"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Counting My Blessings #2 Quilting

I am thankful for a legacy of quilting.
     I have quilts my grandmother and great-grandmother made. I have quilts my mother made and others that I made myself or friends made for me. This one is one of my favorites. I was two years collecting material for this one and I love the look of it. I gave it to a dear friend, so she would have the stars to guide her always.
       I understand that in earlier generations quilting was a practice of necessity and frugality.  Every piece of clothing that was still usable was put to use. Now, quilting is essentially an art form (although it always was an art form). It is a way of creating something both beautiful and useful.  Additionally, quilts are gifts that usually outlive the giver.  They travel, given from hand to hand, from heart to heart through generations and across boundaries. They warm, comfort and cheer those from whom we are separated by distance or circumstance.
     I admit, I am a part-time quilter. I sew when the mood or the need strikes me and not as my major form of art.  In spring and summer, I am called to be outdoors.  In winter, which you would think would be the perfect time for me to quilt, there are books upon books to be read. That being said, once I have started on a sewing project, I am driven to work on it.  Quilts affect me the same way puzzles do: they reveal themselves piece by piece. They require patience and an open, creative mind.
     One of my favorite things about piecing a quilt is the number of times the quilter's hands are brushed gently across the fabric. Over and over the patterns are smoothed and caressed as the whole picture unfolds.  If a quilt is being made for a particular person, each of these caresses is accompanied by a breathed prayer. Love in every stitch.
      My personal thing to do with the quilts I make, once they are completely finished, is to hang them outside overnight. That way they are filled with moonlight and starlight; a secret gift hidden within the obvious one.

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