Tuesday, September 28, 2010

11 months

I realized today while we were house hunting that today is 11 months since my dad passed away. It's also 1 year since I finished my first 60 degree star flimsy... I remember showing my dad, watching him smile. He didn't say much, but he smiled and nodded. The next month got busy in the worst kind of way. I didn't get that flimsy quilted until April, when I was laid up from the bone bruise (that still won't go away). I hand-quilted it, partly because my right foot had a giant boot on it, and partly because I was afraid to wreck what had turned into a symbolic quilt.

Dad's Snowflakes.
It took me about two weeks to quilt it, then another evening to bind. It came out 36" across. I recently got it back out since it is the perfect size to go over my feet now that the nights are getting colder. Dad's one comment was that it looked like snowflakes, so I named it Dad's Snowflakes. Waaaaay too symbolic, yet perfect. It needed to be made; I needed to get the turmoil we were all living through out of my head and onto something visible, where I could deal with it. This was how I started grieving. Anyone who has watched a loved one battle cancer knows the grief starts with the diagnosis, not with the time of death. It was his winter, and I was playing with black and white prints which included the skulls. I have gotten far enough from that day that I don't cry much anymore, and I try to focus on remembering the good memories.

Another thing that I love about this quilt is the sheer whim with which I made it. I love stars, so I designed a star quilt. Plain and simple. I didn't worry about any of the technical aspects (didn't even know that 6-pointed stars weren't easy), just went. Sometimes, I feel like I research too much now before starting a project. That's another joy of the EPL quilt (which I did work on for about 30 minutes, but I'm way too tired to be accurate longer than that!). I made a very rough sketch and I'm just going for it again. That's my style, with quilts, with life. 

I want to make another 6 pointed star quilt, but bigger. Not yet.... perhaps the first project that I'll start in the new house, whichever one we end up in (hopefully #1!). I think, to contrast the "Debbie Downer" theme of the first, I'l make something BRIGHT. Maybe Christmas colors, maybe just wildly vivid and cheery. That' another way I deal with grief-- Humor and opposition. If I start feeling down, I make light of it and find something happy, or at least not negative about the situation.

Tonight, as I start winding down early, I'm sitting with this blanket on my feet, and instead of a quilt compensating for poor circulation, it's like my dad is here telling me how proud he is of all the quilts I've made since he passed. My grandpa, his dad, who passed shortly after, would love them, too. He would have half-jokingly told me I should eat more if I'm that cold (humor came to me from both sides).

But hey, Dad, check it out: the Bears won again!!! 3-0, whoohoo!!!! My Monster of the Midway and I are so happy about that! Perhaps even the Bears operate under the mentality that things are easy until you've been told otherwise, kind of like me and my 6 pointed stars!

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