Thursday, June 25, 2020

Tall Tale Quilt Finished Part 1

It has been a while since my last post. For a while I just didn't have the mental energy to sew or do anything. But all my life, pushing myself to sew and to create has helped me to keep going with life; especially when times were hard. I decided to make this quilt for my sister who is also going through really tough things right now. She is one of the biggest bookworms and I know for sure she will love this quilt. I found the book block pattern at Quilt with Kate and made a quilt top for myself a little while ago. Since I decided to hand quilt that one, it has been taking longer to finish. I finished this quilt much quicker because I machine quilted it! I am not even going to pretend I am good at machine quilting, but using the Digital Dual Feed Walking Foot made it so much better and fun to quilt. You can ask Mr. TRH, I. did. not. want. to. stop! I finished quilting the whole top in one night.

I wanted to take some pictures for this book quilt and thought about several locations. Hmmm... Where should I go? Of course, the library! When I went there, there was hardly any one there. Thanks to a super nice librarian, who offered to let me borrow some big metal clips, I was able to hang the quilt on a bookshelf.

I also wanted to do something a little special for my sister; I decided to do an applique on the back.

I am a little nervous about sending this to her right now, because of COVID-19 and all, the package might get lost or it might not get to her for a really long time. I can just picture her snuggling up in this quilt and reading for hours even forgetting to eat, just like we did together growing up. Is there anyone special in your life you would love to make a quilt for?

I will post my book quilt in part 2, soon. :)

Friday, June 5, 2020

Be Still My Soul and ...

I think this is one of the hardest posts I have ever written. There has been so much emotion and thoughts inside my head and heart for a while. I have been struggling to put them in the right words. Nothing was good enough and close enough to how I was feeling. I am not a confrontational person and it took me a lot of courage to write this post. So bare with me and please be kind even if what I write offends you somehow.

It has been almost two weeks since George Floyd was killed by a police officer. I saw the video and I felt sick to my stomach to see how he was treated. For a day or two, whenever I checked social media, I was just overwhelmed by what I saw, read, and by my own emotions. Social media has became such a toxic place for me and to add to my anxiety on top of what is happening to my family in Japan. I had to leave social media for a while.

I started checking social media little more often a few days ago, and I am learning and listening more.

I am no stranger to discrimination and racism. I was mocked and bullied growing up for missing a leg and for how I walked. I moved to the United States and there were a few incidents I felt wronged because I am Asian (this coming from Caucasians and black people). My children are Caucasian/Asian, but they look more Asian and they have been called some racial slurs such as Jap and flat face. The lunches I've packed for them was called disgusting and gross by other kids. Many of these things are upsetting, but to me most of the incidents were them being rude and unkind people rather than being racist.

I have been watching and observing for a few years and I feel like more and more people use the word "racist" too often when it doesn't even apply.

If someone has a different opinion about law or some policies, it doesn't make the person instantly a racist.
If someone doesn't agree with you 100%, it doesn't mean that they are your enemy.
If someone express things completely the way you want, it doesn't mean that the person is not feeling things.

We are all different people, coming from different background and experiences and dealing with our own feelings. Naturally how we think and deal with things will be different from one another.

On the same note, I am not so naive that racism doesn't exist in this nation, but what would happen to this country, if the whole thing becomes one giant "witch hunt"? How can we have open constructive conversations without having fear of being attacked for your opinion? How can we find actual solutions and help those who are suffering?

Black lives matter. I hope those police officers will receive judgement they deserve. There is just no excuse for the actions of the one officer and the inaction of the other three.

I met this amazing beautiful lady at Babylock Common Thread conference a couple years back. Anita is a talented, graceful and strong women who inspire others in many ways. Whenever I see her post pop up I always want to read what she is up to or what she has to say. After what happened to George Floyd, she posted about her two sons and how she worries about their safety.

I felt her sorrow and worry because I am a mother of two sons and a daughter that I care so much about. After COVID-19 broke out my boys were called some racial slur while they were working. Even though there was no physical danger with those incidents, it made me worry so much because I have seen some Asian people attacked, just because they are Asian. If we all imagine things like this happening to ourselves and our loved ones; how might we feel? We might be able to grow empathetic and desire to do more.

I wish more people would see each other beyond the color of their skin and see who they are, their character, and deeds. It would be so wonderful if more people have mutual respect and show compassion towards every human soul regardless of any differences we may have. I think we can start by educating ourselves and teaching our children to be kinder people. We don't need any more contention or division; we already have enough in this society. It might sounds cliche, but what we need more of is love and understanding.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I have been learning more about racism. One of the videos I came cross had very good points and I learned a lot. If you are interested, here is the video.

I also found an interesting article written by an Asian Journalist who was trying to report on the Milwaukee protest (written in 2016); got caught in the middle of it but was able to escape: titled "You are Asian, right? Why are you even here?". Most of my Asian friends are not posting anything about what happened to George Floyd. I think it's not that they don't care, but they don't know where "we" fit in this issue.

The question I am asking myself is this, "You are Asian, right? Why are you even bothering to write this?"

I felt like my voice, as insignificant as it may be, might mean something to someone. I know I have much to learn, but my desire to do better is there and I know my heart can expand more. My heart is troubled, that is why I am keep saying to myself "Be Still My Soul". It doesn't mean that I am not doing anything. It means to me that I will trust in the Lord as much I can (remember, I am still learning) and keep trying to do good works.
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