I stitch forward and back a few times to make sure the end is secure. Batting side up, my quilt is heavy to maneuver, but soft on my hands.
I cut the threads then pull Blue Earth from under the presser foot of my sewing machine. Draped on my work table, I start at the opening, the space I didn’t sew, and pull out the pins.
I go all the the way around until I’m back to the other side of the opening. I stick the last pin in my pincushion, the crushed walnut shells inside it making space for the pin, sharpening it, holding it for me until I need to use it again.
Now I move Blue Earth onto my studio floor, holding onto it at the opening.
Then I reach in.
I push my whole arm inside the quilt until I get to the far corner, I gather the layers of fabric and batting in my fist and pull it out through the opening.
The quilt pools on my floor like an evening gown slipping off a body. I gently ease the fabric though the opening.
I think of a farmer helping a cow birth her calf, of a moth emerging from its cocoon. The front and back of my quilt are joined as they have never been before.
When Blue Earth is turned right side out, I reach in to it again and poke a single finger into each corner to push the bit of fabric out as far as it will go.
Then I shake it all out, iron the edges flat and hand sew the opening.
This is when all those pieces of fabric I’ve been sewing together for days and days, goes from being flat to becoming three dimensional. Even though I still have to tack it, in my mind it has become a quilt.
A piece of art in the same tradition that humans have been creating for thousands of years.