Evergreen, EverLife • Quilt #263
87″ wide x 98″ high
Center Tree: Made from a kit from Edyta Sitar. I started this in December 2019, sewing with friends. I changed up the background to something lighter.
Three borders (ric-rac squares, Sawtooth Stars, red with vines); designed and pieced/appliquéd by Elizabeth Eastmond. Binding on and finished this past week.
Quilted by Kelley Bachli.
The game: Find pine trees at quilt level in Southern California without going into the mountains. I think we did okay.
Title: The reason why the evergreen (or pine, fir, what-have-you) tree is around at Christmas is because it is ever green. I’m sure there is the bit about adopting it from pagan festivals, etc. but whatever the original reason, it has become a lovely symbol of enduring life. So I connected those two: ever-green and ever-life in the title, reminding me that I have life forever because of Christ’s birth. The trick is, of course, to do something worthwhile with that life that’s been handed to me. (Working on that.)
Either I’m very early for Christmas this year, or very late for 2019, 2020, and 2021.
We reached a sad milestone this past week: we have decided to stop receiving paper copies of one of our three newspapers. It’s the newspaper we get every day on our driveway, and I read it while having breakfast and eating my granola. We also get a national Sunday paper, and then subscribe to another national one online.
First stop, always: the comics. Then, the advice column, the horoscope. Headlines come next, and then I go through it skimming, catching the tidbits that fall into your lap when you have a paper-paper and there is no algorithm trying to force you into reading what THEY want you to. I read opinion editorials of all stripes, Letters to the Editor, and the regional news (this isn’t our local paper which went off the rails several years ago). This particular morning, I found three comic strips which seemed just for me:
And for that last one, I nominate the people who thought it was a good idea to jack up the prices our “introductory offer” to this newspaper of several years ago. We are diehard newspaper supporters, but when we recently did the math, the price over the years had crept up to nearly $800/year (!) for the subscription price. So good-bye to a life-long tradition, planted in us by our parents. I will miss you. (But don’t you love these comics?)
I MADE A DRESS. SHOCK.
It’s an EVA dress, and I’m wearing it today, accessorized with beads and lightweight jacket (you know — the air conditioning — even though the high today is supposed to be in the upper 80s). I put on 3/4-length sleeves, faced the neckline and put bias trim on the hem because it is a lantern-shaped dress. I first saw it on Lorena of Sydney at QuiltCon 2020 in Austin and fell in love with it. It’s a pattern from Tessuti Fabrics.
This was my first rodeo with online patterns. I was apprehensive about getting the pattern printed so I inadvertently ordered a hard-copy of the pattern in one size, and a downloadable copy of the pattern in another size (they have two sizes with lots of other sizes on it). I ended up using the paper instruction booklet with the downloadable pattern, getting it printed off at my local Staples/OfficeMax store.
Susan of Patchwork and Play is also my inspiration, and I’ve since ordered the Sawtell pattern from In the Folds. That’s waiting in the wings, but I don’t have much to say about this as I’m still figuring it out.
Back to Lorena–I also fell in love with her larger version of Ring Cycles on Steroids and that is now in the works. Maybe I want to be ahead of the game with another holiday quilt. After this one, I only have two more to sew that are in the closet (that I know about). I seem to collect Christmas quilt fabrics and ideas.
Pinned up Spectral Light, the bigger version of Triad Harmony. The pattern name is Triad Harmony, but you can see I have other versions: one is called Secret Garden (Kaffe fabrics) and one is called Stella di Natale (Christmas, again). I need to quilt them all.
She describes this phase of my life pretty perfectly.
But don’t we pressure ourselves to do the first, and beat ourselves up a bit if it’s the second? These dots circle (haha) back around to the thoughts at the top, and about doing something worthwhile with this life I’ve been given.
I’ve always loved C. S. Lewis’ quote (below) about recognizing the potential in others, rather than snubbing or diminishing them. And the Arthur Brooks observation of David Brooks’s column reminds me to pursue that which is important, has value, and not only that which is popular or culturally driven. This is a constant struggle sometimes, and I seem to waste a lot of time, by my own assessment.
I’ve taken to asking myself: What do I want to have finished before I go to bed tonight? My bedtime is earlier now than it used to be, Mary Englebreit notwithstanding, so knowing I’m going to have flat-lining brainwaves at a certain time can help me choose wisely. Sometimes in my days I’m only a quarter-full dot, but other times I’m there all the way. But when it is time to stop, it is time to stop.
A juggling act, but I keep at it–
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit…— C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
When the New York Times columnist David Brooks talks about the difference between “résumé virtues” and “eulogy virtues,” he’s effectively putting the ashramas in a practical context. Résumé virtues are professional and oriented toward earthly success. They require comparison with others. Eulogy virtues are ethical and spiritual, and require no comparison. Your eulogy virtues are what you would want people to talk about at your funeral. As in He was kind and deeply spiritual, not He made senior vice president at an astonishingly young age and had a lot of frequent-flier miles.
You won’t be around to hear the eulogy, but the point Brooks makes is that we live the most fulfilling life—especially once we reach midlife—by pursuing the virtues that are most meaningful to us. (Arthur Brooks, from here)