Thursday, July 9, 2009

Patchwork Life


"We do not live an equal life, but one of contrasts and patchwork; now a little joy, then a sorrow, now a sin, then a generous or brave action” Ralph Waldo Emerson



I adore patchwork quilts. The idea of taking bits of fabric to create something useful and lovely. Most of our collection of quilts returned to my children's father after the demise of our marriage. His grandmother, mother and aunts were the creators. Grandma Ola's quilts were carefully inspected...as she became older and began forgetting things...you were just as likely to be stabbed by a very long quilting needle. She would make several "generic" quilts to be given to the new mothers. During her time...boy and girl children were not determined until birth. Each star on the purple quilt represents a family member and a story significant to my youngest daughter. Her Dad's old work shirt, my Father's ties, Grandma's gown...the blue Appalachian Trail bandanna belonging to my brother...he hiked the entire trail from Georgia to Maine not once but twice in his short lifetime. So many memories. The dear, sweet grandmother of my children recently made a quilt for me consisting of large squares in myriad colors. Being a mother of six children she was always frugal and used everything. In her mid seventies she is still serving others...being an example of all that is lovely and good in this world.

Life reminds me of a huge patchwork in progress with the Master tailor choosing the fabrics and "sewing" them together for our greater good! Each person, place and event forming the pattern of our lives. Every joy, trial and temptation teaches something if we watch and listen.


Judgement, drama and pettiness have no place in a life that is striving for authenticity, goodness and all that is praiseworthy. This is perhaps one of the greatest tests of all...accepting differences...do I have the right to "judge" the elderly woman in gold lame' pants...the panhandler on the curb...the emo or goth kids hanging out at the mall? These people, their lives are just one more square on our patchwork quilt. Imagine a quilt with just one color and all the stitches being exactly the same...Can you live in a world void of colorful characters and places?








13 comments:

Alyssa said...

Great post!
I love quilts too.
I want to make one out of all of my t-shirts. :)

Rosezilla said...

Very well said, Connie. I love quilts, too, but don't tell my mom - she quilts, and I always tease her about taking perfectly good material and cutting it all up just so she can sew it all together again. As for people, the more "color" the better! In every sense of the word.

Michelle said...

I told you you were smart!

The Selzer's said...

I love your pictures!

Connie said...

Aw shucks...mucho thanks!

Jayne said...

Beautiful post. Isn't it amazing how something like a quilt can conjure up so many thoughts? I love that this great lady made this for you.

Hayden Tompkins said...

I don't actually have a family connection to quilts but I absolutely love them. Chris's mother, aunts, and grandmother are all VERY into making quilts and sewing; we are literally SURROUNDED by quilts. It's a lovely tradition.

Anita said...

I love the barns! And quilts... and everything you said :)

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I love the Emerson quotation, and I love your meditation on it.

Great photos too.

Connie said...

We saw the barns in NC and I received the quilt soon after and was reflecting on "patchwork" when I stumbled across the Emerson quote.

curlywurlygurly said...

i like your analogy and quilt tales.

i'm always comparing husban-dito and my life to a mosaic--each little day-to-day thing we do isn't always huge on its own...but put it together with all of our other adventures and we have a beautiful life. :)

Connie said...

CWG, I love the mosaic idea and your thoughts on it.

SE'LAH... said...

One of my favourite posts ever. I am a quilter and adore the quilts and stories behind them. Great photos too!!!