Longest Night

Longest Night Quilt

Here I am doing everything I can to avoid Christmas and my friend Jackie walks into my studio, looks at the quilt on my floor and says “It’s a Christmas quilt”.

Jackie knows how I feel about Christmas.

I deny it, but she persists.   “It’s red and green” she says.  I cut her off before she can say anymore.  “No,no”, I insist, “its red and black, red and black.  And look about the phases of the moon at the top of the quilt, what about them. ”   But I look at the stars and I’m starting to see her point.

Maybe she saw my distress, because then she said that those big blocks of color weren’t really green but a aqua color.  And  I knew I had her.  Jackie’s a nurse. ” They’re scrubs” I said.   And she got it.  Scrubs are the perfect material for my quilts.  Once cut apart they’re big pieces of solid color.

Then Jackie offered me her old scrubs.  I said yes even to the ones with the cutesy patterns on them.  They’ll be a challenge.

After Jackie left I looked at my quilt and couldn’t deny that Christmas was an influence in my making it.  But it’s the only idea about Christmas that makes sense to me.  And it really has nothing to do with Christmas, except that Christmas falls a few days after the Winter Solstice.  Because that I understand.  The desire to bring light to the darkest time of the year.

I can’t keep what’s going on inside of me out of my work.  Not that I would want to.  It’s just that sometimes it surprises me.  So I named the quilt “Longest Night”,  my kind of Christmas.

8 thoughts on “Longest Night

  1. Maria, a perfect name for a quilt like that. I struggle with this time of year, as do many others. I read Jon’s comments and think, that’s how it is for me. Christmas is so overdone, I turn down the Christmas carols on my car radio, when people say “have a Merry Christmas”, I respond in kind but to me, it’s like ‘hello, how are you’ and no-one really wants to know ‘how you are’. Christmas brings forth all kinds of memories, many good, some very painful for me as it can do others. There is a greater incidence of depression at Christmas, suicide as well. The birth of Christ never did happen on Dec. 25th, and who ever heard of Santa Claus in those days…the whole celebration is man-made and totally commercial in value. We are supposed to all sit around a table with family eating turkey. What the heck, many people don’t have those big happy families to sit down with. Where did that all start? With all this hype, it’s no wonder many of us resist the concept of celebrating a holiday which can bring so much pain. It’s nice when families get together and all enjoy seeing each other…it used to happen for me. But then, deaths in the family make those memories bittersweet, for me. So, subconsciously you have made a Christmas quilt with stars and red and green colours. Maybe it’s your way of acknowledging Christmas. I hope it sells and you get it out of your studio. What you are doing is supporting someone who has experienced loss this year and that in itself is giving to others…which is what we hope Christmas is really all about.
    SandyP and thanks Maria, I’m going through the angst, just as you and Jon are at this time of year.

    1. I don’t know where it all started or how it got so out of hand Sandy. But it does leave me feeling lonely and empty. I’m hoping by not celebrating it this year it will help me understand it all. Maybe then I can work on it not being so disturbing to me.

  2. Hi Maria. I love your “Longest Night” Quilt . For me it represents a Winter Quilt, rich in colour and comfort.Like you I have great difficulty with Christmas. I’m so glad there are people like you that find this time of year difficult as I can say to myself I’m not the only one that feels like this! Well done, the quilt is beautiful and the stars on it make me smile. Best Wishes

  3. Maria, this is a special quilt in many ways, Longest night is the perfect name.
    The center is like a window looking into the future, the year to come. I love this quilt! Is it for sale! Tess

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