>>>>

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Sewing Mends the Soul…

Sewing Mends the Soul.

It’s true.  It really does.

At least for those of us whose hearts beat to the rhythm of the needle.  Or the treadle.  Or the hum of the electric foot pedal.  Or all of the above.

It’s hard to explain to a non-sewist how concentrating on a simple task such as feeding matched pairs of pieces through a machine can give your brain a place to focus so that it doesn’t keep running in circles, ending up focusing and dwelling on hard, painful things – like a broken record stuck endlessly in the same spot.

Wow. I just realized that today’s generation will never know the sound of a broken record that plays the same partial phrase over and over and over again….or the hiss and scratch of the phonograph needle hitting the run out groove – swinging the arm of the player back over to home position.  Geeze, I’m old!

But it has been very cathartic.  Ironing shirt parts, cutting 8.5” squares…matching those squares with each other, slicing them on the diagonal into two matched pairs of large triangles, and feeding those pairs one by one by one into the machine.

Cabin_Nov2013 040

Triangles sewn, squared and re-sliced.

If you cut the two blocks together with dark on light, light on dark, the center seams nest and you get one up-hill block and one down-hill.

You can find the full directions for Scrappy Mountain Majesties under the free patterns tab at the top of the blog.  This is just a quick re-cap of what I’ve been working on since yesterday.

Cabin_Nov2013 041

Rearrange the pieces and sew them back together.

Cabin_Nov2013 042

7 blocks on the table.

Cabin_Nov2013 046

There are now 22 sewn, and a whole bunch more to trim.

I’ll be back at it today. I need about 72 blocks total – these finish about 6” X 7.5”.  I'm thinking I'll set them 8 X 9 and add borders.  That should be big enough for a 6' 2" fella to snuggle with on the couch and to take to chemo.

As I cut out my 8.65” squares, I’ve been getting what I can out of each shirt part. What is left after cutting the large squares is being cut into 1.5”, 2” and 2.5” strips ---I don’t want any small untamed pieces coming home with me.  Cut out as many 8.5” squares as I can get from each shirt piece, and tackle the leftovers into usable sizes right from there while the ruler and rotary cutter are still in my hands.  I've got some nice little piles building.

I’ll see how far I can get today.  The Hubster has even said that we can stay an extra day and go home Monday night if I want to.  I just might.  I’m on a roll.  I need to get this done.  This is a quilt in a hurry for my brother who needs it badly. Or is it that I just want him to have it badly?  I can’t be there to hug him in person just yet, so this is the next best thing.

Cabin_Nov2013 043

Morning Walk ---

I just got back from taking Sadie on her morning walk –this is the view as the sun touches the tops of our golden trees.

Yes, I think I could easy stay just one more day ---at least!


Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!

You do not need a Facebook account to read the Facebook posts - They are viewable to all! Feel free to read & quilt along with us!

54 comments:

orchardquilter said...

I am enjoying your meditative words this early morning, Bonnie, as I wait for the sun to rise over hopefully snowy mountains after the first cold storm of the season. My great uncle's gramaphone is not far from me as I curl up under a favorite quilt in the living room. I, for one, will make sure my little granddaughter knows what that little plastic thingy in the middle of a 45 record is for!! Peace to you this day as you sew and enjoy the fall colors. Janet in WA

Mary Jane said...

You know you have the right idea - stay another day to finish the hugs for your brother. Keeping your family in my prayers.

Pati said...

Big hugs to you and your brother Bonnie. Keeping you both in my prayers. Love, Pati

Theresa Litz said...

So enjoyed reading this post. Continued prayers for your brother and all the rest of the family.

Paula Y. said...

"Mindless" sewing, just sewing simple blocks, is as good as repeating a mantra for clearing your mind and relaxing your soul. Do you think it was just a coincidence that you "found" an unexpected period of free time for yourself just when you needed it most? Kinda makes you wonder! Peace to you and prayers to you and your family.

pcflamingo said...

