Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Quilting Life

One of the things I like most about making a quilt is the absolute necessity of taking things one step at a time. This is true for life in general, I think, but the desire to jump directly from point A to point Z (or at least M!) seems quite common in living Life. In quiltmaking, it's so obvious: You won't have a quilt until you decide on a pattern, cut fabric into the appropriate pieces, sew each unit of each row of each block, sew the rows together, sew the blocks together, layer the top, batting and backing, quilt the layers together, and add the binding. In time, you will have a quilt, if you have followed the steps with patience and diligence.

Sometimes, during this process, other ideas override your original plan, and the quilt evolves ---- but you must have a concept in order to begin, and you must take things one step at a time in order to complete the quilt. Sometimes a quilter loses interest in the project and the quilt dies, or becomes a set of placemats instead of a bed covering, but the process is not the problem here! The fabric is not the problem. The needle and thread are willing to do their job, whether by hand or by machine. It is the quilter who has decided, for whatever reason, to call a halt to the process. Unless the quilter has died or become incapacitated, this was his or her decision, nothing more and nothing less.
The decisions can be less obvious in the way our life proceeds, but to achieve any goal one must first decide upon the goal, then break it down into steps and proceed with patience and diligence, step after step, until the goal is reached.