Pieceful Lives

“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” ~ Virginia Woolf

Corey's Quilt

Photo courtesy Corey Ann Villicana

I once heard a story about a woman who could not bear to throw her deceased husband’s clothes away so she cut them up into squares and sewed them into a quilt. Each night she wrapped herself in her ‘husband’, seeking comfort, security and warmth beneath the quilt.

More recently, Corey from Life With Little Ones posted about a quilt she made from her sons’ baby clothes and favorite possessions. It’s beautiful. The quilt and the act of Corey making it brought me to tears. I imagined this heirloom being passed down to future generations and pieces of their children’s lives being added to it.

We are all cloaked in a quilt made of pieces others have given us. Everyday you go through the

world being gently touched, sucker punched, caressed, and shoved. Everyone adds and takes away.

We are a collection of  how we’ve been handled by others. Pieces and scraps that time stitches together to create a quilt we use for security, warmth, and comfort. We may hide under

it. Some become entangled and tripped up by the quilt.

Corey's Quilt

Photo Courtesy Corey Ann Villicana

Some patches are monogrammed, a name given to us, family history.  Other pieces are ones we’ve chosen. Some are well worn, needing repair. Others look as pristine as the day they were added, with no sign of use. Some are plain. Some are bold. This collection of different colors, patterns and sizes are all stitched together with a common thread of our interpretation making each quilt unique.

With each interaction we have with another, we are exchanging pieces of ourselves. We are adding to others quilts, even if

unintentionally. These interactions affect who we are; who others are. We leave with one less piece of ourselves, replaced by a piece of someone else; it’s never an even exchange.

Corey's Quilt

Photo courtesy Corey Ann Villicana

Only a few people will ever take notice of the underside of the quilt, the side closest to the heart.
Some of these exchanges are sewn on with love and care. Other patches of life are barely hanging on by a thread.

Remember words and deeds matter.

What are you adding to others’ quilts?

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27 Responses to Pieceful Lives

  1. Victoria June 26, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Every time you post now, I read it to my mother who is recently going though tough times. They always bring a smile to her face. So there you have it, you have added a patch to both our quilts. :)

  2. Parsley June 26, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    What a wonderful idea. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    I’m glad you’ve become a piece of the quilt of my life. 😉

  3. Ginny Roth June 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Deborah, you had a very high ranked post, a well-deserved one not too terribly long ago. My guess, this one goes higher.

    Pieceful Lives is beautiful, so very, very well done.

  4. ain't for city gals June 26, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Deborah, I don’t do organized religion…but if you were a church I would come.

  5. Melissa June 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    Hey Deborah! :-)
    I thoroughly enjoyed this post….I truly hope I have added positive pieces of myself to many quilts throughout my life, I know I have some beautiful quilt squares in my own life from others…..and some of them are from you. You have a lovely spirit and a kind and giving heart….I’m glad I can call you my friend. :-)
    Blessings and Hugs
    Missy :0)

  6. Jennifer June 27, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    I just love your thought provoking posts, Deborah! Well done friend!

  7. Olivia June 27, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    What a lovely thing.. most of the antique quilts are made from old shirts, dresses and other items that one had. I do it.. Vintage dresses become aprons, curtains are pillows, sheets become drapes.. well you must know by now that I take what is there and create as I can.

    But you Deborah.. are always so sweet to point out the ‘finer’ things in life that most just walk on by.

    love you
    Olivia

  8. Stephenie June 27, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Deborah,
    Your posts are making the quilts of so many people (including mine), much richer. Thank you for your continued thought-provoking and poignant writing.

  9. Zuzu June 27, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    Oh, Deborah. You have stiched a smile on my face today.

    What am I adding to others’ quilts? I hope a little patch of joy, some beauty, a smile, or a gentle, positive thought. I hope you see a little patch from me in your beautiful quilt.

  10. Colleen June 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    What a great post and what a wonderful idea ..for both the greiving and the living! Beauthful..just beautiful!

  11. Sue at Rue-Mouffetard June 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    What a lovely post today….brought tears to my eyes…Thank you.

  12. Laura Ingalls Gunn June 28, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    I am indeed made up of raggedy strips and hand me down fabric which has been lovingly patched and embellished with the finest of laces and silk embroidery.

    Our hearts are indeed as fragile as a piece of sun worn cotton. But you can still see the beauty if you take a moment to treat it with care.

    Thank you so very much for your kind words and support my friend.
    May your open door only reveal beautiful things.

    Any package yet?

  13. Oklahoma Granny June 28, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Your post today is an extra-special one – one worth pondering over and remembering. Blessings to you today.

