Friday, December 2, 2016
As I waited for the mobile home to be towed away yesterday, it seemed like a good idea to do something that would keep me from worrying about it, something that would demand focus. Since I tend to work creatively (sometimes chaotically, to be honest) rather than in an orderly fashion, this would require effort. So I decided to take on a task I've been avoiding: to tidy up the quilt storage in my bedroom closet.
My small (not Tiny) house is closet-challenged. Back in the 60's, people just didn't have as many clothes, not as much stuff in general, so houses didn't have as much storage and that's when my place was built. Each of the three bedrooms in my house has an old-style two-door closet (about 2 1/2 X 5 1/2 feet). There is a small linen closet (maybe 30 inches wide) in the bathroom and a small broom cupboard in the kitchen (about 3 feet wide, which I've turned into a pantry). That is all the storage there is--nothing more, not even a coat closet by the front door. Things have to be stored properly in order to fit everything in, and my bedroom closet has been untidy lately because I need to re-organize my quilt storage.
I have a lot of quilts.....okay, too many. But I like them and I've already more than halved the amount I began with when I moved into the house and added my collection to my mother's. Most of them are store-bought quilts (or as my family would have said in our old-fashioned lingo "boughten quillets") that are for general use. Some others were homemade--by my mother, my aunt, me--and those I mostly keep for love and memory.
When I cleared the shelves for sorting, one of those quilts caught my attention. It's one of my own making. I created it when I was quite ill and needed a bright spot in my life. At the time, a very elderly friend who was an expert quilter asked me to show what I was working on. I resisted. I told her it was too simple and too silly to share--indeed the quilt is both things. She persisted. Finally there was no way to say "no" without being rude, and I had to show her. Miss Mary liked things that were subdued, complex, genteel, ladylike. My quilt was none of those things. Miss Mary made only one comment, "Well, honey, you won't need a nightlight, now will you?"
Yeah, the quilt is yellow. Lemon yellow. The rest of the quilt is mostly bright citrus-y colors, too. I chose fabrics with fun prints, some of them a bit comical, and there are a few "jokes" in it that only I would understand. I called it The Laughing Quilt because I laughed while I made it. It's joyful. I still think so.
But what I realized as I looked at it for the first time in a long while, is that it looks like me, too, because I was really being real when I made it, really choosing only what I loved and that made it a self-portrait of sorts.
I think I'll take the Laughing Quilt off the back of the shelf. My aunt tied it for me so it's technically finished but I'm wondering maybe if I should quilt it a bit. I like that idea. We build the future on the back of the past after all, don't we?
Life is good.
The quilt is much brighter than it appears in the picture.
And by the way, the mover never showed up. I've gotta spend today just waiting, too. Oh my.