Stitchin’ Along

I love quilts! I think my affinity for them can be traced back to my grandmothers, both of whom were skilled in all kinds of needlework and made quilts for both necessity and recreation. I have several of their textile treasures displayed around my house along with a few others that I’ve collected or been given over the years. I’ve even made some myself.

100_7121-1<— I finished this one when I was in college.

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—–> This one to the right was a Christmas gift for my son after he graduated high school last year. It’s become his favorite keepsake because it’s created from a sampling of t-shirts saved throughout his school years.  (I have plans to make each of my other children one in a similar style.)

100_7114-1<—- And this one is a memory quilt made out of fabric scraps from clothes my mom and grandmother made for me when I was a child. Mom and I made the top together when I was in my early 20s.  My daughter, Laura, and I completed it almost two decades later as a middle school history project.

I was retelling my youngest daughter about the meaning of this particular quilt a few months ago, when she said ‘Hey mom, i think that l’d like to make a quilt with you sometime too!”

100_7109-1It just so happens that i have a fabulous Lone Star quilt top that my paternal grandmother, Lissie Williams, assembled but never got around to completing.  ——->

So with the intention making this a end of the year project, I dug it out of storage. But before we could even get started on the actual quilting, we had to make the backing.  That meant Leia needed to learn the basics of using a sewing machine.

Leia
Leia

So, I sat her down in front of my Singer with the goal of showing her how to control the stitching so her seams would turn out nice and straight. Of course, she quickly found out that it’s a little more tricky than it looks when I do it.  Her major problem was that when her seams started to swerve, she would stop the machine and try to manually force the fabric back in line under the needle. I had to keep reminding her that it’s much easier to make corrections when the machine is in motion.

I think that’s a concept that works well in life too. Often when we make a mistake and veer out of line with God’s will, we stop. Condemnation and shame beat us into inaction, but when we sit idle, it’s easy to become knotted up under the enemy’s assault on our minds. What we don’t often realize is that, just as with the sewing machine, it’s easier to get back on course when we engage ourselves in positive motion.

I think that’s what the Apostle Paul meant in Philippians chapter 3. Verse 13-14 say “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’

Do you see that? He tells us to let the past be the past, and choose today to engage our motor and ‘press on’ with a new commitment to godliness. As you do, you’ll see your life soon begin to create a beautiful pattern for God’s glory!

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8 thoughts on “Stitchin’ Along

  1. Learning that when our biggest and loudest Yes is our focus on the promises of God, the old us sheds much easier than trying to change because we focus on our shortcomings. Your quilting post was a great example of that truth!

  2. Your analogy Karen, made me think again about the apostle Paul’s moonlighting for getting some change in his pocket for ministry. Was it TENT MAKING or could it have been QUILT MAKING (“prayer shawls”). In either case, he must have made mistakes with his needle and thread. And, he must have corrected the mistakes while he was in “action”–moving forward IN MINISTRY: “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), BUT…be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]” ~ Rom. 12:2. That to me, is checking the “pattern” of my life today, with a new attitude and forgetting the mistakes I made yesterday! Love “patchwork” lives as it always turns out different than what we expect in the finished work.

  3. Karen,
    I LOVE this analogy! I have never quilted but I used to do latch-hook rug designs all the time and I used to feel God teaching me lessons from them. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I’ll look at quilting now with a deeper level of understanding. =)
    Amy

  4. Karen this is a beautiful illustration and truth! We need to learn to receive God’s forgiveness and also forgive ourselves. The devil is skilled at throwing guilt and condemnation at us all day. How we need to hear this regularly! Thanks for sharing!

    Blessings
    Shade

    1. Letting go of shame and guilt are some of the hardest lessons to learn. Necessary to walk in all that God has for us though. Thank goodness God woos us gently… and never gives up on us! Thanks, Shade!

  5. Thank you Karen. A beautiful ending with truth: “He tells us to let the past be the past, and choose today to engage our motor and ‘press on’ with a new commitment to godliness. As you do, you’ll see your life soon begin to create a beautiful pattern for God’s glory!”

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