Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Love and good will

Hi all. I've been trying to write this post all day, and I do have something quilty to talk about today, but it feels a little silly to talk about quilts and other hobbies right now, doesn't it? Every day I wake up and I'm not sure what country I'm in. I thought that the pandemic was a very challenging time, and what is happening in our country right now just leaves me at a complete loss for words. I am heartbroken, and angry, and fearful all at once, and like many of you I don't know where we go from here.

I said I had something quilty (and pretty happy) to show today, so let's talk about that first, and those of you who don't want to read my other thoughts can just skip them.  Here is my mostly finished project:


These are two little quilts that are going to Jack's Basket through Sarah's Hands to Help quilt drive. This is an awesome organization, and they ask for smaller quilts, so these are just 36 by 36. They look a little wrinkled, but I promise that they are very cozy, and I took these pictures in the evening, so the shadows make them look worse. They're really very cute in person.


These are quilted but not yet bound, and they might look a little flat to some of you. I used flannel inside instead of batting, and put flannel on the back. I really like how that turned out, and I might do that for all my baby quilts from now on. They are lighter and fold up a little smaller, and they will probably fit into the baskets a bit better.  I also used the wavy stitch on a quilt for the first time, and I love how it turned out.


I have to admit that the end of the challenge snuck up on me, so for the rest of the week I'm planning to power quilt through my donations. Cross your fingers, though, because I also have a paper to finish by the 12th. What's a little pressure at this point?


And on to the non-happy part of the post:

Talking about those happy little quilts has lightened my mood a little, but after a few minutes the reality of it all comes back. I've tried to keep politics out of this blog, mainly because I want it to be a fun and happy refuge from the craziness of the rest of the world. It would be wrong, though to ignore what's going on right now. There are armed soldiers in the streets of the capitol of this nation, protests in the most beautiful cities in this country, too many men and women arrested, too many dead for no reason, an ongoing pandemic that has claimed more than 105,000 lives, millions are unemployed, and oh, yeah-- there are still children locked up at our border because their parents wanted a better life for them. And the Secretary of Defense calls the cities and neighborhoods where most Americans live "the battlespace."

For one of the very few times in my life, I feel fairly useless here. I'm a white woman in my late 50s. Protesting and marching are not for me. I've written checks and clicked "donate" buttons, and I voted today, but it feels like such a small effort. I wish we had a leader, a real leader, not the hollow man in the White House and the sycophants who serve him, to help lead us out of this space that we're in. I wish I knew a way to wrap George Floyd's family in love and comfort, and the families of so many others, too-- Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Ahmaud Aubrey, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor. . .and on and on and on. I wish I knew better ways to let my black brothers and sisters know that their pain is felt by Americans of all races, and we are not indifferent to their suffering.

Sigh. I know all is not useless, as this country is better than it was when I was a child, and even better than when I was a young woman. It just feels very hard right now. Perhaps we are witnessing the birth of an even better country. Can it be? Can we make it so? Can we piece together something better out of the crises we face today? I pray that we are strong enough to do so, I really do, and I cry because of all the time and lives we have already lost.

All my love and good will to all of you today, quilty friends, with my wishes for a better tomorrow for ALL of us, together. The moral universe bends, and let it bend toward justice, please Lord.

Thanks for listening to my rambling,
Mari

20 comments:

PatriciaLud said...

Cute baby quilts, and they do add a bright spot to my day. I share your thoughts and concerns, and it's so hard to focus on anything else. It helps me to read about history - a recent bio of Hamilton reminded me that deceit and treachery have always been with us. I love reading novels set during the first and second world wars because it reminds me that people have lived through terrible times and made the world a better place. Let's hope.

MissPat said...

All I can say at this point is that I agree with you. I am bewildered and confused. I fear for our country as never before. Be well, stay safe.
Pat

Sara said...

Well said. I am a white woman in my mid-60s who feels the same as you do. I'm helpless but I certainly fear for my family members in Minneapolis and other cities - both white and black. Some of those family members are seething with anger and there is nothing I can say that helps that for them.

And . . . adorable baby quilts!!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Mari, it's sad and disheartening that in our lifetimes, nothing much has changed, and actually it feels like hatred and racism in our country may have gotten worse. It's definitely hard to know what to do, besides talking about it. Voting is my answer, too. Meanwhile we quilters try to give love and comfort with our bits of fabric, and that makes a difference for someone!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Those are very cute baby quilts - and will truly make someone happy. I do like that we as quilters - can make small differences in our happy quilts. Hugs to you my friend!!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I thought by this time of my life we would be in a better America and it does seem like instead of going forward we have gone backward in the past 3 years with the so called "leader" of our country - he has taken the country backward instead of forward and all we can do it vote - protesting never seems to accomplish much other than it makes the news and some people that are totally unaware of what is going on become aware. At times I just have to unplug from it all and loose myself in my quilting and garden. I do so hope enough people want change that we will have a surge in voting and get this man and his followers out of office - he is more like Hitler than some people seem to realize

AnnieQuilts said...

