My quilt will not be completed in time for Christmas. I was so hoping it would be. I began sewing the blocks last February for a quilting class, and am really amazed that I have gotten this far. Some months I spent hours meticulously sewing my quilt blocks; other months passed by without sewing one stitch. I wanted to have a warm, cozy quilt on my lap at Christmas time.

I have spent some time in December working on the final step: quilting the backing, batting and quilt top together. My quilt blocks are coming to life. As a novice quilter, I didn’t realize how the actual quilting task would bring such rich dimensions to my quilt.

Pieced block on the left, quilted block on the right
Pieced block on the left, quilted block on the right

It occurs to me that these stitches I am making are much like the stitches that give dimension to my life.

Some seams I have chosen to rip out; the stitches went the wrong way and did not add the right kind of dimension to my quilt block. They remind me of old boyfriends and broken relationships. These stitches were difficult to rip out, painful even, and yet my life is better without them.

When I pressed my foot too heavily on the presser foot of my sewing machine, the seam got away from me. It was sewn too quickly and became crooked and uneven. I decided to leave these stitches in my quilt. I hope that washing and using this quilt will soften the crooked line and make it less noticeable.

Over the years, the crooked line on my chest has become softer, whiter and less noticeable than that raw, red scar that was placed there after my cancer diagnosis. This is a dimension I didn’t want in my life; a dimension of surgery, chemotherapy treatments and medication. I can’t rip out these stitches; they are permanent. Over the years, however, memory of cancer fades. It all seems like a dream; did I really lose my hair? Did I really take Tamoxifen for five years? Sometimes I even forget that I am a “survivior.”

Then there are the deliberate hand stitches; the invisible seams that were slowly and carefully made. They are unseen and yet add so much to the quilt. They are the love that permeates my life; the unconditional love I have for my children, the love for my family and friends, the love of my husband. The unseen Love from my Lord Jesus Christ, whose birth we are about to celebrate. Love will cover us this Christmas with its cozy warmth, bringing rich dimension to our lives.

Hex Stripe, sewn by hand
Hex Stripe, sewn by hand

What brings dimension to your life?

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20 Replies to “Dimensions”

  1. Beautiful post and beautiful quilt! I began a Christmas quilt earlier this year, too, and haven't picked it up to finish it in time for Christmas, either. However, I do have something to keep me warm and busy during the winter months. Always looking for the bright side of things!

  2. First of all, I'm totally impressed by the quilt. I love them but know that quilting is beyond my limits. I also love how, despite having survived cancer, you sometimes forget that you're a "survivor." You've moved on with your life, even though you have the scar on your chest that reminds you every day. Maybe it's just become part of the everyday scenery, the way you hope the crooked stitches will straighten themselves out, too, and become part of the quilt's scenery. Most of all, I love how you've equated your experience with making a quilt with your life experiences.
    My recent post Clothespin Wreath Card Holder

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