Sunshine and Shadow – Completed

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I completed the Sunshine and Shadow quilt square today, which will be the masthead of Chapter 17 in my memoir. I particularly love greens and yellows, and these added an extra dimension of mindful pleasure to the lengthy process of making the pattern grids and then constructing the quilt block.

Four squares are now completed of the thirty-five that make up the quilt grid I planned out last fall, so I have a long journey ahead with the pleasing-to-me array of patterns and squares that remain to be created. When I was much younger, I had little patience for the time that long-term projects required; I wanted to get it done quickly so I could hold the completed project in my hands. A generous gift of the passing decades has been one of learning to focus on one thing at a time and experience the deep pleasure such mindfulness gives.

Thus I have tagged this post under Gifts, Gratitude, as well as Quilts. And, now I look forward with pleasure to starting the next quilt square tomorrow.



About Mary Jo Doig

At the turn of the millennium, I arrived at a cross-road that brought me to a splendid, if unforeseen place, almost as if I were a traveler on Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled. I was single again, my three children were grown and building their lives, I'd experienced a health issue and was working on an improved lifestyle. I also ached to do two other things: (1) change my long human services career in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, where winter seemed to be at least seven months out of every year, and (2) move to a warmer place in the universe. My decision: did I want to continue on the path I'd been following pretty much all my life, or could I gather my then-fragile courage and start life brand new somewhere else? These were scary thoughts for a single woman in her late 50s. Five hundred miles away, though, I fell in love with a new mountain range, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where I knew not a soul except my daughter who was attending college in the Shenandoah Valley, and I moved. I rented a tiny cabin on a mountain in the woods and lived there in solitude for two years, working in a new career by day and, when home, communing with the incredible natural beauty that surrounded me. There I also began to write my life stories, which were aching for release. I joined the Story Circle Network in early 2001, a rich place in cyberspace for women life writers, where I strengthened my written voice and began sharing my stories. I found so many opportunities to grow: 10 year facilitator for an online writing circle of women writers across the country; thirteen year editor of the "True Words from Real Women" section of the quarterly Journal; a reader and reviewer of women's memoirs for the SCN Book Review site; program chair for two Stories from the Heart national conferences in Austin, T. Presently I'm teaching Women's Life-Writing and Older Women's Legacy workshops in my part of the world in Central Virginia and facilitating the ongoing Circle of Memories Writing Circle (formerly an OWL workshop that continued on) at the Crozet Public Library. I am blessed with three wonderful children, a son and two daughters; a small, huge-hearted family; dear friends; my beagle Addie and cat Button. My hobbies include reading, writing, editing, cooking, gardening, quilting, knitting, biking, and simply being with the profound beauty of the mountains that embrace my small two acres in the Blue Ridge. The life stories I began writing in 2001 have grown deeper with time, re-writes, and personal growth. All these years later, I'm scheduled to publish my memoir, Stitching a Patchwork Life, in 2018.
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4 Responses to Sunshine and Shadow – Completed

  1. Beautiful colors, beautifully reflecting light and shadow – love it! Sooo, for the nonquilters like me, how large is this square? Are all 35 of equal size?


    • Mary Jo Doig says:

      I accidentally sent my answer to another reader. Each square is a 10.5″ square that will transform to 10″ square when stitched together, 5 squares wide and 7 squares long, with the center square being the title of my memoir.


  2. Mary Jo Doig says:

    Yes, all equal size – 10.5 inches square to transform into a 10″ square when stitched together – 5 squares across and 7 down. The center square will be the memoir title. Thanks for asking!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely way to honor your memoir. Not only will you be able to hold the book in your hands, your quilt will give you memories of the process of writing it to enjoy as well. Very creative. And I know the joy of slowing down and taking one thing at a time these days, too.


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