Thursday, June 2, 2011

Setting Things Straight

"The Lord sends us the pieces," she observed, "but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves." At first, life "looks pretty much like a jumble o' quilt pieces before they're put together; but when you get through with it, or pretty nigh through, as I am now, you'll see the use and the purpose of everything in it. Everything'll be in its right place."  -- Aunt Jane of Kentucky

Today I opened the "door of memories" in my what-you-may-call-it room -- the large English armoire that houses all my fabrics. It hasn't been opened in a long time. A very long time.

As I was sorting through the fabrics, I thought about each one and what each meant to me. I had forgotten the online quilting group I joined in the early 1990s -- yet here were two pieces of fabric with name tags  --Judy Ashe and Dorothy Burke. Instantly, I recalled their emails and our exchanges. I thought of how much fun it was each month to select a theme and colours, each making a block, and then last month's winner selecting the next winner. I was fortunate enough to win one month -- a lovely exchange featuring a block called "the garden path." These blocks had been put into an on-the-point layout and had waited patiently, through under-graduate and graduate school, death, loss, and changes I couldn't have expected, to be quilted. It shall be.

Then, I recalled Aunt Jane of Kentucky and how very much I loved her story. Through the collection of short stories, Aunt Jane imparts much wisdom about life and death; about sin and forgiveness; about hate and love. I had to look a bit to find the quote above, but it pretty much sums up how I have felt as I have waded through my what-you-may-call-it room.

A little more than 12 years ago, I was a stay at home mom, planning an early retirement, and making home comfy. I baked, gardened, quilted, knit, sewed clothing, curtains, tablecloths, planned parties, volunteered, and, in short, had the life I wanted. But, it changed in the time it takes to stop breathing and I was left with a lot of memories in that little room of mine that I didn't want to deal with. So, I replaced with newer things, newer projects, and left the others sitting alone. The memories were too hard to deal with, frankly.

However, today is a new day. I have fingered fabric that was in the process of becoming a Country Bride's quilt for our bed; I have lovingly smoothed fabric left from shorts or dresses; I have set aside three quilts waiting for finishing touches. I have sorted out fabrics traded, selected, or collected for quilts that will not be made. And, I survived.

It is time to get on with all parts of living. While I have moved on in many ways, this was the hardest thing I have dealt with -- projects, like dreams, that were unfinished. However, these projects will be finished and enjoyed and passed down. And new dreams have taken the place of the old. That is how life should be.


  1. I could feel your heartbeat in this one. Wishing you grace and more grace as He works at turning all those ash dreams into something eternally beautiful, beginning TODAY.

    What a great quote from Aunt Jane of Kentucky.


  2. Life can change so quick sometimes its heart stopping. Sometimes I get a nudge to stop and remember everything at that moment or try to because before you know it its gone...

  3. PS. I just read a lovely prayer from another blogging friend... maybe you'll find it encouraging. Here's the link:

  4. Your post today deeply touched my heart Matty. It took a lot of courage to sit and go through your cabinet and all the fabric. It reminded me of something I experienced a few months after my mother passed away.

    At first I had such a sad feeling of finality as I went through her closet and dresser drawers. I had continually put it off for months. But when I actually did it, I found unexpected comfort in the memories.

    When I was a little girl I had a stuffed Kitty that I carried around with me everywhere. I still have him today in the bottom of my treasure box. His pink nose was forever being loved off and Mom would sew and resew it on. When I went through her dresser drawer I found a little heart shaped porcelain box and when I opened it guessed it, there was the little worn Kitty nose. The unexpected memory, was a reminder of my Mom's love for me. It helped to lift me up and it carried me through the grief.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and your fabric memories. I hope you have a nice restful evening! Delisa

  5. Matty. I pray that your sad memories lose their edge and the good are sharpened. Moving on is always so hard. What is that saying? The hottest fires forge the strongest steel.

  6. Isn't it odd the way fabric can bring back memories? When I was going through my stash a few years ago, deciding what to keep and give away, I remembered my late father-in-law being so mean to me about my little craft business when I went through that fabric.

    I gave away most of that fabric, it brought such negative memories. I had my in-laws picture up on the wall in the hallway with the rest of the family and finally took it down one day when I realized how much hubby and I didn't want to remember...

    You have led a successful life because you did not become a bitter person whose children would not want their picture in their home.


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!