Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dutch Comfort

Dutch Comfort is done. Finishing up this quilt has brought a lot of what I've been thinking on lately to a forefront. I started this quilt back in June of 2011. It was a tough year. Thankfully I didn't realize that things would get even tougher before they would start getting better again.
Dutch Comfort in the sunlight
If I would have thought to have a word for last year, it would have been 'undefeated'. Sometimes you have to get down to the very bottom and rise above to understand where your strength is, and now I understand a lot more about that. Not dismissing God's help in my life one single iota, I look at this quilt and wonder how much my love for quilting has helped me through these hard times in our life. It's so incredible to think that this thing of beauty was conceived during such very difficult times.
Dutch Comfort
I'll be blunt for a moment here. We almost lost our house, our business and for sure it affected our marriage and our family. But we survived and maybe we're even the better for it. I know my quilts are. They've kind of absorbed the roller coaster of my emotions into something tangible and lasting--something sweet and positive.
A little closer look at Dutch Comfort
I feel even more affinity for the ones that stitched away on their little bits of loveliness hundreds of years ago, cherishing their moments of beauty in a sometimes bleak life. And don't get me wrong, I've had lots to hang onto and appreciate about our life. Money isn't everything. I wouldn't trade my kids or my husbands smiles and happiness for anything in the world.
A closer look at the hand stitching--the backing
colors are richer in actuality than the picture shows
But I'm glad I decided to delve a little deeper into my fascination for quilting. There's nothing quite like it for clearing the mind of cobwebs and bringing important things about life into sharp focus. And I'm happy to see for sure (as I work through the final stitching of these quilt tops that came together during these past three years) that I never did give up. Not on life or on hope. The proof is in the fabric, the piecing and the stitching. Oh I still have a stack of quilt tops to work through, but I'm not afraid of what they might say. I remain undefeated.

29 comments:

  1. Life can certainly be a challenge. I know what you mean about quilting. I can't imagine not having that feeling I get when I'm immersed in quilting. Dutch Comfort is beautiful. What will be next?

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  2. La vida cuando menos se espera te pone barreras muy altas, pero siempre sucede algo que ayuda a salvarlas,
    acolchando se llevan mejor los problema.
    ¡¡¡ Tu Holandés es precioso!!!!
    un fuerte abrazo
    un fuerte ab

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  3. Isn't it interesting that you have something so beautiful that came from a difficult time and place? I too, have used quilting as therapy, and continue to do so. I think we would be very sad indeed if we were not able to find comfort in our stitching. I too think of those women who came long before us and endured very difficult times, and stitched their way to comfort as well. What a beautiful legacy you are creating for your children.

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  4. Great post and beautiful quilt - thanks for sharing the story, even though it was a difficult one.

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  5. This is a beautiful post, just like your quilts. Take care, Byrd

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  6. Undefeated sounds like the perfect word. Come to think of it, my blog was created as I began a very unexpected and difficult chapter in my life, in part to keep my head and hands occupied with something positive, so I totally get how your quilting has helped you.

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  7. Thanks for sharing such personal feelings and thoughts. I'm glad you remain undefeated. An encouraging thought for all of us.

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  8. Totally understand the stresses of having your own business....we have a family business, my husband, our son and I work together. And the last few years have been tough, as they have been world-wide. So happy for you that you didn't lose your home & business, as you say family is everything, but family life is better if those worries are not hanging over your head constantly. Thanks for sharing how you have managed to cope with difficult times and what quilting has meant to you.
    I think I have said this before your quilt glows with warmth, and I love the back of the quilt too!

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  9. Great attitude!! and a beautiful quilt!!

    Blessings and hugs!

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  10. This quilt is vibrant and beautiful. Hopefully it will always be a reminder to you of your strength, your perseverance, and the positive way your emotions and your stitches worked together during this difficult time in your life.
    How blessed we are to enjoy such a special craft, one which can help us focus and even sometimes heal.

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  11. Thanks for sharing Audrey. Our home flooded in 2010. It was a really rough thing to go through, but now I can look back at how good that experience was for our family. God's provision and love for us during that time is beyond words. Our family learned to work as a team. Now I see that the flood added a richness to our life that really doesn't happen in the good times.

    I hope you are planning to keep your beautiful quilt.

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  12. It's a lovely quilt Audrey. We often hear of the love stitched into quilts, but for most of us they also hold the fears, sadness and bad times too. And as you say, working on a quilt can help you through these things. A small piece of ourselves is sewn into every quilt.

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  13. quilting is a great stress reducer I have found - glad you came through all your upheavals in life and hope things are easier for you now - love that quilt!!!

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  14. quilting sure does help us through the difficulties of life! This one is so beautiful.

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  15. Beautiful post and quilt. XXX

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  16. Good for you being undefeated. It's fitting that Dutch Comfort should be finished around the new year as a sign of better times ahead. Thank God for sewing for getting us through bad times, and good times.

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  17. So glad you found comfort in making your Dutch Comfort quilt. I too depend on my stitches to get me thru. There definitely is something comforting about the task of pulling thread thru fabric. We stitch so much into our quilts.

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  18. What a post. You have expressed perfectly what so many of us feel. Glad you came thru with God's help and our passion for quilt making. The quilt is beautiful.

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  19. A beautiful post and a beautiful quilt! Quilting is therapy for me too and is an extremely important part of my daily life.

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  20. I have to agree 100%. Great therapy!!

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  21. A lovely post, thanks for sharing a bit of your personal side. We did lose our home to the BofA foreclosure fiasco in 2011, later compensated for it, but what a emotional roller coaster it was. Life is good now, different but good. Your quilt is now a beautiful visual reminder that with God all things are possible.
    blessings, jill

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  22. Congratulations, Audrey! I am constantly amazed at how much "therapy" quilting gives; how many quilts are stitched with worry that is soon soothed, how precious moments are sewn into quilts. I'm so pleased you and your family pulled through that difficult time and you have a beautiful quilt to show for it. Hugs

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  23. Loved what you had to say about when and how this quilt was created. 2011 was a sucky year for me too and I created abundantly. Sometimes I think it was the only thing that kept me sane.

    Being able to have a safe haven in quilting where we can create and forget what is happening around us , even for a little while really is a wonderful kind of therapy.

    Congratulations on a beautiful finish and for your thoughtful post.

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  24. Glan you remain undefeated!! God does work in ways we will never understand. Sometimes quilting is my only ally in life. It is constant and let's me be creative. I have been thru terrible times recently, but being able to read other people's comments on blogs---let's me know I am not alone. Thanks for your blog & your posts---they helped me keep going. Heads up and go forth

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  25. Those really sound like hard times. Your attitude is admirable. And quilting is a great way to relieve some of that stress and find some peace again. The quilt is beautiful, lovely colors.

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  26. A beautiful quilt and a beautiful post! Yes, there's nothing like quilting to help us through the hard times--making beauty out of sorrow and fear, comforting ourselves with the rhythm of stitching. Congratulations on surviving these tough years undefeated and with gorgeous quilts to show!

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  27. Thanks so much for this post. A reminder that we are not alone in our difficulties. I too have had a very difficult few years and quilting has helped me weather the storms. Your quilt is beautiful and I hope that 2014 brings brighter skies to us both!

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  28. How pretty. Especially with the applique block in the center.

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  29. Congratulations on a wonderful finish! I believe that starting a quilt like this when things were looking bleak was both optimistic and life-affirming, and I'm certain that it kept you focused on a positive outcome through it all. Good decision! I hope it will remind you of your strength and hope as you use it over the years, more than the difficult times.

    Thanks for a helpful post!

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