The sky began to fill with clouds and soon the sun fell gray and disappeared. A few minutes after we walked into the house, the first drops of rain fell. "Oh, good," she said, "now I can choose a new project."
"What kind of project?" I asked.
"I don't know. I just finished the baby quilt. I haven't thought about anything new."
"I thought you told me that you would choose your project early, before you finished the quilt, so you wouldn't have to run around in a frenzy again looking for something new to do." She had made that promise. She made it to me, to herself, and to the shelves full of books and magazines where she hoped to choose her next project.
"I wanted to finish the Sue quilt first so I could concentrate and make a good choice when I choose the new quilt I am going to choose."
"You make that promise with every quilt," I reminded her.
"Sometimes I do have a new project in mind, and sometimes that puts pressure on me to finish what I'm doing and start the new project and then my mind turns to mush. This way is better," she said.
"So, you don't have a new project in mind yet?"
"I will," she began, "as soon as I get organized."
"When do you plan to get organized?" I asked.
"Today. If it's going to rain all day, I'll be able to stay in and organize my thoughts and my quilt books and my quilt magazines, and then I can choose the new project."
"Sounds like a plan," I said. No, it didn't, but I was put on earth to support her in her quilting, as all spouses of quilters are. If she planned to get organized, I would back her to the hilt. (I'm not sure what knives and swords have to do with quilting or what backing a person to the hilt really means, but back her to the hilt is what I intended to do.)
She was out in the yard feeding the goldfish in our pond. I watched her through the kitchen window. It was past lunch time, but she seemed to be in no hurry to come in. It was still raining, but lightly, and she stood there in the slow rain throwing food into the pond. Finally, after I knocked on the window three times and motioned her to come in, she brushed the last of the fish food off her hands and turned to come back in. I met her with a towel in my hands to dry her off.
"You were out there a long time in the rain," I said.
"I was organizing my thoughts," she said.
"Did you organize the books and magazines yet?" I asked. She dried her hair and washed her hands.
"I picked out twenty magazines to look through and six books."
"So, then you have some idea about your next project?" I asked, hoping there was a scheme in her choosing the books and magazines.
"No, they're all different, but they're all baby quilts."
"More baby quilts?"
"I told you that after the last baby quilt," she said. "I'm doing baby quilts for awhile."
So, then you organized all the books and magazines for baby quilts?" I asked.
"Yes," she said.
"And?" I asked.
"I still have to organize them more and then I have to organize the fabrics according to the projects and then I have to organize my thoughts," she said without taking a breath,
"I thought you organized your thoughts outside in the rain."
"No, I was feeding the fish and thinking about how much they've grown."
"Not about a quilt project?"
"No, not yet."
"Let's eat lunch," I said.
After lunch she went up to her sewing room. Fifteen minutes later she came downstairs again. She carried a plastic drawer full of fabric scraps. "Fabric scraps," she said in answer to my look of puzzlement. I have a good look of puzzlement. I am often puzzled about quilting.
"Are you going to wash them?" I asked.
"No, I need to use the kitchen table so I can sort them out by color and size."
"There's no room left in your sewing room?"
"The books and magazines are all spread out. I'm putting place marks in them so I can find what I want when I look instead of having to go through them all again."
"That's organization," she said.
"Any closer to a project?" I asked.
"When are you going to start it?"
"It's still in my head somewhere. When I'm done organizing everything else today, I can organize everything inside my brain." She looked down at the fabric she carried and moved toward the sorting table, formerly the kitchen table.
"There's an awful lot involved in organizing," I said, relying on the wisdom I had gained being married to a quilter.
"That's why we have organizing days," she said.
After dinner was over and the table cleared, she said, "You finish up here and put everything away."
"You have something else to do?" I asked.
"I have to finish getting organized."
"I thought you were finished?" I said.
"I'm organizing the cupboards so I'll have room to put the baby quilts in until the babies are all born."
"I thought all your cupboards were full," I said.
"I'm taking out the guest towels and sheets and two pillows to make room. You wouldn't believe how disorganized the cupboards are."
"The whole house is disorganized. Are you going to organize the whole house?"
"Why would I do all that? I have a quilt to make. If I need some more room later, I'll do it then."
"On another organization day?" I asked.
"It might rain again sometime," she said.
"In the meantime you are going to make a quilt you've finally chosen?"
"It was hard to choose, but, yes, I think so."
"In that case, I think I'll go organize the refrigerator," I said. "We may need to find something in there when it's time to eat again."
"Aren't you going to ask what kind of quilt I'm going to do."
"What kind of quilt?" I asked.
"A baby quilt," she said playfully.
"I'd better start on the refrigerator," I said.
"Good organization takes time," she said.
"I'm sure it does," I said. I am really, really sure it does.
Copyright 2005 by A.B. Silver
Click here to see finished "Bonnet Gals Quilt"
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