Monday, August 03, 2009

In the Sewing Rooms of Life



If there's one thing I've learned in the past week, it is how each of us must take the bits and pieces of the life we have, and stitch them all together into something better. After three days of helping family, another three working with quilt guild and my Monday quilt group, and another day attending a funeral for a quilting friend's husband..I had a pretty good long look at the meaning of not just helping others and lending support, but actually creating a sense of community under trying circumstances.

Mondays, I sew with my community quilting group and realizing that one younger member was going to try to climb on her hands and knees to our attic storage for 'a certain color of blue fabric', I changed my plans from sewing on a binding, to helping out a friend in a bind, instead ;) She abandoned her scooter and insisted on climbing, (foot braces and post surgery-wrapping clumping along) while I packed along my cellphone and 'mothered her'..... all the way up those dusty, splintery stairs to that 105º attic. She's a good 15 years younger than I am, but been through a lot physically and after I quit my internal huffing and puffing over her absolute stubbornness ;) I just plain had to admire her determination.

Two hours later, we still had not found that 'certain color of blue fabric', but we emptied and sorted dozens and dozens of messy bins and boxes of hodge-podge fabrics and cleaned out a million more pieces of donated odds and ends. And with her directing suggestions and my meager brawn, we repositioned the entire church attic storage into something 200% better than it had been. And we forged a bond between us as we did so.

Then, coming back down to the group again...hot, tired, and dirty, there we found our newly widowed friend. Just a week and a half after her beloved husband's unexpected death. Here she was, joining us to not only keep busy and get out of a suddenly empty house, but to share the love of friendship in both her church family and our group's extended community family of quilters.

And that was another lovely blessing and reminder. We take the scraps, the bit and pieces of our lives that we have been given...and we try to find and to make some kind of order out of them. Not sense, because sometimes there is none, but something else, that can be stitched together into something better, instead.

So, now home from sewing, home from cleaning and boxing and ordering, I enter my own little sewing nook and I have such a deep sense of accomplishment. Somehow, the day ended up as it was meant to be. And yes, my binding is still not finished. And yes, the sewing machine was never set up and used at group. But still, things were done, things were accomplished, others were joined in with in one fashion or another, and we all became one. Neighbors of sorts, helping neighbors. We didn't put up a barn or build a log cabin. We never gathered 'round the campfire. We never even set up a quilting frame and had a quilting bee.

But we were quilters doing, what quilters have done, throughout time. Helping the ones that need help. Learning from the ones we have something to learn from, and teaching by heart, and with hand, and by giving out deed...not only from and to others....but to ourselves, as well.

And that is the true magic of quilting. That magical stitching that comes together in the many sewing rooms of our lives.

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful post and so very, very true.

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  2. Wendy B4:17 AM

    I always feel this way too when I go to quilters' guild meetings....I look forward to them so much, even though I don't ever accomplish what I originally set out to do however, there's always helping someone pin their quilts or help with binding, discussing new techniques or accomplishments, discussing a sick husband/parent/ child/granchild, keeping a lonely friend company and just plain enjoying one another and the day for what it is...another joyous one to celebrate.
    Something we need to constantly remind ourselves of..we are so wonderfully blessed, we quilters!!!

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  3. Absolutely...beautiful...post!
    I would love to find a quilting guild where we have moved to here in KY

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  4. Amen! Beautifully written!

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  5. I came here from LeeHaven, and I understand what Karen was talking about in her latest post.
    Your words are beautiful and oh-so-true. We definitely need each other to get through the ups and downs of life. I will think about your words all day with a smile in my heart. Thank you!

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  6. Very beautiful post! I read each and every word!

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  7. Beautiful post! Such great spirit!

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  8. Who needs a therapist when you have a buddy to quilt with? Sewing/Quilting has always been a stress reliever for me. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. You have found one of the secrets of a truly happy, fullfilled life. How empty our lives would be without other people with which to share, love and care about. Sarahe4e

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  10. As always Michele, you find the beauty and celebrate it. This post is lovely and honors the sisterhood or community of quilters.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Regards,
    Anna

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  11. I really needed to read this at just this moment. :) Just a beautiful post.

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  12. Lovely thoughts Michele! Sounds like you had a very satisfying day!

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  13. Great post Michele, yes, that sewing room of life certainly live on in your post. So many of the trials and tribulations women encounted were quietly discussed and shared in the kitchens, gardens and sewing rooms of life. The generations don't get bridged in the way they use to, and we are poorer for that loss.
    Obviously it lives on in nooks and crannies across the world, and I truly believe the re-newed interest in quilt making is helping to spread the love and sharing once again. Big hugs, Finn

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.