I have three quilts in my life that mean something to me. One was made by my mom’s grandmother, whom I never met.
One was made by my dad’s
mom, whom I only have one memory of because I was so young when she died.
The third was made by my husband’s grandmother, who was the only grandmother I had as an adult, and who has since passed away.
The first two I treasure because my parents treasured the people that made them. I’m honored that I was chosen to be the guardian of these family heirlooms. I love telling my kids and grand kids who labored over these stitches and that they are a part of this family. I had a breakfast picnic with pink waffles on quilt number one with g/baby #6 on Saturday, and reminded her dad that his great great grandmother made the quilt we sat on. The third quilt I treasure because Granny made it just for me. She asked what colors I wanted her to use, and what pattern I wanted her to make. All the quilts were made with skill and love, but my quilt was made with me in mind specifically.
I made a quilt once. A crib size quilt for g’baby #1. I labored over the decision of what fabrics and colors went together. I didn’t just ask people for scraps of whatever they had, and throw them together randomly. I chose a pattern after hours of looking. Then changed my mind many times, which caused me to rethink my fabrics and the way they interacted.
We are all pieced together, aren’t we? Made with scraps of material we have gotten from every person that has influenced us in some way. People we have met, people we have admired, people we have only read about or writings of, people we have loved, people that have invested in us, those that have hurt us….we are all quilts, held together with stitches.
We gathered large pieces of material from some, small pieces from others, sometimes wishing we could have more of a particular favorite fabric that is no longer available. We took from some people a lot of material and didn’t like it so we threw most of it away, maybe a stubborn scrap stayed in our quilt that we can’t quite bring ourselves to throw out. The pieces are unique, oddly shaped, mismatched. The stitches probably aren’t all even. Some long, some short, some loose.
You have choices. Just because someone gave you material doesn’t mean you have to keep it. You can choose the pattern. You can choose the pieces that fit the pattern you are wanting to create. You can customize your quilt. You can choose to only accept fabric from those that understand the pattern. If bitterness isn’t in your pattern, you can let go of it. If fear and insecurity aren’t fabrics you want to incorporate, you can choose something else. If love is in your pattern, you can make as many pieces as you want. If self-acceptance and forgiveness are in your pattern, you can create that fabric.
If your life is a quilt, personalize it. Get rid of the pieces that don’t make sense to you anymore. Take out the fabrics that aren’t helping you create the pattern that you want. If you don’t know how, ask for help. No one has to understand or approve of your pattern. Create a beautiful life, one piece at a time.
Be kind, be grateful, be courageous,