Friday, May 8, 2015

When life takes over...

One of the blogs I follow is the one written by Dena Crain. I admit that especially her series on Time saving for quilters seemed daunting at times, at least to me. I am just not the type of person who clears up everything when stopping to work, nor covers her completely spare work table with a piece of cloth when leaving the room! 
Nor do I usually cover my machine when I turn it off. Perhaps that’s not only lazy, but a mistake that I don’t do that – but perhaps life in Kenya is simply much more dusty than life in southern Germany? I also receive the newsletter for Dena’s online teaching resource, QuiltEdOnline, and the headline of the most recent post caught my attention as it read “When life gets in the way”.
I had used that phrase myself as an excuse during my online workshop with Lisa Call once, when I had not had enough time to finish the assignments because a friend passed away. And sometimes I feel like that right now – although I would rephrase the sentence into “When life takes over” for what I am experiencing these days. To me, these slightly different expressions do refer to not only slightly different situations. Dena’s situation with her husband being seriously ill, a helicopter evacuation and two weeks in hospital must have been much more dramatic than anything I am experiencing, and perhaps it is not exactly right to draw parallels. Nobody is seriously sick in my family, we are not experiencing financial or any other kind of trouble – and yet life has decided to take over and quilting time has become very scarce. (I did manage to put in several hours this week, though - there is a deadline coming up...)
Voluntary work with refugees is much more time consuming than one thinks ahead of time. And much more rewarding. It is usually slightly more difficult to solve a problem than expected. And always more gratifying to have been able to help.
And it takes a lot of time away from quilting. Even when I try to have ‘one day without refugees’ that really only means I won’t have anybody coming for a German lesson. I will still write several e-mails, have several telephone conversations about refugee issues. Quilting time has become very precious. Life has taken over.
But I can ask other members of our network to take somebody to the doctor, too, it does not always have to be me who is driving. And slowly I am re-claiming time slots for myself, my family.
One of the slots was my birthday party – in which all of the refugees appeared as welcome guests, three of them with their special donation of fantastic cooking skills. They had worked all day, preparing Syrian kebab, putting it onto the fire. I was not allowed to do anything.

Fire experts getting the fire going look the
same all over the world, don't they?

It was a wonderful day – delicious food – I had guests from 7 different countries – and I must say, if I had known how much fun it can be to celebrate a fiftieth birthday, I would have done so long ago already.


  1. Somehow I think your recent experiences of life taking over will filter into your work in very interesting ways.
    I am glad you are finding time out to work, but also that your new friends are finding ways to 'do' for you as well.
    Big hugs,

  2. It is good to see you had a happy birthday. And please keep time for quilting because it is so important for you. And you make such beautiful quilts.
    Love, Mieke