Part of my yoga teacher training including an independent project. How do I apply the yoga I learn on my mat when I get off my mat? For my independent project, I made a quilt of the chakra colors. While the colors are beautiful and have a lot of meaning, it wasn’t my primary focus when making the quilt. My primary focus was the process itself of making a quilt and how I felt that this quilt is a story of my life.
Quilting can be broken down into two major parts. The first part of the process is the piecing. The fabric must be cut into various shapes and sizes and pieced together. While the matching of the colors is very artistic, the cutting and piecing of the fabric is mathematical and precise. If you don’t cut each piece to be just the right size with straight and accurate lines, your fabric won’t be sewn together straight. You can even cut the fabric correctly and then sew the pieces together too quickly or clumsily and the fabric can bunch together. Intersections of where multiple pieces of fabric fit together line up incorrectly. The design of the quilt is completely changed by carelessness and hurry in the foundation. If care, though, is taken to cut each piece with straight lines and in the right size and shape and then if those pieces are sewn carefully together a beautiful quilt top can emerge. This is the part of the quilt that the world sees most easily.
This quilt top is the part of me that the world sees. I can choose to not care for my body and soul. I can not take the care and time to figure out who the real me is. This person can get through life, but so much of it will be illusion. I can also choose to take the care and time to properly cut out the different parts of me and put them together into a tapestry of who I am. I can examine each piece and choose to get rid of the parts that don’t go with the rest of the quilt or the pieces that just don’t fit. When I’m finished, I will have a representation of who I am to show to the world.
The second part of quilting is the most important part in my opinion. Once the quilt top is finished, that’s all it is; a single dimension of fabric that while it’s pretty it has no depth to it. This is where a piece of batting (cotton or wool that’s been pressed together almost like felt), the quilt top and a backing are layered together. Once these three pieces have been layered, the pieces are stitched or quilted together with thread and needle. Each stitch binds these layers together a little more tightly. Quilting can be done quickly and it will hold the pieces together for at least a short period of time. Over time, though, the pieces will slowly unravel and all you will be left with is a quilt top, a piece of cotton or wool and another piece of fabric. If the stitching is tight and done carefully, though, these pieces of fabric can be held together for generations.
The quilt itself is my world. It is the ties that bind me to all of the relationships I have formed in my life and will form as I continue through my journey. Each stitch is a person that I have been touched by in however a minor way. That tie can either be loose and eventually unravel or that tie can be held tight by care in the making and maintenance of it.
My studies have taught me how to look at myself and be honest with the person that I want to be. I’m willing to take the care and time to construct a quilt top of all the pieces that make up who I am. I have also learned how to interact with the world so that I can make ties that bind and hold with the people around me. This quilt is my life.
The best part of the quilt was when I presented it to my classmates. We shared ourselves and our lives when we were in that class. I wanted to take that with me, so I had my classmates and teachers sign a piece of fabric and I appliqued it onto the back of my quilt. Now, whenever I look at this quilt, I will remember what a wonderful experience teacher training was for me and the great friends that I made.