Archive | December 2016

Midwinter warmth

Warmth. Isn’t that what quilts are mostly about?  Of course there are summer ones or those inimg_0666credible intricately constructed one that individuals hang on walls or keep in boxes, but for the most part we have quilts to use, to keep us and those whom we love warm. So yes, the warmth factor. Yet some patterns and colors seem to increase the warmth factor exponentially.  Like the one we are working on now. We believe Judy brought the fabric from Hawaii (Judy is out with a bad wrist so we couldn’t ask). Joan pieced it.  The quilting design along the edge is a new one that we haven’t sewn before.

Some would say though that the fabric is a bit of challenge to sew. Actually a lot of the women say this, even Bonnie who tends never to complain.  At the same time I appreciate the strong colors when everything outside is white or a pale shade of gray.  It is winter in Montana after all. The mountains are white, the fields are white, even most roads are white. The sky here in the Tobacco Valley is often overcast.  Thus to walk into the old school house out of the whiteness on Fridays and see this beautiful tropical design is a treat.  It reminds me my eyes are still working, that there are places where flowers bloom and where people sit in light cotton clothes, where the smell isn’t one of cold crystallized air, but soft scents of verdant vegetation and the sea.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” This is a useful concept to have on many occasions whether it is quilting Hawaiian fabric during a Montana winter or deciding how to go productively into 2017. We can be upset with the way the fabric grabs the needle but we can appreciate the colors and design of this quilt, doing our best to sew well. We can look at the world around us wondering how any progress will be made and yet still keep focused on our efforts in the community, with our families and friends, and with strangers we meet along the way.