Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I love the look of quilts and, just as much, the idea of quilts.  They are such a wonderful blend of the functional and the beautiful;  and the best part is that they are created (at least in their classic form) from carefully hoarded bits and scraps of fabric that could have just as easily been discarded.  I just wish that I had enough sustained enthusiasm for the actual process of quilting to become proficient at it.  But I only know enough to construct the most basic, rudimentary sorts of projects.  To date: one simple quilt (that the mice discovered and made a nest in); two pillows; a wall hanging; a never-ending project involving appliquéd angels on blocks -- one for each month of the year (after about ten years, I'm only on month 5); and four or five projects that were begun but now are folded in a plastic tub in the garage.  Not particularly impressive.

 We've been attending a Unitarian Universalist fellowship since last November and both Bruce and I are delighted to be so warmly welcomed into this "family".  And I love the building we meet in -- a tiny one-room school house (said to be the oldest in Calaveras County) with views out the tall windows of sky, trees and two white horses in a neighboring pasture.

The room is spare and humble, but has a strong presence.  The original bell in the bell tower is rung at the start of each service and a framed print of Abraham Lincoln watches from the wall.

This piano and bench are along the back wall.  The faded velveteen cushion on the bench was completely hand-stitched, but had obviously seen better days.  When asked if I could recover it with patchwork, I jumped at the chance and sang out a loud and clear, "Yes!"

It was only hours later, when I remembered that quilting was not exactly my thing, that my enthusiasm became mixed with concern.  I fretted off and on over the next four weeks as I tried to come up with a perfect pattern that would be worthy enough.  I visited a friend who is an accomplished quilter and she guided me in finding a lovely pattern and then helped (actually, I was so slow that she ended up doing most of the work herself) cut all of the pieces.

But when I got home and looked at the tiny pieces in the plastic bag, my spirits sank.  I knew that a pattern this complex was beyond me -- my dear friend, bless her heart, had very generously overestimated rudimentary abilities.

So I did what I should have done from the very beginning.  First, I changed my mindset from "this project must be amazing and perfect" to "this project will be good enough and everyone will be fine with it".  It is such a relief when my grown-up self comes to rescue me!

I pulled out the tub of upholstery samples that I've hung on to for over twenty years and was happy with the possibilities.  Then I found an easy pattern on the internet; one without too many seams and with pieces large enough to make them easy for clumsy fingers to work with.
And then I got to work.

Incredibly, I finished the whole thing in a single, long day.  I'm still gobsmacked by this!


 And here's what I brought to church the next day:

Imperfect and simple, it turned out to be good enough.  I'm happy.


  1. Really great that you accomplished your quilt by knocking down those nasty mental roadblocks we all get now and then. It turned out so very nice and seems to fit the spirit of your church and it's people.

    I made a quilt decades ago for my husband - we were just dating at the time. I spent a week doing it - had no pattern and had never done one before - and I don't remember what made me want to!!! It has squares from fabric that his mom and my mom both made outfits for their daughters from when we were small.

  2. Thank you! :) The quilt that you made from squares of daughters' dresses must have a lot of memories sewn into it -- that's another thing I love about quilts. I'm impressed that you got it done in a week -- wow!