Saturday, October 26, 2013

Quilt #4: Zero Quilt for Amy

One of my goals this year was to find something to fill my days when D started school full time. In February, I bought a little sewing machine, and my friend Nicole showed me how to use it as we made Unpaper Towels.

In April, I made my first quilt, a Thomas the Train rag quilt for my son. 

It was full of mistakes but filled with love. And in the process I found a hobby that I really enjoy. What I love about quilting is that it's good therapy for my brain (oh, the math!) and it is something that I can do on my good days, but won't die (gardening) or go to waste (food) if I have a string of bad days. Most of all, it's good for my heart to be able to create something to give to others. 

Living with a brain injury forces you to be a taker. You need someone to take care of you, to look out for you, to advocate for you, to be your safety net, and to anticipate when those bad stretches are coming, and help you prioritize when the bad days settle in for awhile.. It means that every RSVP or promise comes with a condition. "If I feel well that day, I can..." It makes it really hard to volunteer with my son's activities, or to offer to make a meal for a new mom or a sick friend. Instead of being able to share with others, I often rely on others to pick up my slack. I hate that. I hate that more than anything else about my brain injury. 

Quilting has given me the opportunity to be a giver again. My quilts may not be the most professional (although I'm getting better with each one), but they are made with great love and I pray for the recipient as I work. I don't take requests and I'm not hire because that would put pressure on me, and my brain cannot work with deadlines. Instead, I quilt as I am inspired to do so. 

Since I started quilting seven months ago, I have made nine quilts! What I have not done well is post about my completed quilts. I'm hoping to catch up on that. In the meantime, here's a quick peek:

Several months ago, I posted about a friend of mine who sustained a ruptured brain aneurysm. I am thrilled to report that she is doing very well and has even returned to work! Back in May when I heard the news, I didn't know that she would recover so well or even how long she would be in the hospital, so I made her a quilt. 

Amy and I met through a Bible study at our church. Our first study was Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life." (<--Amazon affiliate link). In one of our first conversations as a group, we talked about how grace was not our strength as individuals, so we named ourselves "The Zeros." (Fortunately, we have all had lots of opportunities to cultivate this trait in the last ten years!)

For Amy's quilt, I wanted to make something with a simple design because we were going to Michigan for a wedding and had the opportunity to deliver it. A zero pattern seems pretty fitting. For fabric, I first fell in love with this modern gray floral with a zero motif (Keepsake Calico Fabric-Dot Daisy Gray from Joann). Then I found the cheery orange fabric with more zeroes (Meadow Lark Circle on Tonal Orange from Joann).

I used the same general piecing plan as the baby quilt I made, so it came together very quickly. 

Usually, my favorite part of making a quilt is getting a photo of it with the recipient, but Amy wasn't doing very well when I delivered it, so I have the next best thing: a picture of my quality control team testing the cuddle-ability of the finished project:

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  1. I love how the colors in your fabrics work together in this quilt, and I enjoyed reading the story that goes with it. I'd say that 9 quilts in 7 months is a great pace, especially since it's not the only thing you do and it's not something you feel up to doing all the time.

    I also think the unblogged quilt #7 is really cute and cheerful :-)

    1. Once I start one, I have a hard time pulling myself out of my craft room! #7 was a really fun quilt for a neighbor's new baby. I will catch up on my posts...eventually!

  2. I applaud you for being able to make these quilts! Thanks for linking to Less Laundry, More Linking party!


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