A Patchwork Quilt – Flow and the Art of Concentration
I have been travelling the last few weeks and staying with old friends. It is such a pleasure to be able to do this and slip straight back into relationships that feed and nurture. One friend who has been having a busy and distracting time told me her story of repairing a patchwork quilt. She is a talented seamstress and sells vintage clothes and fabrics so she is often mending and repairing. She had bought an old patchwork quilt but not had time to work on it so she decided to focus on it to the exclusion of everything else. Every time someone asked her to do something she refused and said ‘No I’m working on my patchwork quilt.’ It didn’t take her very long to finish but the pleasure of being immersed in one task was huge and rewarding. She then took me into her work room and showed me the quilt ‘It’s a poor person’s quilt,’ she said. ‘You can tell by the fabric that’s been used. The way they’ve used what’s on hand, repeating colours and patterns.’ I remember there was a lovely salmon pink. ‘I loved mending it,’ and she smiled remembering. ‘Just concentrating on doing one thing well.’ She is so skilful I couldn’t see any signs of her repairs. I then told her about the times when my writing overtakes me to the exclusion of everything else and the joy this gives me. In creative endeavours they call this flow.
Later I visited a young friend in London who is expecting her first child. She has been going to quilting classes every week to make a patchwork quilt for her baby. ‘Look,’ she said proudly holding it up. ‘That’s beautiful,’ I said. And it was.