Two packages arrived in the mail, both of them expected, one from Amy, the other from a company that sells good quilting thread. I laid them both on my cutting table, and felt a bit like a kid on Christmas morning. Yes, I did know what was inside of each one, but still, the anticipation of it all…well, I opened the box from the thread company first. You can see my color preference for quilting thread. Several shades of orange, one each of black and white (for when I have to!)…each one was touched, and held in my hands. I counted them, and made rows,and columns, and smiled at the possibilities in front of me. This thread will define in line and swirls and circles and loops the many quilted projects yet to be…the ones that will be sent from me to Amy and from Amy to me…for the next steps….a box of possibilities…but really, just thread, and mostly orange thread.
The other package was the one from Amy. I was expecting it..and anticipating it’s arrival. I knew what was inside, and I wanted to have the time to see it completely, with no distraction. Working so closely with someone – not in proximity, but in long distance collaboration, allows us to follow the progress of a project in a different way. We can bounce ideas back and forth (well, we try!) and get feed back on ideas, give and receive constructive critiques (remember those?) and support for what we do.But we do it mostly by emails and phone calls. So much I already knew of this project. I knew the original idea, the revised idea, the layout of squares, the placement of birds, the colors, the doubts and the hopes, the good day followed by the bad day, the ups and downs, the first tentative pieces on the design wall, the misgivings, the ‘woohoo’ when it worked…I knew the story…and I saw the photos in progress…and yet, I didn’t know the piece. I knew what was in the envelope.
When the house quieted down, and I claimed some time to myself, I opened the envelope, carefully cutting off the end, and pulling out the little plastic bag. Amy had carefully folded the top to fit a sandwich bag, and all I could see was a fragment of color…the oranges and terra cotta reds, the bits of green, a bit of bird….I unfolded it carefully, and laid it out on the cutting table. It was perfect. I put it up on the design wall and stood back so that I could see it from a distance. I could see how the color palette worked, how each bird was gently enfolded by a nest of soft colors. I saw that each bird looked into the quilt…drawing the viewer to see that center block. I saw how the birds were symmetrical, and yet with a bit of freedom in their placement. I saw how the seams met at the corners. And I smiled. Amy’s Birds are now living on my design wall. I pass them numerous times throughout the day. I can see them from my chair if I look slightly behind and to the left…and I ponder the next step. What will I bring to Amy’s Birds? How will I quilt it to give live to the birds?
Two packages arrived in the mail…both expected. It was a very good day. Next week you might see Amy’s Birds completed, and you will smile.