My grandmother lovingly pieced this together before her eyesight left her unable to do the quilting. She gave it to me to finish. I had attempted small quilting projects but nothing of this size. I started right away!
Years of watching Little House On The Prairie flooded my mind with images of simpler times, evoked by the centering task of stitching white thread along colorful edges of fabric. I felt united with my grandmother in the common goal of wrapping my oldest granddaughter in the family connectedness of this quilt someday.
I had closed my eyes that night and drifted into a contented sleep. But, my sewing was more about time travel at that point in life…imagining myself sitting by the light of an evening fire stitching memories, hopes, and dreams. The next morning I opened my eyes to a clear and present reality in stark contrast to idealistic fancies from the previous day. I folded and placed the quilt in a trunk. I was too busy piecing my life back together after the divorce and trying to develop a vision for the pattern and purpose. I thought about the quilt but felt an aversion to sitting down with it again for several months.
Quilting conjures the same traditional warm images of family and home that Christmas does. My life had fallen apart at Christmas a couple of years prior. There were too many complex emotions associated with my vocation…homemaking. How could I piece my life back together? Working on that quilt was a tangible reminder of what had come apart at the seams.
It is very painful and difficult to let go of our “right” to be injured after traumatic events. There is some morose comfort in staying hemmed in by victimization. It has taken the bulk of 5 years to release myself from that mindset and claim happiness and satisfaction here and now. What a daunting task at times!!
Finishing that quilt was quite daunting. But it was extremely cathartic. I had to distract my mind halfway through by watching the TV series 24 while sewing…something to distract me from heavy emotions.
Hmmm, maybe it wasn’t an avoidance of them. As I compose these thoughts I realize that watching…well, listening to…a tense thriller was subconsciously cathartic. Hourly the protectors of the homeland prevailed, as I completed a quintessential homemaking project.
I did finish that bright beautiful quilt and presented it as a Christmas gift to my son and daughter-in-law to pass on to Kacey when she is older. As I tied off the last bit of thread and laid it out before me to enjoy, I beheld a most precious object lesson about life and healing.
Homemaking, family, holidays and traditions are beautiful pieces of life’s fabric needing to be re stitched from time to time from the pull and tug of everyday. The tiny stitches of love that quilts it all together provide added security and strength.
One of my favorite books is “The Quiltmaker’s Gift”. All of the pieces of our lives, the dark ones and the bright ones, can be sewn together and quilted with love that becomes healing and comfort to others as we give freely and joyfully.
Peace for your holidays,