Vintage Revisited:A Life Lesson

Last year at the PA National Quilt Extravaganza,  an exhibition called Vintage Revisited  caught my attentionCurator Mary Kerr acquired several sets of vintage quilt blocks.  Instead of simply assembling the blocks  into quilts, she decided to enlist 19 quilt enthusiasts  to participate in a special project.

Each participant periodically received a quilt block. The assignment was  to  take them apart, cut them up, sew them back together however they wished and embellish them if they desired.  The only requirements were, that the finished quilt measure 24″ x 24″ and that it contain the original block.

Mary Kerr displayed the finished quilts in six sections, one for each vintage block. The intriguing part of this exhibit was seeing the 19 different creations that came from one simple block. The unique designs amazed me and some blocks forced me to study them closely to  find the original fabric.

Living with an auto immune disease like lupus, RA, MS, etc., is like being given a quilt block you must incorporate into your life’s “quilt”.  Some people keep the block whole and embellish it. Other people take it apart and incorporate it into the fabric of their life in such a way that you can hardly see  the original block like Block 3’s We’ll Always Have Paris.  Others,  are still trying to figure out what to do with their block.

Most quilters have a lot of  quilt books and magazines to give them ideas and inspiration.  If  you are struggling with how to incorporate your “block” into the quilt of your life I urge you to get inspired.  Nick Vujicic, in Life Without Limits, (see blog) can give you great ideas on how to work with your “block”.  Then there  is quadriplegic, Joni Eareckson Tada, who has helped people around the globe because of her situation.

It is easy to feel as though you want to give your block back. When I am having an especially difficult day I wouldn’t mind giving mine back. The funny thing about this challenge, the way most people assimilated the block into their quilt, it cannot be easily removed. It became the quilt.

Being given a challenging block in life is like being given an extra opportunity to grow, develop greater depth of character,  understanding and compassion.  It  is a chance to bring more color and complexity to the overall “design”.

You can go to Vintage Revisited and see the blocks for yourself.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Block 1 and then each subsequent block.  Keep in mind Block 1 is the original block the quilters  worked with to make their quilts.  I would love to hear about your thoughts on the exhibit and the blog.

Blessings to you….Leslie Rose K

We are faced with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. -Chuck Swindoll

Above quilt by Leslie Rose K 2009

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Not only beautiful creative needle and fabric, but a perfect and beautiful analogy.

    Thank you for this – how did you know it would be exactly what I needed?



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