Sewing for others is always therapeutic :D whether by hand or by machine. Your morning walk picture is so beautiful - it could be a painting!

Rebecca Davidson said...

Blessing for you and your family, especially your brother.

Gretchen quilts said...

If it feels good for your soul, stay and focus on your task. The world will still be there when you get back.

Gena in Dallas said...

Your view of the trees is breathtaking! Perhaps the reason you are in a hurry with your dear brother's quilt is so the healing love of the quilt can begin it's work ASAP... for both of you!! Your family is in my prayers.

sunflowermorning said...

Definitely stay the extra day...your brother needs the quilt...and you need to finish it for him. Enjoy the process...let it be healing...to both of you

mascanlon said...

ANother vote for staying and enjoying the views,quiet and therapeutic hum of the needle. Prayer to you all.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

how right you are - kids now days do not know the sound of the needle skipping across a record! for that matter soon they will barely even know how to write as we all type now days - even I at 61 prefer to type than to write and when I put pen to paper my handwriting is sloppy -- well that has gotten off the topic of quilting! I'm sure your brother will love the quilt and know you love him and are thinking of him. I didn't realize that block was so easy - I have looked at it without really looking at it if you know what I mean - well go on my list!

christineschoon said...

Love and blessings and best wishes to you, your brother and all your family!

Marilyn said...

Enjoy the extra day in the beautiful mountains, you surely deserve every minute you
have to relax.

Laurie McNamara Hahn said...

STAY. "Be still, and know that I am God" When my husband was ill, I took all my hand embroidery to the multitude of medical appointments and hospital visits. Educated a lot of folks to hand sewing. I actually started quilting in earnest after my husband's death in 2006. I made a wall quilt for the doctor, the dialysis unit and quilts for several of his caregivers. It was what got me through those extremely difficult days. I even walked into a quilt shop and asked them for a job, they hired me! What a joy! The quilt I tried to make for my mother-in-law from her son's shirts I could not finish. In fact I just now found them in the bottom of a bin while searching for fabrics for Celtic Solstice!

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Yes, quilting helps us to feel that we are doing something when there is nothing we can do about something. (Why else do quilters respond to natural disasters with a flood of handmade quilts?) Which is not to say that the gift of a quilt is "nothing." A quilt is a comforter in more ways than one. It is warm and comforting when wrapped around you, but it is also comforting because it says that someone loves and cares for you.

I'm sure your brother will love the quilt you are making him, and not just because chemo often makes people feel cold.

--C.B.

Mary said...

WOW, Besty sure got a workout yesterday. Talk about "Putting the pedal to the metal". It looks like a great HUG to send to your brother!

Mary said...

Betsy* darn it, typing on my Kindle.

Tami C said...

Your morning walk picture is beautiful! It reminds me of visiting my father in Hillsboro, Ohio in the fall. I'd be absolutely amazed on the beautiful colors that the trees displayed. Growing up in southern Florida, I had never experienced that. Spend the extra day there and take another walk or two. The view & the sewing are great for your soul.

Mary Ellen said...

I am so envious of your beautiful mountain retreat. Stay another day, for sure. That would be my vote. Your quilt is going to be so snuggly.

Tonya Ricucci said...

oh no - so sorry about your brother. that quilt will be so full of warmth and love - you both need it. take care and enjoy the quiet in the mountains.

Kathy MacKie said...

Let every stitch you make be a silent hug from you to your brother and that he may feel the love from this quilt that you have for him as he begins this journey. Dale and I send our love and prayers to your brother, you Bonnie and all your family and know that there are many people who will silently keep you close to our hearts.

carolina quilter said...

You are so right - sewing is good for the soul. Keeping you and yours in our prayers.

Julie said...

Quilts are made with love, and love keeps you warm. My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. I am sure the love you put in this quilt will not only keep your brother warm, but he will feel your love. Hugs to you and yours!

