Patchworking Through Life

Improv Blocks

 

All week I’ve been chipping away at an idea that’s been on my mind for a while now. It’s a quilt that’s been wandering through my visual thoughts with a pretty aimless path. The quilt isn’t for any reason, and it certainly doesn’t need to be made now. I have plenty of other things that actually do need to be made now.

But this is the project that’s been telling me it wants to be made now.

I’ve always been a fan of rainbow-themed quilts, I love the vibe they put off of order and structure and controlled transition. I find them very calming to look at and they make a lot of sense to me.

But at the same time I really want to work on my modern expression in quilts, which is in many ways quite opposite of order and structure and controlled transition.

So my solution to this is to make seven modern improvisational blocks, each in one color of the rainbow. Once all the color blocks are complete, I’ll piece them together on a grey background.

I’m not going into the individual block piecing with a plan, other than to end up with a square or rectangle. I have no set dimensions in mind for each block, so when all seven are done I’ll have to puzzle out a layout that fits them together and looks modernly cohesive.

As I’m finishing blocks, I’m nervous that it’s not going to come out the way I want it to.

Even so, I’m resisting the urge to plan too much ahead, rather I’m taking one color block at a time and seeing where this ends up.

It’s a little nerve-wracking for a control freak like me, but really, it’s just a quilt. We’re not talking life or death here. So I’m trying to be open-minded and philosophical and inquisitive and roll with it and not get too vested in the outcome.

Even though truthfully I really am apprehensive about how the whole thing is going to turn out (what if I hate it?).

Kinda like homeschooling has been the past 12 years.

School Books

 

It really hit home today as I finally wrote up Winnie’s transcript so she can register at the community college on Monday (last minute, no, not me…).

I went into this homeschooling thing with a general plan, but for the most part not a lot more than that. We’ve covered all the basics the state requires of course, but tailored everything else as we’ve gone along.

I wasn’t quite sure how it was all going to come together on paper, quite honestly.

(And if we’re really being honest I was scared shitless.)

So while she was away at her last drivers ed class (which culminated in her getting her license, gulp, I knew this going into it but reality is so much more intense when they have that final piece of paper in their hand), I set out to document our last 3+ years of schooling and life in general, according to the state-mandated set of check boxes.

Freak out, much?

So over the course of an hour I thought back to everything we’ve done, the books she’d read, the passions she’s pursued, the formal courses she’s completed.

And I packaged them all up into a set of little boxes on a page.

And somehow it all fit into place like a patchwork quilt, a cohesive whole I didn’t really expect and most certainly never planned from the start.

Just like an improvised patchwork quilt.

A modern, improvised patchwork quilt.

And now it’s totally clear to me why I’ve been compelled to work on my color blocks this week.

I feel somewhat reassured now that my blocks will come together in a beautiful and functional whole when all is said and done, even if the results aren’t what I expect.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s the best part after all.

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