Quilting.. a matter of the Heart
by, 11-09-2011 at 04:32 PM (804 Views)
I was asked a few days ago to think about writing a short writing about what quilting means to me, or what it has taught me, or how it has encourged me in the few years I have taught myself how to quilt.
I had been asked earlier this year as well, by Ricky Tims to write a piece that he might use for his , and Alex Anderson's The Quilt Life Magazine, but because that would entail more than I could do at that time, we had to not do that. I was greatly saddened to say no to Ricky, because Ollie would have been the " star" in that article.. But because of the concern that was brought to me by his daddy/ mommy, it wasn't a good time for Ricky to write his part of the article.
Now, being asked by someone completely new to me, who is starting a new online quilting " magazine" online, I can write this request, because I don't have to use Ollie's name, for what I felt led to share. So this morning, I sat down and thought of what I could possibly write that would detail what quilting means to me.. I would love to share it here with ya'll, even though I am not a writer at heart. So forget about the grammatical errors , or the spelling errors - I am so not an editor..
This is taken from my facebook page where I also posted it as a note.. I am excited to hear from the sweet woman who I had been in contact with , about reading the other quilters , and their thoughts on the same question as I was asked to write about.
This is taken from my facebook page ..
I was asked recently to write my thoughts on what quilting means to me, and how it has encouraged, or taught me things in my own life.As I thought of what I could possibly share this morning for this endeavor, all I can think of is how the past often times determines our future in the experiences we have to face.. Whether they are painful experiences, or times spent overjoyed with laughter, experiences often determine who we are as a person, and what we do with the good,and the bad of what we have been dealt in life..
The following is what I ended up sharing with the woman who encouraged me the other day to write what my heart felt in how quilting has touched me personally. As she is compiling various quilters thoughts on what quilting means, it just seemed to jump out at me this morning after finding such encouragement in yet another quilting story (in a drive by ) that a fellow quilting artist, Ricky Tims, shared on his website this morning . That drive by experience of three woman in a little off the beaten path in Texas, touched me like no other drive by experience Ricky had shared on his website.. And from that group of ladies standing along a busy country road, came my blessing of the day as it reminds me that EVERYONE, young , or old, wounded by lifes abuses of any kind, all deserve to know unconditonal love in a handmade quilt.
I hope you find inspiration in your own journey of life to reach out, and create a work of art, in any form, that will bless those that need unconditional love,too.
Thinking about the various quilts I have made as donations to a pregnancy center in my small town, or the various other quilts I have made for friends, or even in a tribute / memory quilt for a friend whose relative was tragically killed, I think of the blessings that I have received in finishing that last stitch of binding from each one. That binding signifying the end of a project that , not only was to bless others, but as a teaching project for me, about me in almost every quilt top I create...
I think how a project came to be inspired, and for what reason - like pregnancy center quilts, and how my heart understands the need of all babies to have a quilt that is shared with them to show them how their tiny lives, mean something to someone.
Or ... thinking about how a baby is born with multiple disablitities , that might not ever allow them to see, or understand the significance of a homemade quilt they have been given.
As I have walked a life that has included many difficult scenarios, in a life without a handmade quilt of my own, my heart began to leap with the possibilities of my creating quilts to bless others. Thinking, it would be a simple gift to offer, yet, in the process each quilt top I set out to make has taken my life experiences , and led me to a place of healing, and encouragement as I have learned to let go of the past, and embrace the future, much like a new quilt represents..
Each new stitch, each new piece of old fabric, or strips , or odd shaped cotton , all go into a project that makes new memories, and a renewed spirit of hope for the ones who receive one of my quilts.
Sometimes a life is wrought with challenges when a family member is born without vision. But their presence in the family has such an impact that they will know there is much strength that their loved one will have in life. Because he is accepted for who he is, and not what he can do, or can't do.
Just as quilting teaches about history, and endurance in the olden days as pioneers set out on their journey, my quilting today teaches me about unconditional love in the face of struggle.
I have learned about love from someone born without sight who doesn't know about straight seams, or uneven blocks that make up a row. He won't know tears that have fallen on quilts I have made him, or that have been donated to parents whose child has died, or been adopted out.
Tears , that come from experiencing hope in being able to see with my heart, that every living being deserves a handmade quilt, no matter if they see it visually, or not. The little baby that I just shared about can't see, but he can feel. He can't sit up, and wrap himself in the quilts that he has received- but he can experience life , as others share with him their " eye view" on what loving him really means..
This is what quilting is to me - a spirit of unconditional love, and gifting to those that need that " special covering" in a world that tries to blanket out the positive, with negativity, instead of embracing it with the challenges, and strength that's derived from that special giving type of Love ..