Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why do we quilt?

I’ve been thinking about this lately as life has changed for our pack.  I used to look at quilting as an escape – a way to relax – a way to unwind.  Lately, though, I’ve been questioning why it is that I even quilt in the first place.  I think that my thoughts might be somewhat natural right now as we had to put our beloved shepherd down.  He was with us for 12 years and developed a nasty, incurable disease called Degenerative Myelopathy and it’s not good.  It’s heartbreaking, and it has been since we had to put our furry pal down.  He was with me and so ingrained in my daily life that I now have to figure out how to be without him by my side.  In the mourning process, though, I once again found myself questioning everything.  These thoughts are natural, I suppose. But one thing I never thought I would question would be my love for quilting and why I do it.  I find myself using quilting to divert some of the pain.  I use it to occupy my time – where, before, my furry companion occupied my time.  I use it right now to fill that hole in my heart that isn’t going away anytime soon.  I think, sometimes, our focus and need for certain things shifts, and while I think that my love for fabric and patterns and design will take hold once again, right now, it’s serving a substitute role, and that’s okay.  I don’t have much enthusiasm for the colors and the ideas right now, so my focus is pretty darned mechanical – just sew.  Just cut pieces.  Just do the simple things that you can do right now to get yourself through the pain.  So, I find myself working on a quilt that’s requiring over 600 cut pieces…cut it up, sew it back together.  I had the colors and pattern picked out well before our Tuco boy got ill, so right now, I don’t have to think; just do.  So, that’s what I’ve been working on – the doing part of things.  Just sew. Don’t think; don’t make decisions; just sew.  We all cope with things in different ways.  I guess I’m using the mechanicalness of quilting to help me cope and to not feel completely lost. 
Our pup, Tuco.  May he be playing on all fours in heaven...
There is some cheery-ness in the quilt I’m working on; I just can’t see it right now. But, that’s okay.  When the time is right, it’ll come back to me.  Just like over time, the enjoyable and fun memories I have of my furry pup will help curb the pain I feel right now. Some folks tell me that the loss of my pup hurts so much because I loved him so much, and I think there’s truth to that.  He was my constant companion and had such a fantastic, trusting personality.  He was unique and lovable, and I’ll miss him for some time.  

All the pieces and the progress I'm making on just sewing.  This is a pattern by Edyta Sitar called "Dresden Bloom"

I did manage to venture out a bit a couple weekends ago, though, as it was the annual Quilt Shop Hop here in Denver.  So, after work, I hopped (okay, not literally) to a local quilt store and tried to immerse myself in the joy of just looking at some fabric.  I did find some I liked…background fabric, mainly.  I haven’t done anything with it yet – not even pre-washed it like I do all my fabrics.  But, that’s okay…it’ll just be ready for me there at home, in the stash, when I’m ready to feel creative again.  

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras

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