[Guest Post] by Eileen Melia
“In The Garden of Life Quilt”
This pattern is one called by a variety of names: *Celtic Ribbons* (green fabric); *Luck of the Irish*; *Loose Ends* (story of many lives); and *Scrap Ribbons* (when life gives you scraps, make a quilt).*** ***The spirit and the name I choose for this quilt is ***In the Garden of Life***. It attests to how you, Elly, have touched folks with your research, knowledge, and, advocacy. This rather simple design and these fabrics elaborate a journey that has been woven with wisdom and kindness.
The weavings rest on a background of a white fabric with leaves and budding flowers. This demonstrates that all have a lighted inner garden at the core of one’s being. The dark green ribbon weave [the background of the first photo, at top] has both a dark and a lighter shade of green, much like the interweaving of both brighter and darker days on the roads of life. The lighter green color has what might be seen as puddles which rhyme with muddles and haven’t you assisted various folks in that situation! It might also address both the many tears that you, Elly, have shed and witnessed during many of the conversations of individuals who have sought out help from you. See all those little tear drops surrounded by those swirls? Consider those swirls as your tentacles of caring embracement. And doesn’t the winding of the years lead one to discover the many truths that help one navigate life’s various terrains?
Essentially this quilt is two main blocks which make up the center of the quilt. Light and dark material were joined together to expand into a larger square. This reminded me of the light and dark that all face on the journey. Often it is when others provide wisdom that the way becomes clearer. The next step was to add triangles. Isn’t it interesting how the triangles then lend themselves to make the piece move? Perhaps the triangles represent a possible course of action! However, one of the challenges was to accurately keep the right color combinations as they were sewn together. Looking at the quilt one may notice that the center of each block is light surrounded by green combinations. Yet, isn’t it from the darkness that one becomes more introspective and is drawn closer to a life of gratitude? Out of that experience does one then become more peaceful and light? The paths of the ribbons speak of the ups, downs, zigzagging, and overlapping ways of life. Or might they be telling the tale of telephone lines that connect another to different cities, states, countries, or even zones!
The interlocking of these seams and weavings is similar to how the lives of folks keep intersecting at various parts of the journey. It is a cosmic call to stretch beyond the ordinary, worldly and to seek and give freely, be open to the word and move forth in new enlightenment. It is the Spirit that refreshes and restores one’s soul when earthly matters are overwhelming. The Spirit is the wondrous hope of all creation as one awaits the fullness of life. Our awesome God is the provider of all those companions along the journey who come living the miracle message of redeeming love. What a find!
The first inner border is a soothing pale minty green material with tiny diminutive pink flower buds. Perhaps this could be seen as a symbol of the feminine wisdom that you share as you listen and respond to individuals. Or might this connote the soft motherly protective arms wrapped around the wounds that society inflicts by the lack of understanding about this disease?
The outside border, the back of the quilt, and the binding are all alive with a deep green garden of small delicate flowers on vines of leaves and tied together with a gentle white bow. Might this fabric proclaim how you, Elly have tied together so many in a growing garden of knowledge for the CFS groups?
A simple diamond pattern was used to quilt the layers together a call to say all are diamonds in the rough! While the thread on the bottom of the quilt is blue/green, the stitching on the top of the quilt is done with an invisible thread, which may remind one that frequently many of one’s actions remain unseen by most of the world. However, all that really matters is that God knows the intention of one’s heart. Each person’s journey is a universal witness to the Creator who knows the intention of one’s heart. Each of us has a unique perspective on life’s journey even if we traveled the same road with other companions. Each is a unique beloved child of God.
May this quilt serve as an affirmation that your life’s journey, Elly, has been both awe-inspiring and appreciated by others. May it also bring a sense of comfort as being blanketed by those throughout the world who hold you in high esteem and heartfelt love. A testimony “to holding heaven while grounded to earth” which is an honored qigong movement that I just love and it shows that each ribbon starts in heaven (top) and moves through space to earth (bottom).
As the final stitches of this binding were hand sewn they became a prayer for you, Elly, that the God of all love, the God of all hope, and the God of all peace be a constant well source of abundant blessings as the journey continues.
Affirmation Quilts Ministry
ermhugs AT comcast DOT net
PS – This quilt is washer and dryer safe.
©Eileen Melia, 2013. All rights reserved. Excerpting is allowed with credit and direction to original content. For full reprint permission, firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by Elly Brosius and Eileen Melia. Captions by Elly Brosius.