Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gift Exchange

I finished the fabric box for the gift exchange on the 25th. These fabric boxes turn our very nice, and this one did too. I am not sure why I feel so shy about my work being good enough or enough.

Another thing I like about this project is that I can go into my button jar, spill the contents out and search for the right buttons for each spot one is needed.

In this case, they don't have to match, and in fact, do not. 

That is the charm of it for me.

My family is celebrating the holidays back in the midwest in various ways. My Sons, Daughter-in-Law, and Grandchildren each have their packages either already torn open on the Winter Solstice, or sitting under their tree waiting for tomorrow morning. Yesterday's mail brought a couple more gifts for me and a number of lovely cards.

I plan to bring the Kaleidoscope quilt with me to work on while I am at the holiday party. There is this perfect chair in a corner of the living room. Most people are up and moving through the day, so its not a place of high demand in the room. When you hand quilt, it is the kind of project you can set aside or pick up without needing much fanfare. And because I have just started this work on it, there is much to do so, the quilting hoop can move around without too much effort.

Like making the fabric boxes, religious celebrations are like choosing fabric and then doing the work to make it come out useful or esthetic. There is so much joy in the work for me, in this work of spirit, that its a slight ripple to have it be designated to one god, or one religion or one way any more than it is to use only one fabric, one pattern and one way of getting the work completed.

In an earlier stage of my life, I might have decided that the way I had chosen was right for me and for everyone. I stepped away from organized mainstream religion and followed another path. After awhile, it became organized too. I  think humans simply need structure and don't realize that going off the path from one thing eventually wears a different path in the forest.

All my quilts have been different, even the small ones that were candle mats or table toppers. For some, I have used the same pattern (see my Log Cabin quilts and Disappearing 9-Patch table toppers & even this fabric box), but the fabric used in them changed their final outcomes. 

This art is called "Bringer of Light for Yule", not at all a Santa or Christchild image.

So I can step into any religious practice, and after some research, and perhaps some personal exploration, understand what motivates its followers. I am ok with most of them if they are positive in nature, yet, I am not ok with being forced into worshipping and saying I belong to them.

As 2015 approaches, I do have a to-do list of quilts I want to make. AND I have an idea of new methods I want to learn. My life feels full of potential this morning, and I am like a kid waiting for Christmas morning to open all the presents that have gathered under the tree....and waiting too, for Santa, that jolly ol fella, who is part of a community of gift-bringers, including myself.