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Bloggers Quilt Festival-Fall 2011

All is Safely Gathered In
Original Design

When I was a young mother I moaned to MY mother about how I never got anything done.  The laundry always piled up;  sometimes as quickly I as I could move it from the dryer, fold it and put it in the drawers, it would be used, dirtied and find its way back to the blue plastic mesh basket in front of the washer.  Meals were a never-ending story, the bathrooms always needed to be cleaned, the floor rarely seemed to be free of crumbs or sticky places.  I began quilting because I wanted a something for my bed, however I soon saw the advantage of quilting.

It stayed done.

I didn’t have to resew a seam as it didn’t unpick itself in the night.  The patches would still be there, done, when I was ready to assemble them into a quilt.  And then somewhere this stitching and patching and quilting took a turn and became my art, my way of expressing creativity.

I think I moaned to mother for years and years. Then the children grew up, the bathrooms needed cleaning only once a week, then the children left.   The dust and dirt of housework and I have made our peace with each other, leaving lots of room around my job as am adjunct college professor (English) to happily spend time cutting and sewing and creating quilts.

So, today, here is All Is Safely Gathered In, a quilt about sowing and harvesting.  I began this three years ago, trying to work with an original block I’d drafted–simple in design but it carried a nice big punch with those new large-scale prints that we were all investigating.

When I was casting about for a name, I talked it over with my husband.  How about something about harvest? he asked, and the phrase from a favorite hymn jumped right out at me.  When I was that young overwhelmed mother, I could think of nothing more satisfying than walking around the house at night, the last child in bed, the open book fallen to the floor, the night-light casting its golden glow on the cheeks and hair of these children who kept me so busy during the day.  I fell in love with them all over again, storing up these feelings of satisfaction every night against the onslaught of the day.  And now, many many years later those children walk their houses at night, picking up the books, bending over to plant a kiss on their children’s soft cheeks.

I sowed children and stitches and tasks uncompleted and time and more time and I am now reaping grandchildren and quilts and houses that don’t get quite as dirty.  While I’m not done, I feel like I have some sense of the law of the harvest.  And it is immensely satisfying, I must say.


Many thanks to Amy for hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

13 thoughts on “Bloggers Quilt Festival-Fall 2011

  1. Hey, maybe that’s why I took to quilting so readily! lol ;D This is a terrific quilt. I love the amalgamation of colors. It’s so fun to see selections like this where I see a successful harmony in fabrics I would never have thought to put together. Great work here!

  2. This is a lovely story with nice insights, to go along with your lovely quilt. Thanks for a good read. And thanks for commenting on my BQF post about my own quilt. I was unable to reply to you because you’re a “no-reply” commenter.

  3. Your quilt is very eye catching both as a thumbnail and larger photo. Enjoyed the story of how it all came together.

  4. Oh, Elizabeth. Your writing just carries me to another place. I’m reading this a week late because, well, you know, computer issues…The quilt is beautiful but it’s the writing that really speaks to me. I visualize you walking through the house and checking on the children. Anyway, thank you for giving a wonderful start to a Friday.

  5. lovely! wonderful way to use those fabrics. great story to go with it—my children are grown, too and have grandchildren, but everyone lives too far away for my choice!! of course, we spent 20 years in the army so i can’t complain too much. love your reference to that beautiful hymn and thanks for the website that i used to have in my favorites and lost…it’s fun to read about the people who wrote the lyrics and/or the music. thanks for sharing and have a great day

  6. Your story is the very same as mine. As the mother of six and foster mother to four, nothing ever stayed done. Food was eaten, dishes got dirty again, every day was wash day and cleaning day and when all the kids were at last in bed, there was nothing to show for all the work. I love to have one aspect of my life that reminds me I have done something other than chores and all my sewing is not just mending and darning socks! Your title is perfect!

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