I think I moaned to mother for years and years. Then the children grew up, the bathrooms needed cleaning only once a week, then the children left. Dishes rarely pile up and sticky places don’t spring up like mushrooms overnight. The dust and dirt of housework and I have made our peace with each other, leaving lots of room around my job as am adjunct college professor (English) to happily spend time cutting and sewing and creating quilts.
But there’s this healthy strain of ADHD in my family, and I can easily flit from pile of fabric to pile of fabric. My intention was to take stock each Friday, slow down and commend myself on whatever I had accomplished in order to notice my work, to smile and be aware that I completed that which I set out to do. To reap a little harvest from the sowing (sewing, too) that I had done earlier.
So, today, here is the quilt I just finished: All Is Safely Gathered In, a quilt about sowing and harvesting. I began this three years ago, trying to work with an original block I’d drafted–simple in design but it carried a nice big punch with those new large-scale prints that we were all investigating. How to make them work? Place them right up against each other in nice big squares and shapes–let that fabric shine. When I was casting about for a name, I talked it over with my husband. How about something about harvest? he asked, and the phrase from a favorite hymn jumped right out at me. When I was that young overwhelmed mother, I could think of nothing more satisfying than walking around the house at night, the last child in bed, the open book fallen to the floor, the night-light casting its golden glow on the cheeks and hair of these children who kept me so busy during the day. I fell in love with them all over again, storing up these feelings of satisfaction every night against the onslaught of the day. And now, many many years later those children walk their houses at night, picking up the books, bending over to plant a kiss on their children’s soft cheeks.
I sowed children and stitches and tasks uncompleted and time and more time and I am now reaping grandchildren and quilts and houses that don’t get quite as dirty. While I’m not done, I feel like I have some sense of the law of the harvest. And it is immensely satisfying, I must say.
I was drawn to not only the Kaffe Fassett fabrics (rich in coloration and detail) but also those of designer Martha Negley and Phillip Jacobs (who designed that border). I loved making this quilt, but it did take me three and a half years from inception to this stage–awaiting its label on the back.
|Photo taken by Judy and stolen from her website|
I’m actually doing two labels–this one and the dotty quilt label, titled Come A- Round.
|This one's stolen from Judy's website, too.|
Here's a picture of that other quilt, unfinished. Check the quilty blog later, for a photo of the quilt, finished. Like next week.
“But few have spoken of the actual pleasure derived from giving to someone, from creating something, from finishing a task, from offering unexpected help almost invisibly and anonymously.” –Paul Wiener
--This post, in a slightly different form, was published as well on my quilty blog: occasionalpiece.wordpress.com.--