Friday, October 27, 2006

Just DO the Damn Thing


I've been trippin'.

I think that I'm going through some sort of uber-introspective phase. Thinking about so many, many things. Family history, familial order, childhood haircuts and how I will avoid allowing children's music to take over my cd player....how to broach issues like the "China Doll" thing, my waning interest in baby-item-shopping and jimmies vs. sprinkles. These things have been on my mind. I've also been thinking a lot about how important those first months of a childs life are. I think about that every time I hold my 3 month old neice.

Then there is the quilt. The Bai Jia Bei. The project that looms and daunts. My thoughts about it lately have been all about the why. Why am I doing this? Why am I torturing myself? Why?

Of course there are the obvious reasons: tradition, cultural value and - you know - creating a family heirloom is pretty cool. It is also cool connecting with other families doing the same sort of thing. Trading fabrics & wishes...and getting fun mail in the mailbox. Of course, there are the fabric & wishes sent by friends and family...the most special of all. It sure feels like a lot of love.

The quilt also appeals to my creative side. I love a challenge. I like pretty things. I love to make pretty things. I also love my sewing machine. It feels like a power tool that I'm skilled at using. Although it does need a little tune-up - but that is cool in its own way. It means that my machine has been used & loved.

Here comes the part where I'm trippin'.

This is quite possibly the biggest project I've ever taken on. I've fired many ceramic pieces, including trying my hand at Raku. I've taken quite a few watercolor classes, sewed a small collection of curtains for our home, knitted things big & small. Jzboy teases me because I frequently say "Oh, I can make that" about all kinds of stuff I see in baby catalogues and home magazines. I feel that I can pretty much make anything that I put my mind to. But, this quilt...this quilt project challenges me in a very different way.

Again, I ask myself "Why"? Why not ask someone to make it for me - a generous family member or maybe a paid professional? If this is such a headache - why torment myself?

The reason is that I need to do it for me.

This interminable wait for referrals is killing me. It is so incredibly difficult to not have a sense of the "when". The "how long". I'm hoping that the quilt will keep me connected...to keep me from stepping out of this long, long line at the CCAA. I think that this arduous quilt project will be a parallel process in developing the stamina necessary to get through this adoption wait.

It feels a lot like running a marathon. I did that last summer. I ran 26.2 miles through gorgeous terrain in Anchorage, Alaska. In the rain. I ended the race quite muddy, very thirsty and with TONS of mosquito bites. They bit right through the running pants. Not only was it one of the most difficult things I've done in my life...it was also one of the COOLEST. The difference with my current project is that I will be putting one stitch in front of the other vs. one foot in front of the other.

Coach Al always told us to "Just get out there and DO tha' Damn Thing. Stop trippin' & start doin'". The quilt I can do. The wait I will have to endure. And, the quilt will help me through it. Plus a whole lot of patience, determination and tenacity. Oh yeah, and a loud cheerleading section.

I believe that eventually I will make it to the end of this incredibly long journey and at that point, I will wrap my daughter in the crazy quilt I've sewn...and somehow all the pain endured will be off in the distance.

Now there's a pretty cool image.


**Pic at top is my collection of Bai Jia Bei quilt pieces thus far/Thanks to everyone who has contributed**

20 comments:

Stacey Teague said...

Hey girl, I took up quilting during the wait for Ryleigh....and I ended up loving it. Just today I received in the mail, my finished 100 Wishes quilt. It is truly AMAZING!! Here's the thing to do! You sew the top, make it an easy pattern (like I did), or a complex pattern that challenges you, then I can send you the information for this little shop that will quilt and bind it for you for a small nominal charge. The quilt turned out amazing, and Ryleigh had BETTER treasure it!!

I'll post pictures of it later on my bloggy blog!

Connie said...

What a great post.

Know what you mean about being the one to make the quilt! As always, though, that first dunk under the water to really dive into the project is the hardest.

I'm eager to see how it all turns out.

Doris & Dan Clark said...

It is the hibernation. I feel it too. The quilt and the mural for her room are our winter projects to help pass the wait we know we are facing.

I totally get you on doing it yourself. You sound like a real go-getter. Keep going!

Keep smilin!

Joannah said...

I admire your determination! I can hardly wait to see your finished quilt.

Katie J said...

I never did the quilt for Buttons. I may still do it I guess. Knowing that, I will say IMHO, I think if you're willing to try and do the quilt, do it. If it gets to be too much, find another way. Maybe you could pick out the design and that's your contribution to the quilt. I'm not saying give up, I'm just saying give yourself a break if it's needed. (Trying here for advice and not assvice, but you may choose to ignore either way.) The wait is a killer, but the wonderful thing is someday soon you'll barely remember it. I promise!!!

a&mg said...

I totally hear you on the quilt. I am just glad we don't have all our squares yet so it gives me reason to procrastinate a lot longer.
By the way, it's totally "sprinkles" on that whole debate.

Aimee

Jonni said...

What a beautiful thing to write.

MBmama said...

Hi friend,
I've missed you too!
Admittedly I've taken a little hiatus from the whole internet/adoption thing and can relate to your thoughts on falling out of line at CCAA. The wait is terrible and does funky things to my brain - so I'm with you. (I think the wait can be compared to that incredible feat of finishing the marathon, too)
Your quilt will be amazing because you do all that stuff well. And, what a connection you will forge with buttercup as you "labor" over the quilt.
I have missed you and look forward to catching-up.

Drea said...

Okay, first time to your blog, and I have to say, those are by far the BEST organized quilt squares I've seen so far! WOW! I'm with Stacey in that you can do the top and see how you feel, if thats all you want to do, then get someone else to do the quilting for you!

Mariah said...

You can do it!! Hey at least you have you quilt squares organized. Mine are in a pile on my kitchen table gathering dust. But, you have inspired me to get with it!

Jen said...

Okay, now you made me cry. One step in front of the other. A great analogy since, as you know, I just finished the 1/2. How true. We're doing this together, like a bunch of virtual running buddies.

We WILLLLLLL get there Wendy. And we'll know why we had this long wait someday...probably when we're giving our daughter her first bath or watching her take her first step or putting her on the 2-wheel bike for the first time.

Your quilt will be gorgeous!

Kathy and Joel said...

You CAN do it, sweet girl! The thining about it is the most difficult part, but once you begin, the flow can be awesome...carthartic even.:)

MBmama said...

PS Thanks for the article you linked regarding positive attention. Food for thought. I think I'm guilty and will be more mindful.

Wicked Witch said...

You know, you can just pay someone to do it for you and then take the pressure off of yourself. I vote for a pressure free zone.

SBird said...

I like the way you've arrayed all the colors of your squares like a color wheel. Cool.

atomic mama said...

I completely understand the need to do it yourself. I thought the quilt was something that needed to be made by me, too, until I realized that I didn't want it to suck, which it would if I made it. It think I am heading towards getting it commissioned...

You, of course, are doing GREAT, and like you said, need to just DO the damned thing!

Irena said...

If you can color coordinate all those squares like that, then no doubt BC's quilt will be "da bomb".

Shandra said...

I too am trippin'. I look at all of those sqaures and think have I lost it. this project is huge and growing. But like you it is something I feel I have to do. I need to feel close to our little one right now and this may just be the trcik that gets me there.

Anonymous said...

Although I love your philosophy, my plans are to send it out for someone else to do. But I'm lucky I can sew on a button. You go girl!

Jessi said...

You will do an amazing job on the quilt! I have no doubt.

Oh, and it's totally sprinkles. Heh.