I often hesitate to mention what I really love in my life for fear of being judged. It isn’t something I think most people would understand. Maybe the would and it is my own intimidation and yet I hesitate. There is a hold against the words that would flow so easily from me that I cannot speak them. They wouldn’t understand why I feel this way about it. They won’t get it and think me odd or old fashion or some other dislikable trait. Maybe it’s best I don’t say anything and appear normal.
There is an excitement for me when I go into a fabric shop. The array of colors, patterns and potential of how it can all come together. I’ve made quilts for a long time now. Self-taught and stubborn I have gone from beginner diving in head first to thoughtful and strategic quilter. Patience still gives me a challenge when I want the quilt finished but even here I have found the graceful peace of enjoying the creative and work process it requires to make a quilt. It is when I release my expectations of how fast I should go and simply enjoy the sound of the machine and connection of fabric to form something unique and beautiful.
Quilting isn’t something everyone does these days. We often think of old ladies and our grandmas who would sew much less quilt. Who has time for such novelties these days? It is not that I always have time for it either but when I do it is like a deep meditative exercise that leaves me relaxed and clearer in mind. Most of my quilts I have made for my own use and for my family. Some I have made for friends, new babies and even sold. I take pictures of each and every one as a way to see how my own style, skill and practice has changed over time. To me it is not a hobby that is of the old times when people had time but rather an outlet of creative expression and passion.
This thing I have for making quilts ties into my love of living naturally too. I first realized it when I started considering the source of fabrics I was purchasing and using in my quilts. I was beyond a beginner now and sought out materials to make quilts more long lasting, higher quality and representative of the labor I would put into them. Heirlooms. Pieces of my legacy that someone would benefit from. Tied to nature through the process of using real raw materials to form the fabric, print and paint the pattern that would be carefully cut and sewn by me. This is when I realized my quilting was more than some casual hobby to craft but was an extension of my connection to something larger in life.
Isn’t it amazing when we find these elements of connection with what we thought were simple routine and normal tasks? It was not only that my quilting skill had progressed but having this greater understanding is what gave me the patience for it as well. I was creating and molding something from nature therefore it deserved my loving care and patience to make perfect. Nature has a way of making us slow down and take notice of the details around us. We feel differently in this state of connection and heightened awareness. We are mindful of the present and feel tension and stress leave our space. There’s no room for it.
The deeper I move into living naturally the greater I see not only the products I use as that link to nature in every day life but also that of my very own motions and actions. Those motions flow into how I think about things, what appeals to me and nourishes my body and mind. It becomes part of who I am.
Feeling this way you would think it would flow easily to share this with others. Yet I hesitate because I know what it is like to see someone completely comfortable with who they are. It feels intimidating and consuming to the point of uncomfortableness. I envision the look of shocked awareness I may be insane and see people backing slowly away as I casually describe that I feel a soul connection to nature when I sew a quilt. People don’t understand I tell myself. They just see a well made quilt. Something to stay warm under or enjoy on a picnic. Sharing what I love whether it is the making of a quilt or an oil blend I use to clean the house is therefore difficult and not easily explained in casual conversation.
It is when I see the spark of interest and curiosity to learn more that I know someone has heard something at their soul level too. They have heard about this natural living thing but are not sure what it really means. I promise it is not all this touchy feely stuff but actual tangible transformation that emerges from our own being until we are unrecognizable. We cannot explain without appearing odd, different and yet captivating because we seem to have tapped into something secretly divine. I love seeing others discover that in themselves as it reminds me of my own journey.
In a way it is like an awakening of our senses. It changes how we respond to situations and what used to stress and overwhelm us is no longer a bother. We actively seek out that which makes us feel our best. One of those things for me making quilts so I can touch nature in my hands and mold it in a way to hold it up to us physically. Another is the in the aroma of oils I use to spray on my quilts before boxing them up to ship to the recipient so they may connect to nature through opening this box. So while I cannot describe it without seeming like my mind is gone, I can express it in all that I do and what others can experience when they are around me.
Sharing my love of hobbies such as quilting has allowed me to open that door to helping others find their way to nature too. Sometimes it is just a quilt, a novel gift of friendship and love but if they look closer it is so much more indeed.
For more on how you can live more naturally, follow me on social media or visit my website. dragonspitapothecary.com