Friday, July 4, 2014

Calendar Quilt

I read somewhere that to know your personal freedom, you have to name your personal slavery. That is the gunk in life that keeps us chained to old behaviors and compulsions. For me as a quilter, I think there is a certain amount of fear that what I do won't work or won't be enough.

It seemed like the year of swapping calendar blocks with Rex went by quickly. When we started, I asked her to include some of the leftovers from each block she made me so that I could make them into a matching border.

This morning, I laid out all the blocks to see how the colors blended and give myself time to figure out how to finish them. I think I will do a traditional spread or layout. As I look at the combination of colors that symbolize the months as we know them traditionally. Even with the extraordinary piecing, embroidery, beading and applique, the blocks show off as traditional expressions for each month and each season.

Rex did an interpretation of the months, and here in the layout, I struggle to un-do my chains, and come up with ideas for sashing and how big this quilt actually will be.  There are circles and points, straight lines and curves. How do I finish this quilt and continue the art that has been given me?

And when I electronically laid out what I sent her, these are the individual blocks that I scanned, even though colors are not as crisp, clear or true to life as the photo taken above of the actual blocks. Two very different groupings. It will be fun to see how each of us makes our quilts.

At first, as I looked at this scan, I started to put down my efforts and began to criticize my work. Because this is a USA holiday of freedom, I opened myself to the deep introspection of personal slavery regarding self-denigration of my skills and talents. Its a false act to compare one's skills to the skills of others, because there will always be others who are more or less skilled than we are.

How did I learn to do that? School? Dating? Motherhood? This culture pushes us to compete against each other and even ourselves.

I know the colors in that scan are not true to life. I know each block was a learning experience, and a beauty unto itself. I know the work I put into them, the thoughtfulness and selections, as well as the fondness of friendship, and admiration I have for Rex's artistry and beingness. Our quilt chats are valuable, insightful and produce growth. This year's swaps have been highlights of every month. AND we have a plan for the next one starting in October!

Let freedom ring! And I do not mean that as a cliche. I mean that in the truest sense of the words for me as a quilter & a woman of spirit. Naming my personal slavery will not be an easy task. It is a positive action toward acquiring personal freedom, & with that the sound of freedom in all I do will ring out, will boom like fireworks on the Fourth of July!