Almost always when people get sight of my hand projects, they want to know who will receive it. Since so much work goes into them, my answer is some version of "I don't know" or "I can't give this away". This is true of the quilt above, which I refer to as "the yellow quilt". This quilt was and is giving me trouble or should I say "lessons".
I've remade one block twice and still I couldn't get it right (notice the block way off to the left --Not only is it not quite in the picture, it has been booted out of the quilt). I've also struggled with the blocks lining up. The top row -- applique work -- measures fine. Three 12 inch finished blocks...perfect!. But the others range anywhere from 12 1/2 inches to 13 1/2 inches! Not so perfect!
I finally took out the Dutchman's Puzzle (first block, left, middle row) since it was the largest offender and have sworn to never, ever create another Sampler Quilt. So as you can see, there is a lot of work in creating a quilt! No wonder I often feel that I will keep them. (just in case you don't know, I hand piece and hand quilt. No brag, just want you to know... there is a LOT of WORK in creating a quilt!) But I digress...I started by talking about not knowing who might receive the finished quilt.
Recently I was discussing with my BFF what colors she would like me to use in a quilt I'd make for her. As we were considering her color preferences (greens) she mused aloud, "maybe I should add a little red in my life". "I'm the red in your life!" I quipped. But when I returned home and began working on this, it became ever so clear to me that this was to be her quilt and that the quilt's name should be "A Little Red in My Life"!
MANIFESTO: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front - Wendell Berry
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay.
Want more of everything made.
Be afraid to know you neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery any more.
Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something they will call you.
When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something that won't compute.
Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace the flag.
Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot understand.
for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion--put your ear close,
and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world.
Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap for power,
please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap.
Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and politicos can predict the motions
of your mind, lose it.
Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go.
Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Yesterday, my SNL, suggested we go to a public art installation that he saw featured in the Washington Post. A couple from the area put up large chalk boards, left some chalk and encouraged passers-by to write. It seemed an interesting thing to do on a day that was warm and sunny.
All the way down I tried to think of what to write. Yet when I arrived, all I could do was read. Some of the offerings were outlandish and grand; but others were so sad and compelling that I wished I could hug the writers. "I want to go home". "I want to become a lawyer and pay my family's debt". "I wish my father would accept my sexuality and be proud of me". My own concerns--of the day at least--seemed small in comparison.
Just as my heart was breaking, I heard Repeat and Shortie yelling "Come see what I wrote". And there in the painstaking writing efforts of a six and four year old was "I want to visit another galaxy" and "I want to go to the Aquarium". Children. Wonderfully sweet,clearly loved children.
May we all get to do those things we most want and need to do long, long before we die...
and may we all come to believe that our lives matter ... because the way I see it ...they do.
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings
On Sundays I read the church's Order of Service and the bulletin insert with a fine tooth comb. This is a habit I've had for years--first at my home church of many years and a habit I continue, as I visit churches now. Both the Order of Service and the bulletin insert give a good basic idea of what a particular church community believes to be true and what they believe to be important, to not only know about, but to do...but I digress.
In the bulletin I read about a quilting group that was met on Wednesday mornings and decided I would go. So today I got up and prepared to attend ...packing something to work on, something to show and something to ask. My feet began to get a little heavy as the time to leave approached. I mean, it isn't so easy walking into any group of people period, but certainly not one that has been together and bonding for awhile. But I pushed myself and got there.
It was WONDERFUL!!
The two women present when I arrived were so excited that I came, that they began talking so fast and asking so many questions that I didn't know when to talk, answer or listen. One woman said that in all the years they've been posting in the church's bulletin no one has ever come because of reading it! (they just use the space and most are not members of the church). They told me much about the group in very few minutes and spoke highly of the church. They are grateful that the church doesn't charge them to use the space and they make a donation to the church every year--at some event that I can't remember since they told me so much so fast.
I am wiser this Wednesday because I learned: that I didn't need to cut the quilt binding on the bias unless the quilt edge was curved; that I could repair my great aunt's quilt myself (and they were willing to show me how!); that I applique very well; that I make great points; that I have a good sense of color; that my friend in Florida is a "taskmaster," but is teaching me well. I learned more, but I don't want to bore you...just let you know how excited I am and give you a sense of how amazing the experience was!
I am so glad I went. I learned so much and was so encouraged and so welcomed. Out of all the things I've ever been glad I did, this ranks very high up there.