I struggle with the Winter holidays. The time from Thanksgiving through Christmas is tough. I was talking to my sister about when all this bah humbug stuff might have begun in my life and it boiled down to when my mother died in 1978. She passed when I was 23 and I realized that for the last 40 plus years I’ve been trying to find the magic that she created for me and my siblings and failing miserably at it no matter what I did!
But this year, right before Christmas, I had one of those AH HA moments. I did a bit of meditation and journaling around the issue, trying to listen for the wisdom of my Higher Power to come through. Volunteering to work in a public place is not a favorite of mine. My happy place is time spent in my studio. I like to sew, and I have LOTS of fabric. Hmmmmm….My passion is creating art quilts but why not make a traditional quilt for someone that really needs one and can’t make their own? I could use up some of my stash, try out different designs and color schemes (all very fun stuff!) and then donate the finished quilt. That sounded like a win-win to me.
And that is how I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. I was so fulfilled and grateful to be able to work on a quilt for an unknown recipient! I felt peace within. I decided that I will make comfort quilts over the holidays going forward. What a wonderful new tradition that will add meaning to my life. And I think my Mom would be happy that I have finally found some peace around the whole issue.
This is the quilt I made. It is a pattern by Karla Alexander from her book “New Cuts for New Quilts – More Ways to Stack the Deck” called Summer’s End. Not the best photo, sorry. It’s been very dark these past few days here in the Pacific Northwest!
Here is a detail photo. Also a truer sense of the actual fabric colors, too.
But then the story takes a bit of a twist…
After completing the quilt top, I sent it off to my longarm quilter. When I picked it up, she told me that I couldn’t give the quilt away and proceeded to tell me that this quilt was far too special for me to give away. She said that message came through to her as she was quilting it. We had quite a discussion around it because I made the darn thing to give away and I was trying desperately to not get too attached to it.
She then gave me a solution to help me satisfy my wish to donate a comfort quilt. She had a friend who had passed away but had unfinished quilt tops. So, she finished some of them and was willing to donate a top of my choosing and the batting, as well as quilt it for a nominal fee. I would supply the binding and backing fabric. We talked some more…
It was a tough decision but, in the end, I decided to keep the quilt I had made. I will use it on my bed when I go to my quilt retreats and reflect on the impact it has made in my life. I will donate the other quilt that was created by a woman who loved to piece quilts, a second woman who donated her time to finish piecing that quilt (and much more), and a third woman, myself, newly awakened to the gift of giving. Quite the collaboration!
Here is a photo of the collaborative quilt that I will be donating in place of the one I made. Kind of the same colors! The flower design that was used for the quilting is super cute!
I am also donating this little quilt to the preemies. I made it over 30 years ago and I hope it finds a wonderful new home!
I hope you have a creative 2020! – Tesi Vaara