Loris said...

Your quilt is coming along wonderfully and will surely comfort your brother even as the making comforts you. I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers. Hugs from Cambria.

shadypinesqltr said...

Quilting saved me thousands of dollars in therapy when my marriage came to an end. It IS soothing to the mind and soul, as is the peace and quiet of nature. May you, your brother and your family feel all the positive vibes coming your way.

Elaine M said...

Yes, sewing mends the soul and good for the heart. I think it lowers my blood pressure. Big hugs and prayers for you, your brother and family. The quilt will be well appreciated.

HelenMarie said...

Beautiful view from your drive! I wouldn't want to leave either! I'm glad you can sew for your brother and send your love to him. I'm sure he will love it!

hm

elively said...

Sewing is indeed good for the soul and I'm eternally grateful to my mother for teaching me that life lesson! I know every stitch you put in the quilt for your brother will be a prayer and a hug. Keeping you and his family in my prayers. We have to find a way to beat this cancer thing! I feel surrounded right now with friends dealing with it

Sharyn Mallow Woerz said...

Bonnie, I'm so sorry the tumor wasn't benign. It is cold comfort but many of us have been down the same road, please know even if we don't say anything, because after all what is there to say, we are holding you and family in the pocket of our hearts.
Sharyn in Kalama

Catherine Remus said...

Have you decided on the backing yet? Are you open to a suggestion? I was thinking a nice soft flannel would be very comforting. Our generation grew up with flannel p.j.s and it still makes me feel warm and safe.

Andee said...

Love in every stitch! I am glad you are in the groove and will soon be sending quilty love to your brother. My thoughts and prayers are still with your family.

Cathy said...

God bless you Bonnie. You and your family are in my prayers.

JaneB said...

I think an extra day in the beauty and peace of the mountains is the perfect idea. I think your brother would approve. Thinking of you and him and all that will be coming, keep trying to find that peaceful place and time you will need. I agree that sewing can become a meditation at times. Keep Calm, Stitch On.

Ingrid said...

SEWING MENDS THE SOUL.
I agree 100% !!!
My father died 2 years ago, 2 months after his 90. birthday. I took the shirt that he wore on his day of death with me, ironed vliesofix (like heat n bond) on its backside and cut 90 different leaves out of it (my father knew "every" tree and drilled his three children to learn them). I ironed these leaves onto a brown piece of fabric, added batting an backing and quilted every leaf by hand. On the day after his funeral I was ready and could think of my father without beeing dolorous.
SEWING MENDS THE SOUL.!!!
Ingrid from Moers/Germany

lmp said...

Just signed on to your blog, just in time too! My mom passed away last Tuesday and I'm covered with her favorite quilt I made her.
Deciding which of her quilts I'll give to her quilts. I plan on cutting and sewing the next few days and hoping that it is soothing to the soul.
Linda

Bev @ kwiltpharm said...

Only one more day? I think I would stay just as long as the food held out! Love the mountains in their fall dress,even though it's often so brief!

IMAQLTR2 said...

You must have read my mind, Bonnie! How true it is that sewing mends the soul and soothes my mind. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you stitch your love for your brother into a quilt for him. ((((Hugs))))
Linda Craig
MB, Canada

Julie Vee said...

Sewing and quilting are balms to our souls for sure. Happy to see you are able to concentrate on Mark "HUGGIIE QUILT".. A chemo quilt seems to do so much. It says I am with you all of the way, keeping you hugged and warm.

The peace at the cabin, with Sadie gently urging you to go for a walk is such a blessing too. And the quilt is WONDERFUL in plaids.

Hugs and smiles, JulieinTN

Judy H. said...

Knitting does the same thing -- I'm sure that doesn't surprise you or any of your readers. When my mother-in-law told us about her ovarian cancer, I immediately cast on for a pair of wool socks to keep her feet warm during chemo. When the end was near, I started a new project for myself and knit almost 24/7 on it just to keep myself sane. I am a quilter, but I started knitting when I was seven, and it's knitting I know deeply enough to turn to when I'm not sure I can think straight.

