From the gift of the Magi, presented to a small child, under a bright star and clear sky- Christmas has morphed over the centuries into crass, commercialized, frenzied buying in large box stores aglow with florescent lighting..
Quite a difference, eh?
I have to admit, in years past, I was a prisoner of these frenzied times!!
Way too many presents under the tree for my kids, making sure there was an equal number, so no jealousy erupted.
Had I a chance to do it again, I would have approached the holiday differently.
Someone who has the season in the right perspective is blogger/quilter/artist Gene Black.
Not too long ago, he sent out a request for some "angels". He needed a certain number of quilts to bring to a shelter in Alabama. He knew it was kind of short notice, but he was hoping "his" quilters could come thru' for him!!
I told Gene I would try to be an angel, but was not sure I could commit on such short notice. Plus, not being the best quilter in the world, I wasn't sure my quilt would be up to snuff!
So, without really committing, I started a quilt, with leftover fabric from my limited stash.
As it got closer to the due date, I panicked! I had intended to do some spiral machine quilting, but the quilt was about 64" square, and there was NO WAY I was going to be able to fit that in my Pfaff!! I have sent a few quilts out to Joanne for machine quilting for just this reason!!!
I shot Gene an email, apologizing for being a failed angel, but I just did not think I would be able to make the deadline.
With my own self imposed pressure now gone, I sat down, rethought it, and just quilted it on the diagonal, just to get the thing out of my kitchen!!! (The basement studio was too cold, so everything was up on my kitchen counter and d/r table!!LOL)
Lo and behold, my simple diagonal stitching worked, the binding was folded over, I rounded the corners of the quilt, and machine stitched in place. This quilt would certainly NEVER win a prize anywhere, but it wasn't totally bad.
I mailed it on the 19th- and it FINALLY arrived, in the nick of time, on the morning of the 24th!!! (I mailed a similar sized package from VA to California on the 22nd- and that arrived on the morning of the 24th- mail going to CA arrives quicker than mail going to Alabama- go figure!!!)
Gene sent me a lovely email. Of the several girls who were still at the shelter for the holidays(they got first pick!), one chose my quilt out of the whole pile!!
Here is part of what Gene wrote me:"......One of the girls picked your quilt......the look on her face when she read the label was priceless. She was amazed that the quilt came "all the way from Virginia" and she loved what you wrote on it. You made her a very happy girl for Christmas...and for that- I thank you again. I managed to hold it in while I was there and smile alot....... I realize just how blessed I truly am."
Well, Gene, the girls there are truly blessed to have an angel like you in their corner!!
If you want to see the stack of gorgeous donated quilts, go to Gene's blog and see his post and short video about the Angel Quilt Delivery.
I don't see mine in the pic, I guess it was already claimed by its new owner!!!
And, Gene, I feel blessed to have been able to be one of your "angels"- even tho' my quilting is not of great quality, it was not the quality that counted in this case.
And I hope the thought that others can care about these girls, without even knowing them, will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
(Sorry, blogger won't rotate the pic!)