I recently learned something about myself while quilting that has caused an emotional growth spurt. It seems this time of year that "time" seems to slip through my fingers leaving behind moments of anxiety. I find my personality wants to be in control, and every year I tend to pass into the new year grasping at my word of the year like it is a life preserver! It wasn't until I started to work on one particular quilt that I had fallen in love with on a Quilt Roadie trip that I had an "ah ha" moment.

In reflecting on my quilting life, at least 80 percent of my projects involve some form of handwork. It is my way of slowing down time and being in the moment. I didn't consciously say, "Hey, you need some peace in your life so take up handwork!" But, it is what has evolved. Wanting to change it up and get working on some of my machine piecing projects that were languishing, I brought out one particular project thinking that it would be a great machine piecing project for the road. In preparation, I did all the cutting and labeling. Once completed, I had an eerie feeling that this project was NOT one I should do in a small camp trailer, lol. Boy was I right!!!  And so, I started piecing it at home and in short order started to freak out.

I acknowledge that I am a chain piecer...I like piecing quilts quickly and orderly...barreling through the process to the end result. Much like I feel during the holiday season...Candy...to Turkey...to Santa. Heck, even Costco gets us going for the holidays in September! What I realized in piecing this quilt is that each STEP was a quilt block...no 2 blocks the same...no rushing...just piecing a block, then starting a completely different block. As I worked through its construction, I thought to myself that there is real beauty and peace in being present one block at a time or slowing down pace. In the beginning, I was mostly mumbling after each block...wondering why I would ever pick a project like this, but in short order I began to feel a conscious peacefulness. With each segment, a piece of the puzzle/quilt was evolving and I found I was enjoying the moment when each block was done. This piecing process brought to mind that maybe I should approach this time of year the same. Not as the holiday "season" to be rushed through, but as "moments" of life?

When I took all the segments I had pieced and put them together, the wonder was revealed...

Yes, it is being present in each moment that the full picture of our blessings are revealed, both in quilting and in life.

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#6 durstgirls 2018-12-06 08:00
Your blog was so timely for me. I have always struggled with accurate piecing. The last several weeks I have taken a path much as you have. I treat each piece of fabric I am working on as a work itself from the cutting of the fabric to the first seam in the construction. I am attempting to slow down as I stitch and I measure each piece as I am putting them together. It is a slow process but what a joy to lay that ruler down on the completed block and it measures exactly what it should measure. Then I pat myself on the back. Blessings
#5 Judi Moran 2018-12-05 16:39
The quilt is wonderful Anna. So glad you got to enjoy the process so that you could happily v\ffinish the quilt.
#4 reets 2018-12-05 14:17
Blessed Woman . . Wise Woman. . .Thank you Anna!
#3 Sheila Hinds 2018-12-05 10:11
Amen sister! Being able to enjoy being in the moment is a little piece of heaven...and when that moment is quilting...
#2 Susan Michael 2018-12-05 09:51
Pattern, "Big Sky by Annie Brady"
#1 Michele R 2018-12-05 07:12
Thank you for the inspiring words. I needed to hear that just now! I seem to be at the same point in life where you are, Anna. Life is too short to rush through each day without appreciating every moment. I'm still working on that concept and tend to lose it during the 'holiday rush.' I'm trying to do the same with quilting, especially during retreats! I want to enjoy every moment, which includes being with my friends doing what we all love! Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
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