Jan 5, 2015

Quilting Our Lives

Like many people, I've been thinking about new goals, resolutions, how to make myself a better person. As I was considering this, and image came into my mind over and over - that of my mom making quilts.


If you have never made quilts before, you might not know the process involved. Of course, there is *generally* starting with a pattern, a plan of what the quilt will look like. But that is a ridiculously small part of the process. Fabric has to be selected and matched in a way that looks good individually as well as combined with other colors and patterns.


Then the work begins. Cutting precise shapes that will be sewn to make other shapes, which will be put into blocks, which will be sewn to make a bigger shape. And as if that wasn't enough, a back needs to be constructed, and the whole thing needs to be either tied or quilted and then bound together.


Often times, when we are on the path of self improvement, we think picking out a pattern is the key. It is, to a point, but that is only the big picture. If we only think about the big picture, we could quickly get ourselves off track. If we pick and choose aspects of our life on a daily basis because they looked good at the time, and without consideration with how they have to look with everything else, our quilt of life may end up looking like something that belongs on a clown instead of a beautiful fabric piece of art.


While planning a more complete version of who we'd like to be, it is important that consideration be given to both the big and the small. Discussion with any quilter will quickly lead to the small changes that had to be made from the original plan. These small changes are not an indicator of failure, but rather decisions that need to be made along the way. Taking steps back and re-evaluating the master plan, and the pieces available often leads us to creating something better. The little decisions and the minuscule pieces of ourselves that are essential because they connect to something else, they are the details that contribute to the bigger picture.

8 comments :

JeffO said...

Those are beautiful quilts, Tasha. My mother crocheted; we have an afghan she made on our bed that is just gorgeous. And an apt analogy (or is it metaphor?) between quilting and life. I hope you have a great 2015.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great analogy. Looking only at the big picture often overwhelms us. We need to focus on the little things and make it a process.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I like those quilts; I wish I knew how to make one! Have you ever heard of the book How to Make An American Quilt (it was made into a movie in the 90s). In this book the women turned quilting into a form of self-expression and art.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What a great comparison. My grandmother made quilts, one for each of us. They're too lovely to use.

Jessie Humphries said...

Well, this is beautiful! What a lovely thought. Now I just want to go wrap myself in some soft, encompassing quilt! :)

prerna pickett said...

I suck at sewing and all those things, but these are so amazing! Takes a lot of talent!

S.P. Bowers said...

Love this post. I love quilting and used to do a lot of it.

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, I am impressed by anyone who can sew a straight line, much less make corners line up. I think you're so right about the analogy of quilting pieces and our lives. I'm going to try to make the right things line up this year.