Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One Log..at a Time

Life is a lot of work. Thinking right now about what it is that keeps me plugging along in life, when I want to sometimes just throw my hands in the air, and say" Enough's , enough!

But, I've come to a conclusion... It is as new, as it is old. It is as strong, as it is weak. And, it is as it was, last week, month, year - and that is Life is a heck of a lot of hard work!

Today, working with some scraps of fabric, in every color, shape, width or pattern, I began seeing how these very scraps in my scrap pile, are being utilized for a common goal - a King Sized Log Cabin Quilt. Seeing them all of a sudden be sewn to the next log, and the next, it makes my heart sad thinkiing that never again will I have them to look on, once I send off the quilt to the ones whom I am gifting it to.

But because of the desire to see them become beautiful in the setting in which I am using them , I began (a little reluctantly to be honest), to pull each one out into the open where I knew they would end up under my sewing machine needle , in which to add to the final product. for my friends once it is finally completed.

But you know what? Just as it is difficult to think of using all my fabric scraps, where I know there will not be more, I began thinking about something else - and that is, " Life is hard work" as a quilter. Having to decide what fabrics would suit the color scheme of any given pattern, or design, to thinking how much yardage would be needed to complete that pattern.. Some patterns being so intriquite, while others, like the ones I favor, are scrappy in nature, where rhyme nor reason, is not important to the completed quilt.

But, like life, the very key to enjoying the process of creating, is to know that each part of myself, as a quilter, is exactly where I want to be at any given time..

Every part of my thinking, or my attitude, or even my " vision" if you will, is important in the personal satisfaction that what my hands are doing with each piece of cut cloth, will be what my heart set out to accomplish when the project began.

Life is like a " box of chocolates ", as Tom Hank's character once said in the movie, Forrest Gump". "You never know what your'e going to get".. and for those of us who enjoy doing quilting projects that are scrappy in nature, or those projects called Mystery Quilts, that is exactly what this saying represents - the not knowing what the end result will be.

From the first single piece of fabric, to the last , a mystery begins to develop as you sew one piece to another, to another , all the while, never knowing where each fabric piece has been, or where is might end up. You never know the colors next to each other, until they are sewn. You might never know if points will be pointed, or seams alligned the same direction in a difficult pattern - yet as a quilter, we trust our instincts in doing what we think we are capable of doing .

Today, working with these scraps, pulling out the various lights, and darks to complete each " log" , it is becoming clear that the life of this quilt top is definitely something that will move the ones who will recieve it eventually.

It will move them in directions of wondering where , and why this project was even made for them, ( although they know it is coming, they just dont know the changes to it yet ). And hopefully they will see the heart of the quilter who made it , and the joy she's had in doing that so far.

My hope is that as they open up the box it will arrive in, they can see that each log, has been sewn with careful attention to being ' sewn' securely next to the next log. That with each piece added, a new memory was also added as I think about where that piece of fabric had been before I pulled it randomly from my scrap basket. Wondering just where each strip came from, and the places where it had traveled from origionally, and whether or not the origional owner of the scraps , had small blessings of encouragement added to their lives when they might have recieved them, as I have done.

You see, with a spirit of determination, for my friends, I continue adding log by log, to make a converging of memories.. Pressing on to complete this is becoming both tedius, yet so fulfilling because I know the end result will bless their lives, as it is mine in the making of it.
With each log added, it will become become, I hope, something to treasure for my friends. Something, that they will see as unique, just because of the various times, dates, and places where each piece of scrap origionated from. It will be, with the few changes I am making, a surprise. Just like our lives are sometimes surprised by blessings given to us from people that we might not know personally.

Life is like that.. its a surpise. Its an experience that in any given day, challenges come up, where decisions need to be made. Challenges come where choices are rejected, much like some of my fabric scraps are in this quilt project. But, like life, some challlenges, and experiences work out better than ever dreamed possible, because at the right time, and the right place, convergence happens.. ( remember that word from my last note? ) .. To come together, to make a final product, just as this pile is doing today -

So all that to say, each of this quilt top, scraps uniquely their own, will turn into something of a lasting memory for my friends. My blessing will be poured out, measured out, emptied out , as each scrap makes it way into the individual blocks that make up the " whole"

.. and for that, I am so excited to finally finish it when the time comes.. but , even though coming together is slow, I remind myself that Rome wasn't built in one day, nor was my patience as I have had to rip out scraps because I sewed them in the wrong light/ dark placement.. aww, such is the hard life of a weary quilter this afternoon.

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