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Weekend Report – Long

I think the funk has lifted!  Let’s see, where to start…first, for those of you that asked, the bathroom painting was a technique I saw on Debbie Travis’ Painted House.  I mixed three colors, a light creamy color, a darker color, kinda like a frothy hot chocolate, and white, with glaze.  Then you take your paint brush, dip in one and paint a swatch, then dip in the next one and paint a swatch, overlapping and mixing to your heart’s desire.  Super easy and it looks great! I think getting that painting done helped lift my spirits.  I felt like a big weight was lifted.  I guess Carla’s and Teresa’s advice was right.  Do something for yourself.  Even though it was work, it was for ME.  Making my home a more enjoyable, pleasant place to be, and the feeling of a job well done. I think I’ve been spending so much time working on projects for others, that I was neglecting myself.  I’ve learned that taking care of yourself is not a selfish thing.  You have to take care of yourself in order to be able to care for others, or to be able to have something left to give to others.  Does that make sense? I hope it is coming out the way I mean it to sound.

I have had a pretty productive weekend…I did my log cabin blocks to stay on schedule.  And if you look at the countdown, you will see that I am now under forty to go!  YEA!! I also added the first round of the last dark logs on my cousin’s blocks.  I did housework and laundry, as usual.  I worked on the binding of a UFO that’s been hanging around for about 2 yrs.  I know that I can’t finish my starry log cabin by the end of the month, but I want to participate in the UFO challenge on MQR, started by Lynn.  I also basted two baby quilts for a customer, who wants to embroider and quilt them herself, but hates basting. 

I also decided, since I had leftover joint compound and some Kilz laying around, to give our entryway a face lift.  I am texturing over ugly wallpaper, and painting the paneling.  I think it’s gonna look great when I get it finished.  I ran out of joint compound, so didn’t get to finish the texturizing.  I also still need to do one more coat of Kilz on the south wall.  My DH has been away on a fishing trip, and has yet to see any of my accomplishments.  He will be home tomorrow.  I can’t wait for him to see!

Now I have a little treat for you.  A good friend of mine emailed me something he had written. He knows how I love quilting, and thought I would enjoy reading it.  I think it’s wonderful, and he told me to feel free to share it here on my blog, if I thought my quilting friends would like it, too.  I think you will.  Enjoy!

                                      “The Quilt”               

 When my now grown son was 4, the outlying bands of Hurricane Gilmer blew through our Texas coastal town. My wife left the day before to visit her inland and safe mother. Our youngest son was still some two years away.    

            My little boy was afraid and had a good right to be. The darkness outside screamed with a monstrous howl. The rain beat the doors like a persistent assailant. The lighting flashed like the strobe lights of my college memory.  

               Daryk bolted into the living room and up on my lap crying. He was cold, scared and not happy about it. I held on to him and said to him what fathers had said for ages, “It’s only the wind.”               

  Not convinced, he cried even more. I did not bother to tell him that he was right. But its paternal discretion not to share the dry but uncomforting details of hurricane cycles. I reached for the nearest blanket to warm him while I would make the vain attempt of rocking him to sleep.  

              It was not until it surrounded him that I realized just which blanket came to our aid. It was the “Grandmother’s quilt”.               

 Ida Vee was her Christian name but I doubt that she would have answered to it. Everyone called her “Coats”. Oddly, she adopted her husband’s surname but held on to her own family nick name. Nick names marked that generation. She was, after all, the sister of “Dutch”, the mother of “Sis” and the mother- in – law of “Boots”. I still call Sis and Boots Mom and Dad. And, I called her Grandma.    

            The title Grandma was not enough. She was more, another mom. At about at the then age of my storm tormented son, my own mother left the home to pursue her career. Grandma moved to our home town and picked up a few of the maternal duties. She was there when early as I can remember. Her ever present laughter and quick wit resounded through that little clapboard house near my school. The smell of the cookies followed faithfully. Every elementary school day ended well in the home, the joy and the safety of Grandma’s little house.         

       My chief crime was sneaking into her “sewing room”. She sewed clothes and entire outfits for customers. The room was filled with sewing material, machines, and, my weapon of choice, the chalk dust marker. I would cloud the room with the chalky dust of mischief until the indicting words; “David Thomas!” broke through the fog.          

      The quilt frame dominated the room. I knew very little of the art at the time. She spent many hours and effort. I say art because, even then, I knew how great a talent this must take. Every week or so a new one would start. Her friends gathered round the frame to assist. They would gossip. I never understood the “quilt talk” but I could tell how wonderfully funny she was.  I can still see her sewing the quilt. I can still hear them laughing.  

               Near my thirtieth birthday, she asked, “What can I do for you?”

I wanted a quilt.        

        She dutifully began the task; but, only completed half of it. On a day in December, she died in the full confidence in her Lord and Savior.             

   Almost a year later, her last gift covered my son and me that night.           

     Her last gift had one last lesson. Jerry Seinfeld said that “Life is a random sequence of unrelated events signifying nothing.” It’s one of those statements that ring true.  Life can look scattered, pointless and disconnected:  One experience here, a thought over there, tragedy out of the blue.It rings true but it cannot be believed.  We cannot live in meaningless chaos: to only “drone on” seeking the instructive “how” and controlled by the tyrannical “when”. Long lost is the “why”.And then that voice calls out to you: “You live, you die, you know not why”. Still you turn away because you know that voice. It is the voice of the Liar and he will lead you only to the desert of despair.In that night and in that quilt, the Truth was sewn.  My grandmother’s quilt included parts of dresses, shirts, blankets and even curtains. These “scraps”, as she called them, were long separated from their first intended purpose. Scraps often left you guessing: “I wonder what this used to be”.Scraps are scattered, pointless and disconnected; until, they fall into the hands of the Quilter. Out of chaos, Grandmother created a design. Scraps of long lost dresses transformed into a strokes of artful color. That which was thrown apart is sewed together. That which was useless is now purposeful. That which was random is now meaningful.  And this all by the work of her precious hands.The random moments, the scattered thoughts and the lost intentions: the scraps of our lives. What if we surrendered them to God, a Quilter?  Isn’t what He does?To us it can all seem random, unconnected and meaningless. But in His Hands, He creates designs. Within His Will flows a pattern engulfing all our experiences, our thoughts and our relationships. Engulfing and gathering them all into His Hands.Then, by the thread of His Love, we are sewn together like a Quilt. We have purpose. We have meaning. We are even…beautiful. 

                Although the storm reigned outside, in our little home there was peace, there was purpose and there was Grandmother…. and her quilt.

               By David Scott, 2007