WiP Wednesday

Days after a tragedy, I’m thinking to myself, should you really be writing about… quilting?    Will my post seem crass, flippant, or worse, annoying?  I’ve felt weird posting anything to social media after the tragedy of the Boston Marathon.  I felt even more uncomfortable with just posting an entry without acknowledging that, yet again, another unspeakable event has occurred.  So while this isn’t the WiP Wednesday I planned to post today, I knew I couldn’t move forward without acknowledging Boston.

Ultimately, my words are not eloquent or important, but I do know that after an event like this, there are opportunities for change within oneself.  On Monday, I watched in horror, paralyzed with fear, compulsively reading updates, aimlessly shifting through emotions.  As a teacher, I was like this after the Sandy Hook shootings.  My mind was on repeat:  What would I do in that situation?  Why?  What is wrong with people?  As a runner, Monday shook me to my core again.  Races have been a place of personal healing for me over the past few years (another topic for another post), and they remain some of the most inspirational events that I have been able to participate in.  I could talk for hours about the love I have for the running community.  And, yet, I know from all of the tragedies before that have brought on these emotions of “What if, why, etc.” that life will continue.  Life does goes on, but with each Columbine, 9/11, Aurora, Newtown, or Boston, shouldn’t life get altered just a bit for those of us lucky enough to escape unscathed and removed?  Shouldn’t we take from the beautiful examples of courage, compassion, bravery, and love that is seen in response to these terrible events?

And then I read my friend’s blog post about her response to the Boston Marathon.  She wrote about how we overcome evil with good, and detailed how she responded to the tragedy by being mindful and present in her life.  For it is in our response that we can honor those that were affected.  Our response can say I will not choose to think that evil can overcome all the good I know to be in this world.

And, so, this is how I responded.

1. I called the people I love.  Instead of thinking about them or stalking their Facebook page, I called them.  (Ok, some of you I texted, but I was at work!)

2.  I stayed up a little later to read a book beside my husband.

3. I set my alarm to go off later to snuggle with my husband.  I decided I could forgo stopping for coffee, and I could.

4.  I played a game of checkers with one of my students, gave extra hugs today, and tried to be extra conscious of being present with my students.

5.  I prayed for the survivors and the victims.

6.  I looked through my pictures from various visits to Boston and gave thanks that I have so many beautiful memories there; from weddings, visits with family members, dinners with friends, and some of my first dates with my husband.  Boston will remain Boston.

7.  I eagerly read as many stories as I could about the heroes from the Boston Marathon.  So. many. reminders. of. the. good. in. people.

8.  I looked up future races to run.

9.  I didn’t get mad at the cars who cut me off, the pedestrians who walked out in front of me, or the man who cut me off in Chipotle.

10.  I had a conversation with the lady who took my toll money and looked her in the eyes and smiled as I said, “Thank you” instead of driving off.

11.  I Said prayers for the men and women who are serving overseas and in our military.  God bless you.

 And I quilted. 

So, yes, I will post what I have created in my little corner of the world, because Boston reminded me why I started quilting in the first place.

Our gut reaction to these tragedies is to love on our people.

To be thankful they are OK.

To tell them we love them.

To think, thank God I get to say “I love you” one more time.

I started quilting because every time I sit under the quilt my grandmother made me I know she loves me, and I wanted to give the same gift to others.  I want them to sit under a quilt I have made for them, so my people will know, “Ashley loves me.”

So, yes, life will go on.  But in light of another tragedy, I want to continue to extend grace and compassion to others, emulating the good that always shows itself in the midst of tragedy.  And for God’s sakes, let me remember to keep telling my people that I love them.

So happy WiP Wednesday, my favorite day of the week.

I cannot wait to see what you are up to, for you inspire me!

Here is my newest Sister’s Ten BOM


Yes, I’ve made January, February, and April.  I know I skipped March 🙂  Whoops.


And I’m still sewing away at this one, which is now going to a beautiful friend to say “I love you and I think about you all the time even though we’re countries apart!”


Happy Wednesday and Happy Quilting to ya!


17 thoughts on “WiP Wednesday

  1. Beautiful post! I know I avoided posting anything on Tuesday as well for the same reasons you did.

    I love your colorful chevron! I was drawn immediately to the photo as my WIPs this week were chevrons as well 🙂

  2. Looking someone in the eyes – especially people in service – is the greatest sign of respect. Perhaps we all should be reminded to do this.

  3. I never know what to say on my social media, so I say very little. I think a lot though, such a horrific event for those people to go through!

    Gotta ask–did you fix those red HST?!

    • Renee – I’m so glad you asked because I actually thought to myself – whoops, I didn’t upload a new picture and Renee might notice 🙂 I did change the reds – after staring at this quilt for for.ever. There are way too many pinks, but I found a new home for one! Hope you are well.

      • Oh, phew! 😉 I also wanted to mention that quilting is a time of reflection for me, a type of meditation, I guess. So it is my time to sort through my feeling, especially the ones from unfathomable events. So I quilt to keep sane for many reasons!

  4. Great post. I also felt strange being on social media as I always do when terrible things happen. You’re going about it all the right way.
    Also, your BOM blocks look fab!

  5. One of the bloggers I follow posted this quote today and it reminded me of your post:

    “To sew is to pray. Men don’t understand this. They see the whole but they don’t see the stitches. They don’t see the speech of the creator in the work of the needle. We mend. We women turn things inside out and set things right. We salvage what we can of human garments and piece the rest into blankets. Sometimes our stitches stutter and slow. Only a woman’s eyes can tell. Other times, the tension in the stitches might be too tight because of tears, but only we know what emotion went into the making. Only women can hear the prayer.” ~Louise Erdrich, Four Souls

    When we make a quilt for someone specific, it is full of a million tiny prayers. Prayers for that person, prayers for the events that happened while we made the quilt, and prayers for all the people that will ever use that quilt. ❤

    • I. Love. This.

      When I write my next blog post I’m posting this. Thank you so much for sharing. Exactly. This is truth and so beautifully put!

      • I do think some men can ‘hear the prayer” though–like my husband, he knows how much of myself I put into each quilt, and my dad and FIL are both wood workers, and all their pieces are a prayer too, I think. They at least know how long something like a quilt takes!

  6. Pingback: Quilts for Boston | Wasn't Quilt in a Day

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