Friday, February 27, 2009
Building Peace, Coming Home, Healing...
I've been sick with the flu this week and laying in bed feeling sorry for yourself leads to some serious thinking time...my mind went lots of places and when I felt good enough to sit behind a sewing machine my idea for this challenge materialized.
I made this little quilt, 'Building Peace' for the Illuminated Phrase Challenge a few months ago. Mine is more like an illuminated statement. The quote I chose to illustrate was this one:
"Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
John F. Kennedy
I had dinner with a friend from Houston a week ago. She had just attended her son's homecoming ceremony in Colorado a few days before our dinner. He had served in Iraq for almost a year. While she was proud and so happy he was home, the concern for him, about what he had experienced, and how he might be affected was evident in her face and peeked through her words. I made this second quilt for Owen. It's called 'Coming Home'. It's full of symbolism and messages in the piecing and quilting, but I will leave that to you to interpret.
While I was sewing this quilt I started thinking of my brother-in-law who was in Iraq for 2 tours as an army surgeon. He was in the first push into Baghdad. His wife generously shared letters and emails that he wrote during his tours. I remember talking with him after he returned and he shared how difficult it was to operate and patch men together, conrades and combatants on tables right next to each other. He told me one day he had just saved the life of an insurgent and he pulled one of the field commanders aside and told him to do his job right next time. In other words, he would have rather had the man dead than have had to save his life. He told me he had never seen pure evil before. It was heartwrenching to listen to him talk. It was rare that he did. He is a changed man.
This last quilt is for him. I call it 'Healing'.
I hope you will forgive me the touch of gray...it was the perfect addition to give the feeling I was going for. Both quilts are made from the scraps from the first little quilt. (there was a LOT of waste in the cutting of that quilt!)