Our lives have seasons. Times change, circumstances change, people change. And the seasons turn from one to another.
One of the things I used to do in another season was quilt.
I love quilting! Everything from designing the quilt top, to selecting the fabrics, to cutting out the pieces with as little waste as possible, to measuring out each length of thread.
I'm an old fashioned quilter. The fewer machines that touch the fabric, the better.
I wonder sometimes if I'll ever get back to it....
But I come from a long line of quilters.
This beautiful quilt was made by my great-great-grandmother, Eliza Mummert Sherck. The pattern is "Mariner's Compass." I mentioned it in my book, A Mother for His Children - it's the quilt Ruthy's mother made for Waneta's future wedding.
A quilt is a legacy of love, passed from one generation to another. Every hand that works on a quilt leaves a little bit of the quilter behind, and every quilter lives on in the quilts that are treasured for years after they pass on.
It's this love of quilting that makes my feet slow down when I pass the quilting room at Greencroft, the Mennonite home where my dad now lives. Go here if you want to learn about this fabulous place.
Down the hall from Dad's apartment is this place where quilters meet. Since we're usually there in the evening or early morning, I don't often see the quilters at work, but I've admired the quilts through the window.
The quilters, all Mennonite and Brethren ladies, with a few Methodists and Baptists, etc. thrown in, always have a quilt in the frame. Most of them are made by ladies in the community who bring their quilts in to be stitched.
The quilters all donate their time, and the money they earn goes to charity.
They stitch everything from quilt tops to wall hangings, and sometimes even a quilt one of their group has pieced.
Stitch by patient stitch.
With a lot of visiting going on around the quilt frame, too!
Before we left Goshen on our last visit there, I peeked in the window of the quilting room, and one of the ladies was already hard at work! It was a pleasure meeting Velma Plank and visiting with her about the Greencroft quilters.
Of course, a double pleasure, since one of my great-great-grandmothers was a Plank, and in Mennonite and Amish Country, that means we're definitely related :)
Velma spoke of the other quilters in the group, some planning to drop by a little later than her 8:00 starting time. But others, she said, gesturing to the photos on the wall with her needle, "have passed on."
Gone, but not forgotten in the quiet conversations around the quilting frame where past memories and present stitching weave through the hours.
It makes me hope that maybe - sometime in the coming years - I'll actually finish all the quilts waiting for me. Someday, when life is slower and friends are even more precious.
Do you quilt? Or is there some other "thing you used to do" that you may take up again someday?