As they say on TV, you are not alone. Often the best way to feel better is to share our feelings. I've lightened up on that because so many around here are big fans of the current administration, which just boggles my mind. IMO, the best thing we can all do is vote, in every election, not just the national ones. And then do all we can to listen and help others however we can. We can't all help the Floyd family, but there are so many others closer to home that we can help, even in small ways.

ebwhite said...

I also make quilts for donation to the county newborn nursery. I have always used flannel rather than batting. I like the way holds the front and back together when quilting and how it looks when finished. Like you I cannot march or protest but I can imagine the sweet babies of all colors wrapped in my gift.

Preeti said...

Thank you for quilting and for sharing. Thank you for writing and for being my friend. This time it is different. The outrage is widespread but so is the crackdown. Protesters are met with brutal force and even the journalists are not spared. He has the DOJ at this beck and call and the GOP led Senate has neither the guts or the gumption to speak truth to power.
I speak my mind, I voice my concerns, I vote and I donate to worthy causes. I will continue to do all of the above. And yet I feel powerless to make any difference. I have also been praying and meditating more regularly than ever before. Lord, please help.

Quilter Kathy said...

The deadline for the challenge snuck up on me too!
I must get my butt in gear. It does help to distract from the terrible events going on.

Margie said...

Thank you for a colorful quilt post and a thoughtful commentary on the current horrors. Several in my family are having stressful times now that aren’t related to virus and only marginally because of politics and law. I’m near the one year anniversary of the death of my husband. It seems overwhelming and out of my control. I avoid TV news and social media and pray a lot. God help my country and my family.

Louise said...

I'm with you all the way, Mari, both in feeling helpless and in hoping for hope. Surely we will find a way? Making quilts for charity seems small, but it is important because it links us to a community of people who do care. We are out there, trying to do the right things. Voting is such a big one! Hang in there and keep making your darling quilts for little people who need love and comfort.

Angela said...

It is sad to see that things keep getting scarier. Hopefully things will change with the next election and we can begin to heal as a nation. There are positive steps we could be taking. Not calling out the military and attacking protesters. It doesn't seem like America right now.

Bernie Kringel said...

Hi Mari, You have voiced the issues better than I could have so thank you for that. My refuge in these quilt blogs, my sewing room and playing with fabric is what I need right now. I cannot just read the news and talk about the negativity in the world all the time. It is horrible but it is also ok to take a breath and create something - especially if that soothes your nerves. trying times - absolutely. Horrid administration, goes without saying. I just hope and pray it gets better.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Those donation quilts both turned out great, Mari. What a good idea to use flannel inside! I may have to try that, too.

Cathy said...

Thank you for your post, Mari. I love your bright happy quilts. Your words of anguish resonate with me, a follow “well-aged” white woman. I’ve had trouble articulating my feelings because I am so damn angry about the systemic racism and the hate and bullying in this country, from the top down. Things MUST change. I will continue voting blue (in a red state), donating money to progressive, enlightened, worthy causes. I will never turn away if I see an injustice to anyone of color (or of age, or of gender, etc). Surely this November can and will be a turning point, and we can get that evil man out of the White House.

ButterZ said...

I feel so much for all of you living there. It is such a tragic time which what is happening. I am saddened every time I watch the news and just want to scream. I feel for anyone that wants to leave there homes, for all the businesses that are being trashed and for all the lives lost. There are so many people taking advantage of life at the moment and from what we are seeing on the news I think stories are getting crossed. So many real reasons for anger are being crossed and the facts are getting confused. I just wish that you all can keep safe and everyone can learn to live in harmony. We are all the same..
Take care...

Sarah Craig said...

Thank you for your beautiful quilts, Mari, and for being part of Hands2Help 2020! You are making a difference in the world by your participation. And thank you for speaking so eloquently. I firmly believe that even though each of us only has one voice, if we all raise them in unison we can change things! Use your platform for good and keep up the good works. Hugs!

Frédérique said...

Lovely baby quilts, for sure they will be appreciated. I totally agree with you for what is happening everywhere in our countries, everywhere, not only in USA. Racism is a real plague, and I hope things will change to make the world a better place for everybody, no exception.

Kate said...

Very cute baby quilts. As for the rest, I'm pretty much in the same spot you are. I'm hanging my hopes on the fact that most everyone I deal with on a daily basis feels pretty much the same, so hopefully there's enough momentum with everyone doing even just a bit to start effecting change.