My galaxy quilt is progressing very quickly. I’ve actually completed three more blocks since I took this photo! This is only the second quilt I’ve made – the first was my very first sewing project, back in (gulp) November, 2009.
After I made that first quilt, I started sewing garments, and pretty much didn’t look back. I didn’t have the patience for large scale projects (See: the endless parade of winter coats that I started and never finished). When I decided to start sewing again, I knew the first thing I wanted to sew was a quilt. First, it’s a matter of necessity – I’ve got a friend staying with me for the Kentucky Derby this week, and I literally only owned one blanket. He will have to sleep under a cheap target blanket, but future guests will have nicer things. Second, I wasn’t necessarily eager to actually measure myself and find out what size of sewing pattern I need to cut these days. But, ultimately, in this season of my life I was looking for something to focus on.
This is the first time I’ve lived alone in twelve years, and perhaps the first time in my life that I’ve been truly dependent only on myself. After separating, I lived with a friend with a spare room for some time, until things were settled and I felt I could decide what the next chapter of my life looked like. I didn’t really want to live alone – I’m something of an extrovert, and the thought of all that time with myself wasn’t something I felt comfortable with. But I fell in love with the apartment, and with the vision of myself in it. With, I think, the life I could lead as this theoretical independent single lady.
And it is, at times, lonely. I have friends, and a social job, but I ultimately come home to myself (and to my kitty, Dionne, my other cat Leon having sadly passed away from liver disease a few months ago).
I find that quilting has a certain meditative quality to its precision. From starching and ironing, to cutting, to sewing with an exact quarter inch seam. It’s distracting, and it’s soothing, for those times when my brain starts to run away from me.
This week, and the Derby madness that is this city in the first week of May, marks one year since I decided to go. Within the space of that year, nearly everything has changed. I am no longer who I was then, even if I’m not always sure who I am now. When the quilt is finished, I hope it will be a reminder of this time, when everything felt new.