The Pool Quilt
Exercising at the pool twice a week is a habit I am trying to stick to. Most of the time my exercise involves rolling around in my chair in front of the sewing machine, or moving my fingers while I knit in front of TV. Hardly real exercise. So I am really trying to make the pool a habit. It helps that I chatter with my pool mates. I really only know those people at the pool. When and if I ever run into one them in the big wide world, my first thought is, “I don’t recognize you with your clothes on.” I have been known to say that or think that, but I rarely see these people anywhere else.
The conversation is limited, although the fact that my quilts were hung there for four months, provided fodder for extra chat. How long does it take to make a quilt? Where do you get your fabric? Have you ever entered one at the fair? (no) . Do you sell them? That last question is a hard one to answer. I have sold a few at a pottery shop on Cape Cod but I have never wanted to make a quilt at someone’s request – on commission. I make what I like and have found there are few people who really want to pay what they are worth, in fabric, time and energy. So I just say no. I make them for my family, for new babies, for weddings, and just because I think someone in the family would like it. I have a house decorated in quilts and have loaned them to a church and of course the Rehab for display.
Then a question came from Vince, the pool guy who supervises the pool when we are there. “Would you make one for the pool?” (I think he is the one who asked.) The conversation that followed for weeks after was filled with suggestions of what a pool quilt would look like. It made for some pretty funny conversation which I will leave to your imagination.
So I began to work on an idea. We all have had a session or two with a physical therapist before becoming a regular at the pool. We are all given a sheet of paper with stick figures drawn showing various exercises. If you have a reason not to do one, the therapist has crossed out that figure. There is also a laminated version of this at the edge of the pool just in case you forget how or really want to follow the regimen. Most of us don’t. As for me, I ride a noodle most of the time, pedaling like a bicycle, and keep my jaw moving. The idea came to me that I could make those stick figures into people doing some of the routines. Since I can’t draw adults with all their lumps and bumps, I would make them kids.
I started work and here is the result. It hangs under the counter at the pool as it was the only space available and people look for themselves in it, because after all, we were all young once.