love it and really want to hone their craft. Or a painter who paints all day long because they get immersed into the painting process and just can’t put down the brush because of the passion they possess for painting. And whether they are passionate about the process or the results or both….it is passion, not patience that motivates them to do it.

I know for me it is passion, not patience, because although I am far more patient in my gathering years on this planet than I was when I was younger, patience would not motivate me to continue in any craft or art form. Even within the realm of quilting you might say I have little “patience” for piecing the same set of patches and blocks over and over again….but that is not correct. It is that I lack the passion for it. But I have many, many quilting friends who are master piecers and I dare to say patience has nothing to do with it….they simply are passionate about what they are doing. Just as I am passionate about machine quilting. Although I may lack the desire to piece large traditional quilts, the quilting process is something I’m completely passionate about and love doing it. I may get physically tired and have to limit my time doing it for my body’s  sake, but emotionally I could quilt for hours and hours on end…because of the passion.

And for those of you who know me well, know that drawing, painting, and creating art quilts is my passion for me personally. But I get real excited when a traditional quilt comes my way for me to “do as I desire” with it! Yeah…..that is passion.

Just so I don’t disappoint anyone for not sharing pictures, here are a couple of the latest client quilts I have completed that were a lot of fun to quilt…..part of my passion.

The first one was pieced by Nancy Larson who made this for her daughter for graduation from WSU in May. She had all the blocks printed using Spoonflower. It was beautifully pieced.

Periodic Table

Periodic Table

Detail view of key

Detail view of key


Detail view of the elements

Detail view of the elements


This second quilt is from Mary Raines who brought the friend who started the whole discussion about patience vs passion. This quilt is a memory quilt in honor of her mother. All the sails were made from clothes from her mom. I thought is was so cute and fun to quilt, too! She asked me to do waves and to incorporate hearts on the sails, so the hearts ended up being in the middle of the waves that went over the sails….again…so much fun to quilt!

Sails of Memories

Sails of Memories


Detail of Sails of Memories

Detail of Sails of Memories


I hope I have given you something to think about the next time you hear “I just don’t have patience for that”. Instead look to see if there is passion or lack of passion that is the driving force. I encourage you all to follow your passion.

til next time….happy quilting…




  1. What a wonderful way to explain the driving force of art.  One of my quilts hanging at the store has caused many to ask “how long did that take you?”  and, I can only shrug my shoulders and say, I wasn’t counting – I was excited about the design, choosing fabrics, piecing, cutting, stitching, waiting for skills to get good enough, and 3 times on the quilt frame.  covered 5 years, but most of that was ‘in waiting’ until I felt like I could quilt it the way I wanted. Thanks for a shorter way to say it. Jody

    • I think so many quilters can relate to your process, Jody!

  2. Well said!

  3. Well stated, Jo. Another comment I hear is, “that would take so much time”. But, as you explain so eloquently, it is not patience or time or even persistence but love of the doing…a passion. The Elements quilt is a treasure.

  4. Hi Jo
    great explanation. i can sit inside a loom and thread heddles all day and be just as happy as if i had good sense. Quilting on the long arm – not so much.

  5. Thanks for all the comments….I’d knew you’d get it….but then all of you are quilters…so of course you get it!!

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