Your brother's quilt will be a wonderful hug. Plaids just *look* cozy. It will be perfect for him. I'm sure he will tell everyone around him how his sister made just for him.

Sherrill said...

I don't know what kind of brain tumor your brother has but my DH was on an oral chemo for him which was so much easier than going in every couple of weeks or so for an infusion. Hopefully that's what he'll be able to do. There's a site he (or his family) should check out that has a TON of info on brain tumors/cancer and I found extremely helpful with DH's treatment. It's www.virtualtrials.com and they have the latest info on what's new in brain cancer treatments and trials.

diane rizor said...

that is such a nice quilt pattern, I love that you are using shirts. I will be starting one for my friend that is having eye problem because of his didetest I was looking for a fast pattern. thank you so much for sharing even in the mist of your storm.we do love you for being you. praying that he makes good progress threw this time. holding you tight in our thoughts and prayers.

Deb Hartwig said...

You are so right! When I was on home dialysis, my husband set up my sewing machine right next to my dialysis machine, and I sewed away. The pain never bothered me like others say it should. Thank God there were people happy for the clothes and quilts I made!

Miriam said...

Yes, I agree, sewing does mend the soul.

Marianne Jeffrey said...

Scrappy mountain Majesties is a must try for me now!!! I have been trying not to look at your free pattern tab because I already have shirttails started and the fabric pulled for Celtic solstice lol:-)

Allison in Plano said...

To give in to not starting another Bonnie project is futile! So, I pulled my plaids. You sewing your brains out to make this comfort quilt is testimony to your great patterns and use of the Scrap Users System. It works so well for just such an important reason . . . A fabric hug of comfort. Sew Bonnie, sew Bonnie, sew, sew, sew . . . .

Martha said...

Quilting is so very comforting

Micki Clemens said...

Sewing does soothe my soul also. I am praying for you and your brother. Try to be at peace. Micki

Fran Russell said...

The knitters among us will recognize a quote from a dear lady named Elizabeth Zimmerman: "knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises." I think we could paraphrase that to say, " quilt on, with confidence and hope, through all crises." I think of that quote often, as I too use my sewing (and knitting) as a comfort when stressful things happen. We are here for you and offer healing thoughts for you and your loved ones.

Nann said...

Yes. It's the doing that helps -- your hands are busy, your mind is engaged, and you get into a zone. It's a form of meditation.

The most eloquent writing about the therapeutic value of quilting is by Janet Berlo in her book "Quilting Lessons." From the Amazon blurb: In the middle of a successful academic career, art historian Janet Catherine Berlo found herself literally at a loss for words. A severe case of writer’s block forced her to abandon a book manuscript midstream; she found herself quilting instead. Scorning the logic, planning, and order of scholarship and writing, she immersed herself in freewheeling patterns and vivid colors. For eighteen months she spent all day, every day, quilting. This book penetrates to the very heart of women’s lives, focusing on their relationships to family and friends, to work, to daily tasks. It is a search for meaning at midlife, a search for an integration of career and creativity."

{{{Bonnie}}}

JeanInMaine said...

Bonnie, I'm glad you are getting some comfort from your quilting. I've always felt sorry for the people who don't have a form of handwork or another hobby to help them through the trying periods of their lives, especially when a loved one is sick. My prayers are with your brother.

Johanna Lovering said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

Sherri said...

It's so beautiful and peaceful looking there! Sending speedy quilting vibes to you. The top looks great! Hope your backing fabric works out for you. Can't wait to see it done!

Best wishes and prayers for you, your family and your brother and his family

Sundae Quilter said...

I just realized the other day when reminding my students how to save a file in Word that the Floppy Disk icon at the top of the screen is outdated... they have no idea what it is