Inch by Inch

This is happening row by row. One more border to go and Good Fortune top is done.Do you remember this song? It’s about growing a garden, but the lyrics could just as easily be about growing a quilt.

(Garden Song)

Inch by inch, row by row,

We’re gonna make this garden grow.

All we need is a rake and a hoe and a piece of solid ground. . .

(Quilt version: All we need is a needle and thread and piece of solid fabric . . . “)

Quilters are oftentimes also gardeners. This is no coincidence. We understand that it doesn’t take a Herculean effort to make the gorgeous end products. It only takes a bit of time stitching here, and dropping a row of seeds in the ground there. I spend a minute or two pulling little weeds each time I pass by the garden, and I sew a seam or two each time I pass by the machine. In time, little snippets of effort add up to something big and beautiful.

I’ve heard non-quilters look at a finished quilt and say “Oh I could NEVER do that – how much TIME did it take you?”

Honestly, I didn’t notice any huge chunks of time taken from my life to produce the garden bed or the quilts. They just grew as I caught moments to play in them now and then.

We all have time in common. How we pass the 24 hours we are given each day is our choice. I listened to Leah Day’s recent podcast and the guest spoke about those choices. She said we can either waste, spend, or invest the time we are given.

By the way, Pete Seeger wrote the song, so of course it’s a metaphor. We experience life events that move us in leaps and bounds, but for the most part we live incrementally – in the moments strung together.

Okay, I just googled the lyrics, and learned that Arlo Guthrie co-wrote the song. And the version I knew is different from the original. But these favorite verses are the same:

“Pullin’ weeds and pickin’ stones

We are made of dreams and bones

Need a place to call my own

‘Cause the time is close at hand

Grain for grain, sun and rain

Find my way in nature’s chain

Till my body and my brain

Tell the music of the land”

P.S. I’m reading through Chronicles word by word, so the Bible Sampler Quilt is still inching forward. It’ll be back.

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