Monday, December 5, 2011

Faded Dreams

 The Quilt. Planning - weeks of it. Selecting just the right fabrics - weeks for that, too. Studying in my mind about what it will look like - more weeks. It was going to be beautiful, specialized, customized, and just right. And it was! It turned out just like I had envisioned. The last step - throw it in the washing machine so the clipped seams would "rag." Raise the lid on the washing machine and pull it out - - - OH NO!!! The red had faded to the white!! Big ugly uneven splotches of pink all over the white squares. It was ruined. Tears rolled down my face. Sobs came from my chest. I had worked so hard. My mind had been consumed for weeks on this quilt. It was destined for a silent auction to raise money for my grandson's high school band program. Everyone would think it was just gorgeous and would bid on it and raise lots of money! Uncharacteristically, for me, I had finished it a week early! (The picture on the left are a couple of the squares I embroidered on my machine to go into the quilt. Taken before the invasion of the red dye.)

I couldn't even think about what to do to fix it. I didn't think I had time to make another. Should I tear it apart and try to salvage the usable squares? I didn't know. I put the problem on my Facebook page and got over 40 comments. One comment was from a friend who works at a dry cleaners. He told me not to do anything to it and bring it to him. It is now in his hands and I'll know in a couple of days if it can be cleaned up.

Ok, so this is a quilt. It's a bunch of cotton fabric I bought in large pieces, cut into smaller pieces, and sewed back together to make it a different large piece. Sounds counter productive, doesn't it? But that's what quilters do. Sometimes we are able to sell the quilts for large sums of money. Sometimes we just give them away. Sometimes we hang onto them and refuse to let them go. But when you get right down to the bottom line - it's just a bunch of fabric. Fabric that probably costs too much. It's just a "thing." And this "thing" had taken over my mind, time, and emotions.

Why am I stressing over a "thing" that has a little monetary value, when there are children in the hospital that would love to have a special quilt to call their own? Why am I stressing over a "thing" when there are children in my own town that might not have enough supper to eat tonight before they go to bed? Why am I stressing over a "thing" when some children don't know where their parents are due to effects of drugs or alcohol? And why am I stressing over a "thing" when some parents aren't able to provide a nice Christmas for their children because they don't have a job, a job that was lost due to the economic times we are in?

Last year at this time, I was recovering from all the effects of cancer treatments. I have a warm house, plenty of food, a job, my health (again), a loving family who are all also healthy, and several quilts to bring me pleasure. So - if the ruined quilt can be repaired, that's good. If it can't - that's ok. I shall stop crying and whining and complaining and concentrate more on helping someone this Christmas that is less fortunate than I.

I keep thinking of that parable Jesus told about the man who had so much "stuff" he was going to tear down all his barns and storage bins and build bigger ones. As he was planning on socking all that wealth away to live a long easy life, God stepped in. "You fool! You come here to me! Now we'll see who gets all your "stuff"!" (My translation.) To read the actual parable go to Luke 12:13-21.

Many times we can feel we are being generous. But are we ever generous enough? Are we too consumed with accumulating "stuff" and stressing over it if it doesn't measure up to our human standards? I think I need to ponder some more scripture.


  1. As always, Rhonda, your words bring me to a hard and fast HALT! Thanks for the reminder that PEOPLE, not THINGS, are what's important in this life. I count you among my blessings each and every day.

  2. I believe God takes things like this to make us stop and contemplate the priorities of life. There are many trials and tribulations in this life, but when we allow God to speak to us, to whisper in our ear, we can see the lesson or the blessing in a terrible situation. I do not say this lightly. I am still straining to hear God's voice in my own life. I will say, I would pay even more for your quilt knowing the story behind it. The pink stains speak volumes. Mrs. Troy Gary Mitchell

  3. You're so right, Rhonda! If I only spent a portion of the time, energy, and money I spent on "stuff" and spent it on helping others, I know the Lord would be honored.

    Thanks for the reminder!