Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Brokenfull Heart quilt

Brokenfull Heart, hand quilted

How do you know when to stop?  When to stop trying?  When to stop pushing?  When to resist adding another line of quilting?  We hope to arrive at a sense of completeness, and often we do.  But, the wherefore and why is elusive, mysterious.

Brokenfull Heart, hand quilted

Over the past two months I have been hand quilting this petite quilt, my Brokenfull Heart.  I relished it, not wanting to sense the end.  If I could quilt and quilt and quilt so long, my heart might mend in the process.  I had a sense, a very quiet sense, that this quilt was for Eleni, in some way, but that I would not keep it.  I would let it go.  I would make it almost as pretty as she was and send it off to (hopefully) belong to some other little girl.  And that would be good, truly good to my soul.

Brokenfull Heart, hand quilted

From time to time I'd ask a friend's opinion.  Is this done yet?  More quilting still?  Ok, good.

But last night was different.  I finished the last row and didn't ask, I declared.  It is done.  That mysterious sense of completion.  Here.  Now.  Ripe and ready and right.

Brokenfull Heart, hand quilted

Brokenfull Heart, hand quilted

As with my Eleni, I gave my very best to this quilt - my best fabrics, my creative heart and much time.  When we give our best we can keep living no matter what happens.  We can love ourselves and accept peace, because our best is all we can ever be meant to give.

 Brokenfull Heart, hand quilted

Brokenfull Heart is now listed in my Etsy shop.  Quilt top fabrics mainly by Anna Maria Horner, set in Freespirit solids and backed with Mustang Rose Border from Cotton & Steel. 


32 comments:

  1. Some things we just know. Elusive and yet right. Lovely.

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  2. My word, Rachel, you've done it again. Beauty, brokenness, hope, raw-realness, creativity, grief, survival, overcoming - all in one post about some fabric and thread stitched together with love. You mentioned (last week?) that you thought about a grief blog, or that this may be it - I think this is a REAL blog about life, and how a real woman full of creativity is living it in all it's messy beauty.

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  3. Perfect. Wonderful work of the heart.

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  4. Beautiful quilt and stitching :) "Have you done your best?" Is something I ask myself constantly in life ... my mum asked me the same question many times as a little girl. I now know why as I ask my little girls. The only way your "self" can rest is if you know you've done your very best ..

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    1. Yes, that's exactly how I see it! Thank you for the reminder to teach this lesson to my kids. I want to be a mom that says this, like your mom.

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  5. As soon as I read this this morning, I rushed to your etsy shop to buy it, and poof! It had already sold! It is absolutely beautiful. -Ruth

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  6. It is beautifully and wonderfully sewn.

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  7. Thank you, Rachel, for this beautiful quilt and your honest words. It meant a lot to me!
    Blessings from Belgium

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  8. Beautiful, simply beautiful. Tears in my eyes.

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  9. Wow, someone snatched it up already. Of course. It is and was beautiful.

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  10. Oh. How our hands and our hearts are so attuned to each other is such a beautiful mystery. How our hands can help our hearts in the turmoil they deal with is a beautiful part of that. Thank you for sharing, your creativity and your heart.

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    1. They are mysteriously connected. Well said! This spring I have been enjoying gardening far more than usual (since I usually enjoy 1-2 days max each year!). There's something about work well done that is healing, so long as you can find ways to appreciate the work.

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  11. This is a wonderful post and I am in awe of your ability to write with such meaning. I hope you are continuing to heal. It would seem so. Such a beautiful quilt.

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  12. Everything about this quilt is beautiful! Love the back!

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  13. Oh Rachel. this is just lovely.
    I love the fabrics on both sides!!♥️
    ♥️

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the back turned out. And then the flowers I photographed it beside match the quilt back too! Hope your week has its sweet moments =)

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  14. Your quilt is beautiful. You are beautiful too.

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  15. Rachel, it is beautiful, beautiful. As is your story. And the hand quilting makes it all the more precious. Wish you many happy endings. xx

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  16. It turned out lovely. I'm happy it found a home so quickly! I'm sure it will be well loved.

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  17. Dear Rachel, I have followed your journey from early in your pregnancy and marveled at the grace of God surrounding your deeply painful yet poignant months with Eleni. Thank you for sharing it with us. Though the battle between hope and despair is rarely an event but rather a process, you have demonstrated for us how to choose hope, how to cooperate with the healing God brings over time. God bless you!

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  18. Your quilt turned out beautifully! You're so right about when giving your best, you can find peace. When my parents were near the end of their lives, I did all I could for them. Having my own family and a full time job made it complicated but everyone helped and when their time came to pass, I was really at peace. I knew I had done my best to make them comfortable, safe and loved. This has been a very hard journey for you but it sounds like you are starting on the path to healing and that, in itself, is a blessing. Prayers and hugs, Rachel!

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  19. Its so beautiful Rachel. Bless you xx

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  20. i am not religious, so I will just say, may the universe grant you some sort of peace & happiness....your quilt & thoughts are beautiful. May the quilt bring much joy to the new owner.

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  21. Such a beautiful quilt and post.
    You have such a great way of expressing what you feel and how working with fabrics helps you to heal. You should consider writing a book !

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  22. What a lovely quilt and such beautiful words.

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  23. Beautiful post and beautiful quilt. Wishing you find the peace you seek.

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  24. It is beautiful and sure to be a treasure!
    And yes, our best is all we are meant to give.

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  25. Rachel, Brokenfull Heart lives up to its name. You have a way of expressing yourself that is both beautiful and touching.
    What you wrote here should be framed in all our hearts: "When we give our best we can keep living no matter what happens. We can love ourselves and accept peace, because our best is all we can ever be meant to give."

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  26. Precious! and I love reading your article on grief...so much truth! Stay strong...and remember that some days you will only be able to breathe. Don't be hard on yourself! grace and peace....

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