Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Paint The Town Red

This is a story of a simple quilt.

Some background first: I belong to the Langley Quilters' Guild, a group of very busy quilters that has trouble saying no. The guild members make quilts for seniors, for kids fighting cancer, for at-risk newborns, for hospices and transition homes, for families of fallen soldiers. They give generously of their time, talent and precious fabric stashes. They also make quilts to celebrate births and graduations and weddings and anniversaries. These quilts become expressions of sympathy and compassion, of love and caring, of joy and happiness.

In October of 2009, the Guild was approached by a representative of one of the many groups involved in the organization of the Olympic festivities in the Langleys. Would we like to donate a quilt to be raffled off, with proceeds towards helping out Olympic hopefuls on their journey to the podium? Of course we said yes! A simple theme of red maple leaves on a white background was chosen. A month later forty-eight maple leaf blocks were turned in, and I volunteered to put them together into a quilt.

I put the quilt blocks up on the design wall -- so many different shades of red, so many different prints! I tried to follow up with the organization that had wanted the quilt, only to find there had been a change of membership, a raffle liscense had not been obtained, and no-one really knew what to do. So thank you very much, but we don't want it anymore. At least the blocks suited my red and white Christmas decor.

Not really knowing where the quilt would end up, I started to work with the red and white blocks that had been made to celebrate and commemorate our Olympic athletes. As I looked more closely at them, I found some that were really gold-medal worthy -- exact seam allowances, perfect points, first-rate fabrics. Others would not make it to the podium. Some needed a little extra help, a bit more care and attention to be able to join the rest. As I put the blocks together, I thought about the annonymous quilters that had made them. I could see them sorting through fabrics, each selecting her own version of the perfect red. I could see them working carefully, some faster than others to produce to the very best of their abilities. Some of these quilters have decades of experience, others are beginners with a long way to go. But the care and effort that went into each block, and the feelings and emotions expressed by them are the common thread that join them together into a quilt of celebration. Each block in that quilt is as important and significant as the next. Individually our blocks may not say much but together, we have a quilt that cheers loudly: Go Canada Go!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Journey

And so it is that I have decided to blog. My husband can't understand why. He thinks it very egocentric. Why would strangers be interested in what I say, how I feel, what I think? What if nobody reads it? What if they do, and nobody likes it? What would I even write about anyway -- it's not like I lead a wonderfully exciting life after all. I get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed, rinse and repeat. What's to tell?

But that is precisely why this need is so strong. Who am I? What have I done with my life, and what will I do with the rest of it? This blog will chronicle the journey of my life, and my journey of self-discovery. Perhaps some will read it, and enjoy it, and get to know me. Of course I want to be read and liked. But most importantly, *I* need to get to know and like me, and I'm hoping this blog will help me do just that.

So this blog is not a business journal, or a recipe collection, or quilting lessons. It's not a travelogue, or a health diary. It's not a photo album or Mom's brag book. It will undoubtedly be all of those and more. let's see where it takes me. Let the journey begin!