Okay, these are stones and a shell not pearls. These stones have value to me, much in the same way a pearl would to others. I pick up stones along the way as reminders of a place, a moment, a memory. A couple weeks ago my sweetie and I went to the beach, put our feet in the ocean, silly at this time of year and my feet hurt from the cold and more shells found their way into my pocket.
In my collection I have a stones from a couple of exotic places, including a couple of huge rocks from New Mexico, memories come flooding back. It’s sweet. These shells and stones are priceless to me. The rough hard edges of the stones smoothed over time; the shells once offered protection to clams, mussels, scallops. Each one is different, shaped and smoothed differently over time. Their journey different, perhaps smoothed by the same storms over time however, from different parts of a larger rock somewhere.
Last night while trying to go to sleep the parable of the pearl of great price kept coming to mind. (Matthew 13: 44-46) or the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15: 8-10). Essentially, the thoughts were of value and of the valuable, and how I nearly gave something up. Something that I value highly. I spent part of the afternoon in tears over the thought of giving this up. And later last night realized that giving this up would be horrible, that I was being a selfish idiot I did what I could to correct it. I will make it work, along with a few other things, because they hold great value.
On and off over the past few months I’ve been getting ready to write a blog post on another site. Part of what I needed to do is spend time with my sewing machine and one particular foot. Saturday I finally did in a meaningful enough way that I can complete the blog. Now to just get the camera in the studio at the same time I’m stitching. Something else happened as I was stitching 4 patch after 4 patch. I was reminded of the great joy in piecing. A great satisfaction in the seams coming together well. As I stitched I was reminded why taking perfectly good fabric, cutting it up into smaller pieces and stitching it back together is so satisfying. The reminders from stitching mindfully and pressing well, nesting seams and using the setting on the iron appropriate to the fabric. Oh what a great moment!
And this leads to a question someone asked me if, because of my skill level, I still practice quilting (not quite worded this way, but the essential of the question and I’ll address it more fully on TerifiCreations soon). Simple answer, yes. I have practice pieces all over the sewing studio. These pieces are used to figure out tension, to stitch when my brain needs to figure out a motif, when I’ve been practicing a motif on paper and need to transfer it to a quilt. I practice when I’m using a new thread or batting or fabric. I practice. I stitch and try new motifs and tools. Practicing allows me to gather information about the tools I’m using from the machine, thread, needles and batting to the music in the background and mood. In practicing I am reminded of how things work together. I have practiced more hours than I have stitched on quilts. And even then if I don’t like how something is turning out I’ll haul out the seam ripper and reverse sew. Practice is valuable. Stitching with the good stuff is valuable. Once I got into the mindset of using the good stuff to practice and figuring out what kind of practice works best for me, the machine quilting changed significantly.
Let Mercy Lead,