I’ve been thinking about quilting. It’s been a year since the last time I pulled out the sewing machine to quilt anything and I really miss it. I’ve been itching to do some for the last few months, but a complete lack of time has kept the desire at bay. Now that I find myself suddenly with more hours, the urge seems to be strengthening.
I thought I might try to learn to crochet instead; on account of it being much cheaper than quilting and also less time-consuming. I’ve pretty much given up on that idea. Me and my crochet hook are not bonding as much as I would like, and honestly the spark isn’t there. I’ll persevere for a little while, but I can’t see us lasting the distance.
Quilting though; that’s a long-term love affair. Expensive yes. Time consuming, definitely. But so worthwhile.
If you’ve never quilted before, you might not understand the attraction. And honestly there is a lot of hard work and sticking power. If you don’t have the passion for it, you will probably never get past the stupidly slow and time-consuming act of cutting out hundreds of tiny squares, or perfectly measured rectangles, placing them in particular piles for use later on, praying all the while that a small child will not accidentally touch something and throw the whole design out of whack.
The beauty about quilting, is not in the cutting or the measuring though; it’s in the placing. The hours spent with one eye closed, working out which block should go next to which, balancing the colour and the patterns in order to end up with the most perfect, beautiful design. The beauty is seeing the rug come together. Watching the transformation of 2 inch squares that look like nothing more than scraps, becoming an item of practical extravagance.
The beauty is in the final product.
Every time I sew a quilt, and curse those tiny squares, or my sewing machine that always runs out of thread at just the wrong moment, I am reminded that the beauty is in the end. It’s yet to come.
Kind of like life.
Just recently, prior to Bing Bong and all of that, something happened that reminded me that life is not actually all about me. Funny that! 😉 Clearly, seeing as I am kind of the main character in my life, I do have a fairly pivotal role in my particular tale, but the idea of that story is not just for me to get a happy ending. It’s for me to live my life in such a way that others will also get their happy ending.
Every victory I have is not just for my own good, but to bless others. And every struggle I face better equips me to help those who may walk the same road. I’ve said before how much I value the fact that I had PND; it made me a better person, and gave me compassion that I never had before. At the time I could not see the beauty in it; it was just a mess of material scraps, gradually being placed in a design I could not imagine. By the end, the finished product was beyond what I could conceive. An unparalleled beauty.
We are not moving to Bing Bong. Or Boroloola for that matter. Boatman is permanently at sea, and there is no point moving the entire family if he is not coming home every night like we had thought he might. Instead we are adjusting to his new kind of normal; him away for three weeks at a time, on board a boat with no phone reception, and very minimal contact.
Right now, honestly, it sucks and I hate it. I really, really hate it, and feel like I want to cry at any moment. I don’t sleep without him home. I stay awake till late at night, then wake up constantly at the slightest sound. I’m tired and lonely, and really, really missing my best friend. No one is anywhere near close enough to be a substitute for him. No one. At the end of the day, he is the only one I want to talk to.
So quite honestly, this whole scenario feels impossible, and I’d be about ready to call it quits if not for one reason; we were so sure, when this job presented itself, that it was the path we were meant to take. It ticks all the boxes career wise for him, and also frees me up to finally get moving on my follow up book; a dream I thought would not be even conceivable this year.
A week and a half ago, we knew this was right; that doesn’t change because it gets harder.
But we do.
We change. We get stronger, and learn things we didn’t know before. We grow and mature and in doing so open up doors that otherwise would have remained firmly shut. And we don’t just do it, because we can see the prize at the end of it. We do it because we know that when you are firmly in God’s hands, it does not matter what’s going on at the time, it will all work out not just for our good, but the good of others. It’s not just about our beautiful quilt top; it’s about all the ones we help design along the way.
And so I have my moments where I cry and complain and wonder ‘why.’ And then I remember that moment before Bing Bong, and the way all the pieces fell into place, and the picture that emerged, and how it wasn’t just about me, and I keep going. Because this is not all about me either.
There’s a bigger picture in here somewhere, and one day, when it’s done, I’ll get to see it.
But until then, I’ll just sit here. Thinking about quilting.