It’s my turn on the Splendid Sampler tour! Let me share about my block, Winter Flower.
I have never been a gardener. I’ve tried. A little. But I got impatient with the delay between planting the seed and seeing the plant. I got frustrated with the weeds that sprung up no matter how many times I had pulled them out already. And I was at the mercy of my 2 year old (at the time) who thought my freshly dug soil was put to much better use as a home for his diggers and tip trucks.
And so I turned to quilting. Blessed quilting without its weeds. I could leave my quilts for a week and they didn’t undo, I could let my kids build forts and wear capes made of quilts, and they wouldn’t be destroyed. And I could bring my quilts from rental to rental and make it a home. Quilting suited me much better. And so I stopped wasting my time with gardening. ;)
Pat asked me to have this block ready the week after we moved interstate to country Victoria almost 2 years ago. I had tried to get it done before the big day, but try as I might, my brain was full of boxes and cleaning and wondering if we were doing the right thing. We had the truck finally packed at 5pm on moving day and drove all the way to Bendigo, arriving at 3 in the morning. We parked the truck outside my brother’s house, snuck kids into beds where their kids already slept, and collapsed on their sofa. Man, that was a hard day.
We needed to get the truck back to the truck hire depot by lunch, so we woke up early (for a 3am bedtime), and drove the last 45 minutes to our new home, another rental that Tim and I had looked through quickly a few weeks before, and that I hardly remembered what it looked like. We unloaded the truck into various rooms, leaving the unpacking and furniture assembly for another time, returned the truck, and came back home to assess the chaos.
The first thing I did was unpack some quilts and lay them over our couches. I made myself a cup of tea and sat with them by the window. Then the flowers caught my eye. Dozens of beautiful yellow and white bulbs, planted by an anonymous gardener, left here as a gift for me. They were so happy and confident and bright. They had been invisible when we’d walked through quickly earlier that month, but here they were now, welcoming us home. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the effort that person had generously given, digging those bulbs into the ground however many winters ago. He or she had probably just done it for their own enjoyment, but their actions had much longer lasting effect. And I have not been so quick to dismiss gardening since!
The next day, in a moment of quiet, I sat and sketched this block. To me, it’s like a welcoming flower, arms outstretched. There’s nothing like a happy and confident presence to give you courage and joy when you have to start over.
I think quilts can be like that too, don’t you think? A welcoming gift, beauty in chaos, with long lasting greetings of comfort and hope.