Quilting Stories with Sam - Chaos!
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"..chaos has an open invitation to our house it seems. Some days that shake of my head comes quickly, and I wonder, “what am I thinking”? "
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
How many of you are familiar with that phrase? I know I have heard it a few times. To me, that phrase represents making the best of the chaos life throws at us.
We all have moments in life that are chaotic. The busyness of day-to-day routines combined with irregular curve balls that life loves to loft our way can have a way of pushing us to our limits and making us give our heads a shake. And well, right now life is throwing me lots curve balls, made of lemons. Four kids five and under, a newborn during harvest, opening a long arm quilting business, volunteering for local non-profits, helping my parents move our four-generation farm – chaos has an open invitation to our house it seems. Some days that shake of my head comes quickly, and I wonder, “what am I thinking”?
Many of you are likely experiencing the same, or have in the past. Kids starting classes, or leaving the nest. Maybe your hot water tank quits. Or your garden is producing more than you can keep up with. That laundry pile fills the basket, or couch, more and more every day. Dust is becoming a film, or little fingerprints line your windows. Or multiple are happening all at once – cause why not. We have all been there, we will all experience it, and the best we can do is find the beauty in the chaos to help us get through. Minute by minute, day by day – eventually the chaos subsides, routine replaces it, and peace surrounds you.
The chaos in life can find us anywhere, even in the sewing room. I found myself facing chaos in my happy place this year and here is how it started – asking my five year old daughter if she had an opinion on her fabrics for her new quilt. A simple quilt with a repeating rectangle motif and bold brilliant fabrics from Jungle Paradise by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda Fabrics. What chaos could come from asking her opinion?
It all began while shopping at our local quilt shop. My dear daughter picked her favorite bolts from the collection with ease, quickly falling in love with the toucans (no surprise from our bird-loving child). Her mama then asked her what she thought we should do for the main color. Immediately, she knew she wanted pink and both myself and mama thought that would complement the collection beautifully. So off went my little one with her favorite toucan cut to find the perfect pink for her quilt. Promoting independence, I quickly hushed myself when she came out with a bright fuchsia pink, knowing immediately it would cause me chaos.
Heading into the sewing room, I was already stressing about how to make this quilt “look good” and not chaotic as the color palate was rather overwhelming. Mama thankfully took control and got the quilt started by cutting and sewing the first few seams, then laying it out on the design wall. Eeek, it had chaos written all over it. I started pondering which row to move to make it flow better when those five year old eyes fell upon the newly started project. “Oh mama, that is beautiful”. Smile from ear to ear, squeals of excitement, and touching the fabric to her face. Right there, in that moment, I saw the beauty in the chaos.
Up until the completion of her quilt, I continued to feel chaos in the design project. A bright multicolored tie-dyed minky, with a detailed toucan and cockatiel quilting design in hot pink thread continued to push my chaos threshold. As with chaos in life, it was day by day or more specifically row by row. Upon completion of the personally designed quilt, my chaos was replaced with joy and love as that little five year old celebrated helping with her first quilt, snuggling underneath a quilt of perfection in her eyes.
As you face your chaos, remember to find the beauty in it. Those kids heading off for education, the blessing of running water, a garden producing after a drought, clothing to wear; these chaos producting situations can reveal a sort of beauty when sought. Even if sometimes we have to look through the eyes of a five year old.
As we go into the holiday season, I am going to delve into the importance of community next edition of the Country Register. I would love to hear what community means to you, so please share with me through our email, website, or social media. See you next edition – chat soon!