Pretty AND Happy
I’ve been working on this quilt top as a Christmas gift for one of the children. I love it. I love the colors, I love the simple but pretty pattern, and I love the child who will sleep under it. I’ve made every bit of it with love. There are lots of “mistakes”: points where the corners don’t quite line up, wonky sewing, maybe even poor choices of fabric. It doesn’t matter to me, and I know it won’t matter to the child who receives it. He will be delighted that I made it for him, and all he will ever see is the love I put into it.
A woman I greatly admire visited with us for a while today and noticed my quilt-in-progress draped over the back of a chair. “Who’s making a quilt?” she asked.
“I am,” I said, rather proud of my effort. “It’s not fair-worthy, but I like it.”
She smiled at me. The county fair is a big deal around here, and the quilting competition is probably the most intense of all the Home Economics categories. I know. I’ve seen it. She probably has, too. “You know,” she said, “some of the best sewers in this county have never actually finished a quilt. They always send it out at the end to have the actual quilting done.”
I didn’t know that. Seems like cheating to me.
“They have all sorts of rules to make a proper quilt,” she continued. “I don’t follow any of those rules myself. I just don’t enter my quilts in the fair.”
That’s what I admire so much about her. She’s endlessly charitable, but always practical. You know, a perfect quilt, a perfect home, a perfectly dressed table with a perfectly prepared meal, these are things to be looked at in glossy magazines, but they’re not the stuff of family life. Families are messy, imperfect, and, hopefully, joyful. Like my quilt. 🙂
And how about this funny little man? I haven’t seen this little car in ages. I don’t even know where they were hiding it. But my big, baby boy dragged it out today and spent some time scooting all over the patio. Usually, his feet were sticking out the sides. He really is too big for it, but he had fun.
I never did show you our revamped living room. Remember these pictures?
These are from 2011, and this was about as good as it got. The room was cold, damp, and uncomfortable, in addition to ugly. This past February, I declared, “Enough is enough!” We knocked down walls. We tore up tiles. We hung fresh drywall. We painted. We called in the carpet guys. We got rid of the piano and built extra book shelves. And we ordered a lot of sofas. So many that the salesman asked several times if I really, really wanted that much furniture.
And the result? This is the view from the front porch looking in:
Eight months later, I still have to deal with curtains, and hang things on the walls. The TV area needs some love, a side table of some sort, and I think some more curtains to hide it when not in use. I also found some fabric I like to make more colorful pillows. But this has become a favorite place in the house, comfortable and roomy, with plenty of seating for all of us, room to play, room to read, room to just be. Not perfect, but perfectly liveable. That’s what counts, right?