Friday, June 8, 2012
Quilt of Valor #3 Decisions! Decisions!
Except for one blue strip of the weave, everything has been placed on my design wall. This is called a scrappy quilt because the materials have come from my own personal "stash" of materials. Yes, we quilters have our private stash. Sounds clandestine, doesn't it? There have been a lot of jokes about how we hide our stashes and keep trying to find places to put it all. My stash is really quite modest and I have pretty slim picken's finding the right colors and hues to create some order in the pattern, even though it really doesn't have to be, being scrappy and all. I'm not the best colorist when it comes to this part of the quilt making. When you get me together with my 2 quilty friends from 100 miles away, we become a dynamo team, selecting, scrunching, displaying, viewing all kind of color schemes. It's such a joy to find that strength with my buddies. But going this one alone really boggles me. Because I am limited to what I have, (yes, I could go to the quilt shop and purchase many more fat quarters to make the color scheme "pop") but I really wanted this to be from me, my stash and my heart. Some of the materials carry precious memories of past works or favorite shop hops, and one is even a fabric gift from my sister when she was in Australia and wanted to send me something for my quilting. She sent me a huge bandana! Do you see that one? I like the idea of selecting all these mixed up pieces to create one new piece. Kind of fits what I was saying on my last post.
As I am struggling to decide on the just right placement of the rows, I think about all the decisions we all have to make in our lives. As with most families, we are at the crossroads of many decisions, individually and as a family unit. My adult children struggle daily with the pressures of work and home that keep them from finding moments of joy. My husband is trying to decide how best to help his aging parents when is he too many miles away from them. I keep waffling in my decisions to find a happy medium between stepping in to "help" them all or standing back in love. Then my mind goes to you. What decision you must be having to make. What struggles are you confronting?
After staring at the wall all this time, I need to take a break as the colors are becoming a blur. I choose to do a mindless task of making the "flying geese" blocks that are the ribbon points of each row. These are simple and no major thinking has to take place to get them done. Just 3 blocks, diagonal lines and little ironing and cutting and Viola! flying geese and my brain can relax for a while. A whole new lesson in this too: when the task gets to be too much and everything is rushing in, around, and by us, we need to stand down, walk away, and re-group our senses.
So now, is there a better way to arrange these rows? I know in any art, the eye needs a resting place. Eyes follow to the light. I have a lot a patterns in here that are keeping the eye busy. Then I go the the real purpose of this quilt. It's not supposed to be hung on a wall for the discerning art critics. This unknown soldier is supposed to take it to his/her bed or couch and snuggle under it and find some warmth, calmness, and love amid all these reds, whites, and blues. It should surround him with the untold stories of someone who is grateful for his service even if he doesn't know her, while he can hopefully and in the spirit of healing, reflect on his past, and rebuild whatever the future may hold. I know that the hardest struggle is in getting to the decision itself, because once it's made there is a clear path, and there's no looking back. No time for "woulda, shoulda, coulda. Just keep on moving!