You’ve heard of writer’s block, when creativity slows, right? If you have relatives who sew quilts, you’ve likely heard of quilt blocks.
Generally, they’re squares of colorful fabric carefully designed, cut, and sewn, connected with coordinating boarders, and bound with cotton batting in-between — creating a lovely quilt. Anyway, December arrived quickly, with articles, blogs, and Christmas letters to create. So, using December’s golden thread, I’m weaving together a wonderful crazy quilt, stitching together a few concepts in a heartfelt gift for you.
1. I begin my first quilt block by creating a striking night scene with fabrics carefully cut and sewn depicting a caravan of camels following the new star, carrying three wise men bearing frankincense, gold and myrrh for the Christ child. I marvel at the health properties all essential oils offer, such as frankincense supporting immunity, and myrrh being antiviral and anti-inflammatory. I vividly recall rubbing fragrant drops of these essential oils on the feet of our special-needs child, Heidi Ann.
2. The design of my second quilt block would be a childlike drawing of some cute goats eating carrots from our grandchildren. It’s funny how perspectives shift. As a youngster, my parents had goats for my mother’s dairy allergies, yet as a teenager, they became an embarrassment to me. Today, I’m proud we have goats in our pasture — not as “milkers” but as “weeders.” In our Hidden Treasures of Health organization, I consistently admonish the need to reduce chemicals outside our homes, inside our homes — and bodies — to help the aquifers stay pure, and our bodies remain free from illnesses and disorders. Cancer is linked with chemicals, and autism as well, so it feels great using a natural weed control that also produces fun family experiences.
3. This blanket block would be of my beloved cell phone. Yep, I love it, and creating Instagram images has become my new guilty pleasure. When asking how to teach more about our Special Needs Preparedness mission (without breaking the bank), I always got, “Do social media, Elayne, it takes time, yet no money. Plus, you’re global.” Made sense. I Facebooked, blogged, did some Pinterest, but what really lit a fire, was learning how to post my own creations on Instagram. Thanks to a 12-year-old teaching me Phonto, I can share a catchy image with a helpful tip, tool, trivia, or technique for families grappling with special needs.
4. This square would have fabric embroidered into a Dickins-style village with Ebenezer Scrooge joyfully carrying Tiny Tim. Every few years my husband and I get the opportunity to see the classic “A Christmas Carol” and love it. The metamorphosis of Ebenezer Scrooge reviewing his current life, his younger days, and pondering the future through his words and deeds, makes me long to do more to help lift the plight of other fragile families like the Cratchits.
5. This section would have 10 words: “I could never eat Paleo,” said everyone — before becoming Paleo. Frankly, I’ve known for decades that white flour, white shortening, white potatoes, and dairy were not the healthiest for humans, but I never had enough gumption to give them up. Gradually, we improved, but it took my husband, Rod, having kidney failure (on Christmas Eve) for us to cut the ties. Day-by-day, like consistent small stitches that bind things together, we’ve found healthy, tasty substitutes for each item listed above, and Rod’s made a remarkable recovery.
6. My next quilt concept would be a cool African scene with fabric-silhouetted trees and giraffes representing our anonymous service to some new refugees in our region. I’ve loved donating items to anyone less fortunate, but this year has been rewarding helping two refugee families from the African Congo. They’re courageous and working hard to build new lives in America. What a thrill that our big, blue, braided rug from the upstairs guest room (which we didn’t need) is a valued part of their small apartment.
7. Recently, when looking at precious scrapbooks of Heidi, our dear daughter with Down syndrome, memories manifested of when she astounded us with her first words of “Mama,” “Dada,” “Tank ku” (thank you), and “Jesus.” Heidi innately knew how special Baby Jesus was in nativity sets, so a stable scene would be the next section for this personalized Christmas quilt.
8. Our home-life unraveled after Heidi’s easygoing personality twisted into complex autism. Guess I’ll sew a scene of Santa — (because some think he has Asperger’s, a high-functioning autism.) Think about it — he stays home a lot, wears the same clothes, lines up toys, is hyper-focused year-round, and says the same few phrases over and over. (Let’s keep the fun in dys-fun-tion!)
9. Lastly, many people snap photos, but the snag is printing them, so our final quilt block is a family enjoying various photo albums. Over time, we see the “bigger picture” of life with happy memories and hard-earned achievements. Like a cozy blanket, photographs give us comfort, soften the heart, and warm the soul.
Well, that sews it up for me. Merry Christmas, one and all.
Elayne Pearson, C.A.S., Special Needs Preparedness Specialist loves speaking/writing to strengthen families. Follow her on Instragram: hiddentreasuresofhealth Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.hiddentreasuresofhealth.com