One of the things that Roger and I wanted to do at our wedding two years ago was to find a way to involve everyone with our union. We both have full lives with a lot of friends and family. One of the ideas that Roger came up with was having everyone bring a piece of fabric of their choice to blend together to create a wedding quilt. We both loved the idea!
Little did we realize what a project and representation of all the different individuals in our life, and the interesting dance of blending them together would be. We gave no guidelines or preferences of color or texture; we simply wanted everyone to give us a piece of themselves in whatever way they wanted. Many asked for the rules on what to bring. We simply said “any piece of fabric that you want to see in the quilt”.
The diversity and choices of fabric that friends and family brought was an experience unto itself. Some brought scraps of fabric you knew they didn’t want or ripped off something old . Others brought really nice quality silk fabrics; many brought fabric represented them; while others brought fabric that they felt represented what we would like.
A childhood friend brought fabric with butterflies on it since we shared a memory together with butterflies. A friend of Roger’s brought fabric with sushi on it since he has been into natural foods most of his life. My mom and brother had fabric with vegetables on it since I am a vegetarian, and a nephew of Roger’s had taken a bit off his Spartan (Scottish sash) to share a bit of himself there and their Scottish ancestors.
I can go on with each individual piece and the stories that each of them held. All of the pieces have a meaning with each one. Some were more thought out than others. One of our friends even embroidered a heart onto her fabric.
Each piece was quite unique and the job to bring them together and look beautiful and harmonious was a big job.
Roger and I both have known this amazing quilter as a friend of ours for years, and we felt that she was the best person to create this beautiful quilt, and fortunately she said yes. I think this job turned out to be a lot bigger than what we all thought it would be. Indeed Norma Bradley was the best person to create this quilt! We are very grateful for her commitment to this project. After many months (about 9) of working on this quilt, Norma brought it over to have a place in our home.
It is now in a central place in our home so that we can be reminded of the love and diversity that is in our lives. Our wedding quilt, for me, is not just a reflection of love and diversity from family and friends; it is a teacher of wisdom that we are all learning each and every day. As you can see in the picture, there were not only a lot of different textures, but colors as well.
When I look at this quilt I am reminded of the diversity in all of our lives. This quilt, for me, represents the different ways that we all show up in a person’s life. It also represents how people with big differences can live together in peace and beauty.
Who would have thought silk and flannel could live happily together in a quilt, yet they do. Or those pictures of sushi could blend with fabric with cowboy boots. But when they all are blended together with each piece having their role in the whole of the quilt, and working together as a whole, than it does go together quite beautifully.
Some pieces are the hidden gem throughout, while other pieces help with joining pieces together. Some make statements, while others are quite bright and stand out. This ,too, is the same for people in the world, and we all have our role.
It wasn’t easy for Norma to put the different fabrics together, but through intention, love, and commitment, she was able to bring them together, and quite beautifully at that.
This is also the same for us in the world. It is not always easy to see how we could “hang” with someone who is so different, yet with commitment, love, and intention to do so, we can find creative ways to connect with others in the great tapestry of life. So when you are with someone who looks or thinks quite differently than you , remember the wisdom of the wedding quilt: we all can dance our own dance and still dance together.