February 13, 2012
As anyone who has had a joint replacement knows, recovery occurs at a snail like pace. Physical therapy is painful. Pain medication is necessary but causes side effects, which means that weeks can drag on when a person simply does not feel very well. And when the weather outside is cold and gray it can simply add to the general blah feeling.
Feeling this way, I put off resuming art activities. How can I feel creative enough to paint when I’m physically so unwell? Then a granddaughter invaded my down mood with her excitement over the sonogram of her first child, and my first great-grandchild, a boy. “Please Grandma,” she pleaded. “Could you make him a quilt?” In past years in preparation for the birth of each of 13 grandchildren, I had made a crib quilt, each different, from fabric scraps accumulated from years of sewing projects. So how could I not say yes.
A quilt is definitely a creative art project. I am no purist. I do mine with a sewing machine. But choosing just the right colors and design definitely requires creativity. How could I do that feeling as I do? My washer and drier are in the basement. Since going up and down stairs is not easy at this point I tend to stay downstairs while the washer and drier run. My fabric scraps are also stored in the basement. So while waiting for the washer to finish its cycle I hauled out a number of plastic bags filled with fabric scraps. I had found an idea for a design on line, but would have to modify it. Did I have enough fabric in suitable colors?
Suddenly, surrounded by all those colorful fabrics, I wasn’t thinking about how I felt. I was thinking about the design of a quilt. I was feeling that familiar excitement that comes with the start of a creative project. “I can do this,” I knew. Within the next few days I had drawn a unique design to scale on graph paper. I can hardly wait to get started.