Monday, 24 February 2014

Quilting for Charity and Emotional Healing

This weekend I decided to let my husband take the reigns with the little one and left me to quilt. I quilted literally all day, from morning coffee to after dinner tea. I accomplished four baby quilt tops. These quilt tops are going to be for the hospital that my quilt guild is associated with, this is what their website says

 "Many OVQG members participate in our ongoing program of providing baby quilts for the premature babies at the Rich Little Special Care Nursery, Ottawa Civic Hospital. This is the special care nursery at the Civic Hospital. These quilts are used for protecting the tiny babies from the lights and noise of the nursery. The babies take the quilts with them when they finally go home. "

When doing the charity quilts I really enjoyed trying different methods for each quilt. This included paper piecing (the cupcakes), improv piecing (the yellow and blue), Y-seams (the blue and pink) and traditional block piecing (the red and white).  I found it makes me a better quilter and is always fresh when I switch methods of quilting. This is not hard to do when you consider how many resources the Internet has for quilters.

The baby quilts really hit a special cord with my family and myself. I had the very best pregnancy with my daughter, completely normal, quick happy birth, no problems to speak of. After the birth of my daughter, I discovered that my husband and I had developed "fertility challenges", meaning I cannot have any more children. For the next couple years I really stayed away from anything baby, it was simply too hard to hide my sadness. When I joined my guild and I saw the charity quilts for babies, I realised how my emotions were really holding me back from living to my highest potential.

I had a revelation, the only thing in my mind worse than not being able to have a baby, is to have have a baby who is sick or in pain. I am blessed with my daughter and her healthy vibrant self and if I can help those who are not as fortunate as myself, then what was I waiting for? No one has more fun novelty scraps laying around! To be honest, while piecing these tops, I felt more at peace than I have felt with my struggles in a long time. If I cannot have another baby, then I will help the babies and their families who are hurting, that is a pain I will never have to experience and I want to help. We need to realize our blessings more and these little quilts really helped me realize how lucky I am with my little one.

I am participating in Amy Gibson's Sugar Block club and for February we are supposed to be trying to show mercy as a personal challenge or affirmation. Thank you Amy for giving me the courage to step out of my grief and step into a place where I can help others. I encourage us all to do the same, if there is something you struggle with, a cause that hits close to home, why not help others you can relate to? It is a great way to make 2014 the best year yet.

Isn't it amazing the emoitional struggles and triumphs quilts bring out? They are so much more than fabric and batting and thread. I never imagined what I was getting into when I jumped into this world of quilting!

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