Starting with gratitude this morning. I’m grateful for batiks. (If you follow me on Instagram this, and all the photos in this post, may look familiar.) These one and a half inch strips are being stitched to orange and purple solid to create 9 patches, that may be set on point, though I’m not quite set on that yet.
With the exception of making the quilt for the Yvonne Porcella exhibit, this is the first quilt I’ve made in a really long time. Not quilting has been very hard on this quilter. Not having time and energy to be creative, to do the thing I love the most while promoting quilting and encouraging others…well that part has helped. I love quilting. I love writing about quilting, I love encouraging others to quilt, so my creative energy has had something of an outlet, not quite the one that feeds the quilterly energy and focus.
Each stitch is made with intention. The feel of the fabric in my hands, the sound of the machine running, the stacking of the strips behind the needle. This is an experience that is renewing, refreshing, invigorating. Because of the lack of time to stitch over the last year or so I’ve experienced these moments of complete loss. Wanting very much to go spend some time in my studio but not having any energy to quilt, not knowing what to stitch, not having any clue how to move forward. Part of these moments of complete loss have included the whispers that perhaps I should sell off all of my quilting supplies and leave quilting as “this was once part of my life and is now not part of my life.” Yep. I’ve been there.
My sweetie has firmly said, “No, you’re not giving up quilting.” The conversation is always way more intense, involving tears, and angst, and anxiety. I’m grateful for his patience as I’ve moved through all of this stuff. Much more than a lack of time contributed to this awfulness. It involved people whom I once respected, people whom I loved, and people whom I love deeply. Several things have sustained me – teaching people how to use their machines, helping quilters choose their own fabrics, new friendships, the moon, and the light at the end of the tunnel. Even now that light is at the end of the tunnel, while I’m not sure how close I am to exiting, I know deep down in my bones that the light is there, that I’m moving towards it and this movement is good.
I’m reminded as I stitch that a little care goes a long way. Slowing down, being mindful, caring about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. When I race the machine (for me about 3/4 full speed) the strips aren’t as accurately pieced as I prefer. Right now I’m moving forward because of the great joy I’m experiencing while stitching. Sometimes the simpler things bring us back to, closer to a sense wholeness.
As I look at how this quilt is coming together, as I write these words, and get ready to write and post things for Generation Q Magazine I am reminded that the gift of quilting in my life extends far beyond my sewing studio. You are part of my quilting life. If I’m having a difficult time I’m sure some of you are as well. If I’m doing well, then some of you are as well. I’m reminded of how we, as a community sustain each other.
So, I’m off to write and stitch and be the quilter I’m intended to be!