Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pieces of a quilt

Back in the day, I used to quilt. It was a hobby of mine that occupied my time, when the kids were young and I wasn't working (in the workplace anyway).

When you begin a quilt, you begin with the design stage. You pick your pattern, color scheme and go shopping for the fabrics, the batting and lay everything out to begin the work. It starts with cutting the fabric, carefully, since each piece needs to line up just right, or your quilt will not work. You need to take your time, be careful and sure in your cuts.

As you move on to the piecing of the quilt, it can at times feel overwhelming. Quilts are constructed over time. They do not go together in the course of a single day. When you begin to join the pieces, this too must take the utmost of care. You have to be certain you have your pieces in the right order.

I found a wonderful trick to keep me moving forward. Especially with a quilt, you can see sections that you can focus on completing one at a time. Each day, as another section is complete you see the quilt take its shape. Before long you are half way done. You hang the completed sections on the wall and stand back to see the progress. Seeing how far you have come, helps you begin the next section, and then one day, you are done... with the piecing.

Then you move onto the quilting itself.
Once again, you complete one section at a time. I would say to myself, when I get through three blocks, I can go to bed. Or once I finish this row, I will go get a manicure!

This technique I used to quilt, I used to get through chemo therapy. I only needed to focus on completing this one session. After that, I would start looking at how far I had gone, not how far I had to go. It helped me show up. It helped me look back one day and say, "I'm done with that! Now on to the rest of my life."

Now I am only 20 days from the 3 day walk. Look how far we have come. We are almost there and there is no time to sit back and reflect since we still have work to do.
Today I had a scheduled open house. But it was also a training day. I got up early and ate a trail bar, packed up my fanny pack and headed out the door by 7:11 am heading down the hill to squeeze in a walk. I left Glenn a note that said I was walking across the bridge. Looking at the the time, I knew I couldn't dawdle. In order to get across the bridge and back in time to shower and be at my open house by 1, I needed to keep on track.

The sky was filled with high grey clouds. The weather report said there would be a Northerly front coming through in the afternoon. But despite the clouds, the air was so still it made the creek appear to be a mirror. Even the bay, once I reached there, was flat and shiny. The reflections of the clouds mirrored the grey while the sun sent small rays dancing on the surface.

I found today, that in the past 3 days when I hadn't walked, I had gotten a little stiff. As I walked through Sausalito, I thought maybe I should call it quits early. I did after all have things I needed to do. It would have been understandable. But I reminded myself of my quilts. I picked an object in the distance and said to myself "When I get to that sign, I will see how I feel." And as it usually is, when I got to the sign I felt like I could go to the next object, then the next. Before I knew it I was at the base to the bridge. I headed up the hill and found myself more winded than usual. But once again, I set my eyes on the horizon and found a bend in the road and told myself, I could reevaluate once I reached that. Then low and behold I was on the bridge and walking across the bridge. There was scarcely a breeze as I walked between tourists and athletes. When I reached the SF side I found a tiny piece of pride and accomplishment for pushing onward.

I looked at my watch and knew I needed to head back quickly. I called Glenn and told him to meet me at the Coast Guard station at Fort Baker by 11.
Then onward I headed and made it back across the bridge to Glenn's car exactly at 11.
There were times today when I felt tired, and not up to the task of this walk. But at the end of the day as I sat in my vacant listing in Greenbrae, I felt quite complete. The day had me meeting all my commitments, while I completing a 10 mile walk. Not bad for a morning's work!

An old foundation at the base of Marinview above Tam Valley School.

A pair of ducks


Snowy egrets


The sun on the water


Egrets in flight

Egret at Gate 6 1/2

Maybe Allison will have a crossfire one day.... U of Denver

Houseboats on a mirror

Recording studio

Boats in Sausalito

Presidio Yacht club

Coast Guard

At base of bridge

Ready to head across

On the bridge

The restroom line... no thank you.

Under the North tower

Boat and kayaks on the bay

19 Gregory Place, Greenbrae - 1pm-4pm
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Come on you can do it... It doesn't have to be big... but it has to be something.