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Patchwork of experiences

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Anne Mukei | May 15th 2016

I recently visited an elderly  woman who has been a family friend for years. On her huge sofa is this cosy and appealing spread that even the blind would not ignore.

She told me the spread tells the story of her life — a bitter sweet one — and has taken her many years to sew together by hand.

For some reason, most patchworks are often bright-coloured pieces of art, and hers is no different. She does not have much left to put up another patchwork, and this is understandable.

Having put away her late husband’s and children’s clothes in the store for a long time, she realised she could put them into good use and that is when she chose to spend her afternoons cutting into perfect squares and piecing fabric of different colour and texture together.

The result is the exquisite spread, made with buckets of love, which has transformed her living room.

Patchwork is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. The larger design is usually based on repeat patterns built up with different fabric shapes (which can be different colours).

Our lives are made of different patchworks. Those different experiences — the bitter and the sweet, the long and the short — assembled together to make up the patchwork of your life.

A life story, a history of living — regardless of whether pleasant or otherwise.

Kaye Moore said that life is like a quilt. Years bound together embellished with family and friends; backed with tradition, stitched with love, with cornerstones placed carefully to create a one-of-a-kind journey through time.

Life has never had guarantees and is not about to, and most people’s life patchworks are a rainbow of colour.

Sometimes the colours tend to lean towards either the brighter or the dull shades of the rainbow.

There is a reason why colour is associated with fun and optimism. And even when you shun those oranges and yellows, your subconscious will somehow gravitate towards the same.

But even as I realise that I cannot always have happy times most of my life, it is up to me to ensure that the patchwork of my life is as bright as it can be, by choosing life paths that are self-promoting, pleasurable and even life-changing.

These I cannot emphasise to myself enough, because I sure want to have a comfortable patchwork that I can proudly display during my old age.

Life is not always pleasant, but it is indeed a beautiful patchwork — if only you choose to patch up your experiences. Try it today, it may just provide that cosy cushion you need to savour even during better times.

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