I turned off the alarm ahead of the buzzer. Saturday morning, 6 a.m. I was already awake and there was no need to disturb my sleeping husband. I lingered in my warm bed, spellbound by the story coming through the earphones connected to my iPod. When I have trouble sleeping, I listen to audiobooks.
The audiobook I was enjoying was part of a series by Jennifer Chiaverini. Jennifer is a quilter for sure. Not only has she published quilt pattern books, she writes novels with complete understanding about the quilting process and insights into those who quilt. The characters in her Elm Creek series do an excellent job of showing different facets of quilting — an individual pursuit that, though beautiful in its own right, is enhanced when being part of a community.
In Round Robin (book 2 in the series), the main character, Sylvia, and her group are at odds over which quilt to hang in an entryway. Both quilts have significant meaning to the makers. The solution is to hang them both. It’s not about whether they match, coordinate, or even share a common visual theme. It goes much deeper than that. It’s about what the quilts represent — in this case, survival and friendship. If you haven’t read Jennifer’s books, I hope you’ll check them out. I’m ready for book 3 now.
I haven’t quilted for a few years. Life was difficult for a while, and my creative self shut down. But during those quiet years I saw my life through a quilter’s eyes. Somehow it helped me cope. I could see the pieces and knew where they needed to be stitched back together. This blog was a big part of doing that. It took a long time. But then so does making a quilt. And like a quilt, you never know for sure what it’s going to actually look like until it’s finished.
A few years ago I participated in an online writing activity. I wrote “Shadow and Light” based on a quote that pertains to this blog post. I hope you’ll take a moment to read my short essay.
Here’s a quilt for you, one I made that has a very big story. I’ll share it again some day. Meanwhile, God bless you!