Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Quilt of Life

On Saturday, I wrote a post about giving up on quilting.  I won't bother to recap it here - if you are interested, you can find it here.  Basically, it's about doing what I enjoy rather than what I think I should be doing. 

Diane from DianeLoves2Quilt left a beautiful comment.  As often happens, Diane's comment was better than my post.  Here is what she wrote:

What's in a name? What is a quilter? Yes, it is someone who makes quilts, but how do you define quilt? It is much more than a large bed sized combination of fabric layers that is harder to push though the harp space of a domestic sewing machine than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. There are small landscape wall hangings, there are place mats, there are vests, aprons, table runners ,etc. that still fit the classical definition of a small quilt.
And then there is the non-classic, but equally valid definition of quilting ... the piecing together of different aspects of life. I love your book reviews, your Zentangle posts, your points of view on life under construction. If this is not the patchwork of life, then what is?
We all have projects we do not like. Maybe they are a requested color palette for someone else that we ourselves do not care for. Maybe it is a technique that is just not our preference. I love the look of paper piecing and have tried it but it does not float my boat to do it. There are so many worthy books out there that I have given my self permission to not finish those that I have given a fair chance and still hold no appeal to me. You are not quitting because you are not a quitter. You are making a wise choice based on getting to know yourself better. So, by your tight definition, you say you are not a quilter. If you define quilter that way then maybe in your mind you are not. Well change that "l" to a "t" and you are not a quitter, either.

Well said, Diane!  You made me rethink my definition of a quilter. defines the verb "quilt" as "to stitch together, usually in an ornamental pattern."  That definition covers a much wider variety of projects than just a bed cover.  And though I doubt I ever make a large quilt after the two I have in progress, many of the projects I make are a form or derivative of quilting.  

There is a quote, which I have used before but can no longer remember the source, that says "Love what you love without apology."  That quote wraps up the joy of living in the second half.  I" am not limited by anyone else's opinion of what I read or listen to or create.  I will "piece together the aspects of my life" into a pattern that pleases me - and that's enough.