Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Short Life

My Niece Manda passed this year after a long battle with leukemia and all its terrible side effects. I made her a comfort quilt last summer and a satin pillowcase when she lost her hair to chemo. I had been working on a scrappy quilt using a very complex pattern from the 1930's called Aunt Sukey's Choice...I renamed it Auntie M. It was almost finished. Just the last border to quilt and then binding. I've decided to let it be unfinished.

It had been a serious undertaking at my skill level, and was an old pattern I found that used an older construction method for making those green diamonds. They create an optical illusion of sorts. Its like they are fractured and yet comes together when you step back from it.

In some ways, it represents what happens to us when our lives are disrupted. Manda's little body fought so hard against this disease and all the infections she got. She also fought hard to be present in the lives of her daughters and did the best she could to live her life in the moment. 

If you look at the archives here, I posted a pic of Manda and the comfort quilt she did get from me in "Practice Pieces". Not sure what her family did with it, whether they passed it along or if one of her daughters cuddles up under it now, hoping to get a sweet scent of her mother.

For as long as there have been quilt-makers, there have been stories to tell. Each quilt does that. I think of all the history stored in them if we only know how to break the codes.

Personally, as you know, I put positive energy into all quilts I make. As I improve this art, my quilts will look better to the untrained eye. They heal me too. Each one is a step into a brighter future, a warmer life of intense inspiration.

Like the fracturing look of this quilt, the act of becoming lets us create a new reality. And as long as we remember the shattered dream of yesterday, there is a bigger picture reminding us that we have a role to play, that we have progress to make that takes practice, persistence, patience and hope.

Old dreams are gone, and we must dare to dream again, dare to dream new possibilities. 

I think it is wise to remember those dreams and hopes, wise to recall the love we put into them. Healing or recovery takes time.