I consider myself an optimistic person, so when challenging circumstances come my way, I try to find the 'silver linings'. They're almost always there, and noticing them helps me feel more grounded and hopeful in troubled times.
I'm grateful that I've been spared most of the hardships of the pandemic. Since I'm retired, my life hasn't changed that much, except that all the group activities and social events I enjoyed have been canceled. I miss seeing friends, but I don't miss being busy. A break in the action has been one of those silver linings.
One of the activities of my life that I miss the most are the bi-monthly gatherings of the Piecemakers. I miss spending the day doing important and soul-nurturing work, making comforters for refugees, with a great group of people. I miss greeting people as they come in for the day, and listening to the knotters exchange stories and laughs around the quilt frames. I miss seeing Al and Kathy standing at the cutting table and ironing board, respectively, hoping that in twenty years I will have even half of their stamina! I miss seeing Greg walk in, loaded down with his creative fabric combinations and latest pattern ideas. I miss laughing at Joyce and Al as they exchange good-natured barbs. I miss tracking the comforters on the master project list, so I can report on our progress over lunch. And I miss lunch! There's nothing quite so delicious as a Piecemakers’ potluck.
As much as I miss our gatherings, I'm appreciating the silver linings. A few weeks into the lockdown, Joyce asked if she could sew tops at home. Then Julie asked if she could borrow a quilt frame so that she and Shakita could knot comforters. When Joyce heard about that, she wanted a quilt frame too. Judy and Joanna and Ruth were already creating tops at home. An idea took shape, an email went out, and before you could say 'comforter', we had a dozen or more Piecemakers sewing tops and binding comforters and delivering projects around the city. And as the finished comforters piled up (over 60 to date), a silver lining bonus was that some of us got to see each other in person (at a distance!) as we passed the projects around.
We've had so much work going on in Piecemakers' homes that I probably shouldn't have been surprised when I tallied the final numbers this week. Our total for the year: 225. When you consider that we're delivering the comforters to MCC almost a month earlier than we did last year, we've actually completed MORE comforters during this pandemic year! Talk about a silver lining.....