Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eat, Pray . . . Quilt

I haven't read the book, nor seen the movie, although I probably will - who doesn't love Julia Roberts? Everyone seems to have an opinion, though. I've been a little busy lately so I'm still on the fence about whether I should take the time to read it. I know people who absolutely LOVED this book and others who claim it's self-indulgent drivel. By a rich lady no less. I have a blog so I know all about self-indulgent drivel, LOL. Chances are good I'd love it.

If you haven't heard, the bestselling book, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, is about a woman who is desperately unhappy with her life and decides to take a yearlong journey around the world to find personal and spiritual fulfillment. It's been touted as great for it's honesty and enlightenment. Oprah endorsed it. It's also been slammed for the author's self-absorption and superficiality.

I haven't been in the author's shoes. Or even close. I've had my own struggles over time, however, and most of you have had them too, I'll bet. Having kids just doesn't allow you to become too self-absorbed, LOL. And what I know is this - that when things get tough, quilters know that they don't have to travel the world to escape - quilting takes them on a journey right where they are.

In addition to tough, our lives get so busy at times - we become slaves to the calendar, e-mail, errands, traffic, the TV, our kids. Most of us share this though - quilting is the thing we've found that brings us back. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that. Take a breath, steal a few minutes, make a small project.

And, like the author says - eat some good food, too. No need to travel far and wide for excellent food, though. Proof: I made a mean Beef Stroganoff in my very own kitchen last night! Indulge in some chocolate. Take a walk in nature.

There's a Botanic Garden with waterfalls and a Japanese garden a few minutes from where I live. I walk there sometimes if it's not too hot outside. I'm thinking I should bring some quilting the next time I go and just stop and relax after the walk.

No time for a quilt? Here's a pincushion that will take you all of a 1/2 hour to make: Cut 1-inch scrap strips and sew together. Trim to a 3 1/2"  x 4 1/2 " rectangle. Sew some decorative stitches along the seams with colorful thread. Cut a piece of fabric the same size for the back. Right sides together, stitch 1/4 inch all around, leaving an opening. Turn right side out, stuff, and sew the opening shut. So cute. Therapy, I call it.

Right now I'm in the process of hand quilting the next quilt for the American Schoolgirl Club - "Clarissa's Garden." Oh my, you're going to love it. (Yes, I know, I'm behind, please forgive me. You WILL get your patterns later this month, I promise.) When I quilt without watching TV, I'm oblivious to time or space - my mind quiets and my focus turns inward. If I have a question, sometimes it gets answered while I'm quilting. If I'm upset, calmness returns after a bit.

Do we need to go to a mountain in Tibet to find peace? Maybe not. Confucius said: "No matter where you go, there you are." The spiritual journey is usually a journey within ourselves, no escaping that. I don't feel like I need to go anywhere to find a balance - I just quilt.


Cheryl said...

Very poignant, Kathy. I have read the book and found it to be drivel. However, I too have a self-indulgent blog--you are so funny. Great read! Ever thought being an author :)

Kathleen Tracy said...

Confucius/Kathy says: "She who blogs, often bores" LOL.

O'Quilts said...

You are correct. I have travelled all around the world in my lifetime and nothing is so soothing for me as my quilting. When I am stressed, I just flick that machine switch to fast and get sewing. When I am happy I do the same thing. TBTG

Nicole said...

Great post today! I haven't seen the movie yet myself, but plan on it soon.
I have been practicing my machine quilting lately, and find it sort of Zen!

Anonymous said...

kathleen, I am with the people who agree that she is pretty self-in-dull-gent. How many people are rich enough to take a year off, oh yea, no one I know. And she didn't have children. Don't get me started. Only rich people that don't have a clue what working folks do understand that book. grrrrrrrr. Lizzie

Daniƫlle said...

LOL you are soooo right!! Happy quilting!! Hugs, Daniƫlle

Linda said...

Well said, Kathy! I enjoyed the movie for Julia Roberts, the scenery, the humor. I didn't think too much about the author....just enjoyed an afternoon in a cool theater with my gal friends!!

Sharon said...

The book was self-indulgent...and who doesn't wish for the ability to just "take a year off" and go figure it out? It was an enjoyable read...much like reading a great fairy tale! Haven't made it to the movie yet. I so agree with quilting being a sort of meditation and get away...I've always said it is what keeps me sane!

Quilting Corner said...

Thanks for today's post. This is just what I needed to hear today.

Becky said...

You are so "on the mark." We have all we need right where we are. As quilters, we are blessed:)

lovetosew said...

Thanks for the wonderful post- a joy to read, and so right about the amazing therapy in our handwork, for those of us who love this (and can't live without it!) We sure need to remember, and DO it, even when the busy-ness crowds in. :)

Linda C said...

My book club read this book on Oprah's recommendation, and we collectively found it boring!!! Even my 29 year old with "no children" daughter found it complete drivel. However we do plan to see the movie, in the hope that there might be a spark on film that the book missed.
Thanks for sharing your quilts and your walk!!!

marijke's crea said...

Thank you for the lovely pictures of the park and the quilt.
Quilting is a beautifull handwork that brings people all over the world together.

Donna K. from N. TX said...

Your post today was so inspirational. I read the book while on vacation in northern New Mexico with my "love" - the hubby. We ate great food, meditated in the wonderful mountain air, and I worked on some hand piecing. It was our own one week Eat Pray Love excursion.

Katell said...

Mange, Prie, Aime was an entertaining book for me, but sometimes a bit boring... We have our own therapies as you said : Nature not far away, good cooking with family and/or friends, and our big secret against stress : quilting !
Thanks for this nice post Kathy !

Dora, the Quilter said...

Oh, I think I've been in that garden. It was, indeed, very soothing. I think I'll go spend a half hour in my sewing room, however, and pray for the person who will receive the prayer quilt I'm quilting. That too will relieve a lot of stress.
Love this post--especially your comment about the self-indulgent blogger--however, you do connect with quilters, so your posts are far from self indulgent!

Kathleen Tracy said...

I DO love connecting with quilters - although I have a hard time believing that anyone really cares what I had for dinner or wants to see photos of where I walk, LOL. That seems a little self-indulgent to me, to assume it's all so interesting. But will I stop? Probably not . . . It's therapy!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful garden to have so near your home. Loved the Confucius saying, very true. I haven't read the book, but may see the movie with friends. Ah, to travel the world for a year...but then again, there is no place like home. from Jenny M (Australia)

Town Common Folk Art said...

It seems to me that the pure honest living needs a balance that many of us struggle to achieve in this age. We are all fighting for those tranquil moments when everything feels just right, we take a deep breath, and are satisfied. It is food for our souls...and it IS necessary. I think it only becomes indulgent when we eat too much of it! :) Penni

Lori said...

You said it all perfectly!! I agree.

Janny Schoneveld said...

A walk on the beach, half an hour on my bike from my home.
That is relaxing and hand sewing/quilting.
In holland there is a group of ladies who make 1 or more hexagonflowers on each wednesday.
I think it is.
Visite a disabled person or a sick person.
There are a lot of ways to find peace in yourself.
Greetings Janny Schoneveld

Sharon said...

Perfectly posted! I haven't watched movie/read book and probably won't. I like the saying, "No matter where you go, there you are." Truer words were never spoken.

Connie204 said...

Great post. Totally agree. I haven't read the book and really don't plan on it.

ale balanzario said...

Hi, I found your blog today, you have wonderful quilts and post, I agree with you, to find ourselves, we dont need to travel far.
Quilts help us to find ourselves and keep us happy.
Have a great week.


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