  14. Sherry June 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    What a lot to think about. I will think about this and watch my affect on others in the future.

  15. Dawn June 28, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    Your posts are so insightful Deborah, but I’ve probably said that before here! I would hope that I add nothing but warm, cozy pieces to others life quilts but we all have days when we’re not our best. This is a good reminder that even then we need to be mindful of how our interaction affect others.

    I really enjoyed your despription of the rooms of God’s House in your comment about my daughter. I will us it the next time she brings it up. She told me the next morning that she had nightmares because she didn’t want Buddy to be all alone out there!

    Have I mentioned how insightful you are? LOL!
    Hugs
    Dawn

  16. Alaina June 29, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    I really liked your story. Deborah I want to tell you, you have a beautiful way of telling a story.

    We do add to other’s lives, both good and bad even if we do not realize it. That is one reason I would never go back and change my life, not the bad or even the worse because it took all of it to make the person I am today and I am happy with today. I am always building on tomorrow.

    I think that blogging has become a wonderful way to make new friends, but I feel we must always be aware when making comments, something that is written as sarcastic or funny may be taken as rude or hurtful and that was not the intention.

  17. Kathy Matthews June 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Hi Deborah, what a wonderful idea. I have a bunch of my son’s baby clothes stored in a box. Maybe I should do what Corey did someday. I love your blog, too. Beautiful pictures and excellent writing!

    Take care …
    Kathy

  18. karen June 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    Thanks again for your nice comments on my blog. Happy Birthday to your mom.
    What a wonderful idea for a quilt. I started one years ago . Well mom started it . She had the top done and I was putting the names of all the grandkids on it. But I stopped. Don’t know why. I think I will pull it out . We have great grandkids of my moms I could add to it know. And I could add a piece of my dads coveralls to it. That is almost all the cloths my mom saved of his. They are still hanging on the closet door were he left them over 20 yrs ago.

  19. Anne June 30, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    What a wonderful idea! I so wish I was talented enough to do something like this.

    Hugs,
    Anne

  20. Amy June 30, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    What a wonderful post
    I am working on Brooklyns quilt made from his(our) favorite baby clothes and blankets given to us.
    I can’t wait to have it cover his bed as a teenager and think of the little one that wore those clothes.

  21. Betsy June 30, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Beautiful sentiments, I like the part about adding to others quilts, I think about my aging mother , my children and husband. Words and deeds do matter as you say, Mom always told us to be careful about what we say to one another because what we say may be the very last words spoken. I must start a quilt and thanks to you, I will pay extra special attention to the side that sits closet to the heart.
    Thank You for your kind words you left on my blog.
    Many Blessings,
    Betsy

  22. Twice Remembered June 30, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Beautifully spoken, Deborah – and so true! “What are you adding to others’ quilts?” That’s a good question to ponder daily!

    Corey Ann’s quilt is so beautiful. What a wonderful idea! I may have to try this…I bought a quilt square template a few months back because I’ve always wanted to do a quilt. This would be the perfect project!

  23. Maureen June 30, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    Oh, I love what “ain’t for city gals” wrote. If you were a church, I would come. :)

    I concur!

    As an aside, I have kept my most favorite dresses of my daughter’s for this very purpose – a quilt. But I think it would be a quilt for me. A quilt to hold her babyhood and toddlerhood. A quilt to remember.

  24. beth July 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    What a beautiful post, Deborah. You brought tears to my eyes, once again. In a good way, of course. :) I’m so glad that I found you and your beautiful blog.
    Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my laundry room. It was a little change, and it’s not perfect, but I love it! The floor is holding up pretty well, and it makes me happy every time I see it.
    I hope you have a wonderful week!!
    Beth.

  25. carole July 4, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Hi Deborah:
    I am 61 and grew up sleeping under crazy quilts handed down from Grandmothers and the older generation. Whenever I see, even a photo of, a quilt I immediately wonder of the beginning and the history of it. To think of the labor of love or just necessity that went into making it!!! I am glad the world is coming back to the roots and reusing/recycling so we can claim our past in the present. The first embroidery project I made as a child was an empty muslin flour sack with a black kitten on it to become a dish towel : )
    What an inspiring essay.
    peace
    carole

  26. Sixty Fifth Avenue July 10, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Deborah, I loved reading this post! It really made me stop and think. Your words add to your readers quilt in a positive way. Thank you.

    My daughter has special pjs that she uses kind of like a security blanket. Now I know what to do with them when she gets older.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Londen

  27. Elizabeth@BlueClearSky July 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Beautiful! What a wonderful way to think of our interactions, and our effect on those we encounter daily. Corey Ann’s quilt is lovely. Thanks for sharing your beautiful post.

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