First, for the oldest bit of happiness. Last week, I spend about 4 hours at my friend Ruhanna's house to complete my first ever quilt. Yes, people. I am now a quilter! That was what my last post was about. Now that I have confirmed that the recipients of said quilt have received it in the mail, it is safe to post the finished product here:
This is the baby quilt that I made for my friends Daniel and Victoria. Quite stimulating for baby, isn't it? The squares are made by friends who came to their baby shower. I got the idea from
Pinterest. First, cut out plain, white quilt squares. Then, you take freezer paper and draw the design that you want to print onto the square. Cut out the design using an X-Acto knife (found at craft stores). The positive or negative of the image (whatever you choose) is ironed on to the fabric square. Yes! Freezer paper sticks to fabric! When it is ironed onto the fabric, you can take it outside and spray the fabric with fabric spray paint. Once dry, you peel the freezer paper off, and voila! You have a beautiful design!
For the rest of the quilting venture, I had my friend, the quilting virtuoso, teach me. Ruhanna is so wonderful! I feel like you don't quite appreciate something someone has given to you as a handmade gift until you try it yourself. Alex's aunt made us a quilt as a wedding present, and I didn't know just how much effort and time she must have devoted to it until now.
Ruhanna also told me that if there was anything that I had learned with her that day, that she hoped that it would be this: "'Mistakes' in life can be much as they are in quilting - 'we can fix that!' or at the very least, 'that will quilt out!' When we look at life's overall picture, as with our quilts, we tend to see the finished product as pleasing and good --- yes, with a few mistakes along the way here and there, but the bottom line is what we see makes us smile and we know we have accomplished something!"
Yes, I have accomplished something! And I am proud of it. The phrase "that will quilt out" refers to the fact that if you make a mistake with your quilt, you can always fix it when the actual quilting step takes place. Ruhanna told me that quilters say "We can quilt it out!" all the time when there is something in the fabric that is not quite right. In life, mistakes are made, but it seems that God always works them out. He "quilts out" our bad choices and helps us to move on.
As for "quilting it out," I made a mistake recently at work, which almost ended up in a really bad outcome for someone. I beat myself up for a couple of days, but finally I just took a deep breath in and out and focused my entire being on praying to God to take it away. I don't know if it was the fact that I could feel my entire self invested in this prayer, or if I just really believed that He would take it. Or, maybe there was no "I" involved in it at all. Perhaps He just decided to take it. What mattered is that He did. Instantly. It was just like He said, "Okay, no problem" and made me stop beating myself up about it. He made me realize that we all make mistakes, and it turns out that the mistake I had made, He made it alright for the person it affected. I can't be specific, but the person I am thinking of is back to himself again, and is getting physically better than he was when I met him. God really is the Great Physician. He heals us physically, and for me, He healed my conscience. He stopped my horrible habit of blaming myself over and over again. At least for now.
For the last bit of happiness, I would like to thank my sister Alison. Alison and I have a love for Joe Hisaishi, who is responsible for the soundracks of most Hayao Miyazaki films (Howl's Moving Casle, Kiki's Delivery Service, Totoro, Ponyo, Spirited Away, etc.). Please take a few minutes (or hours) to fully enjoy his compositions that are featured in his "Studio Ghibli 25 Years Concert."
After I made my quilt, I thought, "Wow. If the zombie apocalypse happens soon, I am going to have the most useless survival skills: playing the accordion and machine quilting." Then I remembered that I am a registered nurse. I think people would have me on their survival team, right? Hope you enjoyed my bits of happiness! Until next time, may God bless your days in ways that you do not expect.