A Small Quilt with a Big Life Lesson

Remember the days of balancing: raising young children, holding a full-time job, laundry, IMG_20160304_135127089meals, and the myriad of other responsibilities we juggled and somehow it all worked out? Today I was gazing at the small wall hanging I made decades ago and remembering the important life lesson it taught me.

The early 1980s were a busy time in my life and I ached for just a little time to quilt. Impossible, I told myself and put the thought aside for another time, probably another year. Yet, shortly after, leafing through a quilt magazine, I found a wall hanging idea I loved and felt compelled to create it.

The theme was variations on the World War II Spools pattern. The pattern evolved during the early 1940s as women at home were left with abundant numbers of empty spools as they sewed prolific supplies for the soldiers so far from home. A seamstress from early adolescence on, and later, a quilter, I had always particularly loved the Spools Pattern as the perfect symbol of my love of textile-work.

Suddenly I had to find a way to make my wall hanging. How to do it, though?
Shortly after, the Universe somehow (via radio, television, newspaper, magazine, or a conversation) reminded me of a saying I’d long ago heard but never acted upon: You can read the Bible in one year if you read fifteen minutes a day.

Fifteen minutes a day. There was my answer. Not the Bible, (Forgive me, my Creator!);  rather, I gathered my fabrics and quilting tools, carved out those daily few minutes, and within two months was able to hang what became my all-time favorite wall hanging.


About Mary Jo Doig

Mary Jo Doig was the first in her family to attend college and graduated from the State University at Oneonta in New York’s Catskill Mountains with a degree in Secondary English Education/Educational Psychology. There she fell in love with rural life, remained, and eventually transitioned from city girl to country woman when she married a dairy farmer and raised their three children on their small family farm. A life-long lover of reading and writing, Mary Jo has for nearly twenty years been a member of the Story Circle Network. There she has been an editor, a women’s writing circle facilitator, a book reviewer, and life-writing enthusiast, working extensively with women writing their life-stories while writing her own memoir. Presently, she is a three-time Program Chair for SCNs national Stories from the Heart conference and a board member. She also facilitates Older Women’s Legacy workshops and a women’s life-writing circle in her area communities. Her stories have appeared in Kitchen Table Stories anthology, Story Circle Annual Anthologies, and most recently her story “I Can’t Breathe” was published in the Anthology, Inside and Out: Women’s Truths, Women’s Stories. Her work also appears in varied blogs and periodicals, on her blog Musings from a Patchwork Quilt Life (https://maryjod.wordpress.com), Facebook, and Twitter. Her son and two daughters grown, Mary Jo presently treasures her country life in Virginia’s Central Shenandoah Valley. She loves cooking (and eating!) healthy food, reading, writing, quilting, hiking, and spending quality time with her rescue cats, Button and Xena, and beagle, Addie, who each dream of being only children. Her first book, Patchwork: A Memoir of Love and Loss, will be published in October, 2018 by She Writes Press.
This entry was posted in Bovina Stories, Change, Peacefulness, Quilts, Simplicity. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Small Quilt with a Big Life Lesson

  1. goldenjanet says:

    Lovely story and wall hanging, Mary Jo. A reminder to me of that time in my life when all my jobs never seemed to allow time to write. I found my little diary in a trunk and decided I could fill a page every week. So I held on to my dream of writing for a while, then I always found a scrap of paper around to write an inspiring sentence or idea. Ha! I had to remember never to write on the kids lunch bags.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And I’m sure your Creator loved that you were co-creating a world of beauty with your wall hanging and when it was done, admired your creativity in bringing goodness to your busy life.


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