On Sunday, I spent a few hours working on “my” quilt – one I’m actually making for me! It is very colorful and bright and fun! I’ve only worked on it for two years and only at my weekend quilt retreat! I’ve totally been neglecting the poor thing!
It is beautiful though. I’m so glad it is coming together. I have so many fabrics and do just LOVE getting lost in a quilting store.
What is it with this fascination with fabric? I haven’t always been a quilter. In fact, I’ve only been a quilter for about seven years.
I thought about this while I sewed. (Another reason to love quilting: time to think!)
I thought about how fabric is like our lives. The possibilities are endless! Just like our lives – the only thing limiting what we or the quilt can become is our imagination; what we picture for ourselves. Each of us, like a piece of fabric, has the potential to become something beautiful!
And quilting takes time – so much time. The more complicated, the longer it takes. Just like us as we become who we are meant to be. There are no quick fixes as there are no quick quilts! Patience, patience, patience.
But oh, the wait is sooooo worth it! Just like a beautiful quilt, a truly beautiful person emerges and we are amazed at her complexity, amazed at the work that was required to create it, awestruck by the way the colors and shapes come together to make something completely different. That is just like us! We are bits and pieces laid out before us. We work to gather them up and put them all together and only then, are we what we were meant to be.
Yes, mistakes are made in a quilt. Fabrics can be put together to form terrible things like swastikas and skulls and cross-bones. They are waved in defiance or hurtful messages towards others. Not all fabric becomes something good. That is just like life too.
But….it doesn’t have to stay that way. Choices can be made to change life’s direction. As with fabric, it can be pulled apart and started again. Patches and holes can be repaired or pieces used in another creation. Every day in life gives us a chance to start over, just like fixing a quilt. Besides, just like life, quilts are not perfect. No quilt should ever be perfect. It’s imperfection makes it unique and beautiful.
Another thing that I thought of was how fabric is made up of threads interwoven with each other. Just like us – as the old saying goes “no man is an island”. Fabric isn’t fabric until all those threads are put together. Until then, it’s just thread.
Those threads are a million different colors, different thickness, different strengths. When those threads become a piece of fabric, they become something beautiful. In life, it takes all kinds of people to make something great. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, or nationality we are. Each of us is unique and when we put all that uniqueness together, it truly becomes something absolutely incredible!
Our relationships with each other can go wrong – they can tear us apart. Just like fabric. But, with hard work and inspiration and imagination, just like fabric, our relationships with each other can be put back together. Or they can be put in a different quilt to make something even better! You just have to be open to the possibilities!
Fabric warms us when we’re cold – like going home after being away so long .
Fabric comforts us when we are lonely, like a call to an old friend when we need a shoulder to cry on.
Fabric protects us at birth, just like our family and friends come immediately to our rescue when we need help.
And…Fabric shrouds us in death and carries us to the other side, always protecting, always there.
As I worked on this quilt, I realized also that my quilts will be here long after I am gone. They will be my footprints on this earth that will always have a piece of me in them. Life doesn’t end after we are gone. We make our marks on the world in some way or another. Like the fabric, we will leave part of us behind in our children, in our friends, in our world and how we treat it. One way or another we will live on.
So, my message to you:
What holes need mending? What seam needs repaired? What colors will your fabric use? What shape will your quilt take?