Of Monsters and Quilts

Early this year, before cancer 2, I had a dialogue with someone dear to me about fear. Her self-talk reminded her to look at Jesus instead of looking at her fear. Brilliant! I had in mind a gnarly monster approaching obliquely from behind while hearing Jesus gently tell me to look in His wonderful face. He would take care of both the monster and me. Little did I know at that moment what a powerfully helpful image and tool that would become the very next month.

There are so many monsters. Some of them are tiny, no big deal. Others threaten to hack and slash everything. Either way, none are welcome. And these particular cancer monsters do deliver on their promise, they certainly make life miserable. That fear, dread, foreboding, was entirely justified. In the many days of waiting between diagnostic and treatment decisions, good news was almost non-existent.  Doctors are still talking about cure, and “not-likely-to-die” is objectively good news. However, the journey through not-likely-to-die is not the same as not-likely-to-suffer, not-likely-to-thrive, not-likely-to-have-other-body-parts-in-need-of-attention, the list continues.

Anyway, after my last surgery (March 6), I experienced . . . Knitter’s Block? Is that even a thing? I’ve used kitting for decades to cope with all kinds of life situations, and I couldn’t pick up my needles. Huh. Deploy Quilting Friend. I was on serious weight restrictions, so she came over promptly when called to dig through my stash, an impressive one, to find fabrics for hand piecing a quilt. I’ve never pieced a quilt that way. Takes a long time. Well, I have nothing but time available and lots of waiting. English Paper Piecing it is. I’m doing nothing fancy with it, just stash busting. But here’s the thing. In collaboration with my posse, there is so much in this quilt that is still an expression of groaning, hope, add your own idea to the mix. I’ll be closing out the piecing soon to prepare for the hand quilting process. I have a frame ready to go and my goal is to have it loaded or prepped in such a way that by the end of July (more surgery) I will transition to that phase of the process. Maybe that will carry me through radiation? Who knows.

Quilt progress at the end of May

7 thoughts on “Of Monsters and Quilts

  1. I saw the first piece near the top, with the little monster in the center. While you may have some of those throughout these pieces…when one sees all the pieces together in the bottom photo, from a distance, they make such a beautiful, vivid, even joyful scene! Something both poetic and spiritual about this, but I can’t find the words. I hope this piece serves you well over the next months.

  2. Goodness, I LOVE the monster in the quilt. Contained. Surrounded by beauty. Stitched together by your hands while facing down your monsters and looking at His beauty. What a great reminder this is going to be for you.

    (Have been without decent internet and am just now able to catch up on the last few posts. Is there anything I can do to help out?)

  3. Love your progress!!!!!!! It is looking great and I look forward to seeing the next part of your process!

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