As each season arrives, so does my desire to start a new quilt. There’s a voice inside me that whispers of change and my need to be in tune with the natural world. I think of all my unfinished projects, but the lure of a new season always wins.
I used to think this only happened in spring, after I noticed new growth beginning in my garden and subtle warming in the air. We are all familiar with the urge to ‘spring clean’ our homes. (I have heard rumours that some people actually carry this out, too!) This is a reaction to the same instinctive signals. However, now I am older and more in tune with the patterns of life, the impulse to celebrate a new season with a fresh project compels me, no matter what the season.
I have always been a gardener, entranced by the magic of growth. There is something totally thrilling about planting a miniscule seed in the ground and watching a tiny set of leaves appear. That those small beginnings can result in something functional, such as a vegetable that feeds us, or something exquisite, such as a flower that provides beauty, is truly a wonder. The act of gardening is a journey itself, providing a meditative and reflective passage to another state of being.
Quilt making can offer the same outcome. A piece of cloth and a length of thread in a needle can result in a functional quilt; a utilitarian layering that can warm us when we need comfort. The same fabric and thread can also result in an object of beauty.
As we stitch, we embark upon a journey of creation.
The rhythms of the earth have been known to thousands of generations of people. As long as we need to feed and warm ourselves, we will understand that to work with these rhythms, instead of against them, is a wise way to live.
This is a lesson that I have finally learned applies equally to my quilt making.
This season, I feel the desire to hand applique. I have chosen a shape I have never made before and will make many of them. As I imagine how I will combine them, I feel the pull of the colours and can’t wait to start the rhythm of my stitching. The thrill of my new project signals a welcome change of season.
I no longer feel guilty if I start a fresh project before I finish the last one. Nor do I worry if a quilt doesn’t work out the way I imagined it. I just change direction or choose to abandon it as something that was not meant to be.
Time moves on and the seasons come and go. Eventually, it really won't matter at all.