I’m not much of a quilter. I enjoy sewing and I appreciate the beauty and intricacy of a fine quilt but I am by no means a master. In fact, while I was going through the process of my latest quilt, the biggest lesson I learned really had nothing at all to do with quilting.
The first step for me in doing a quilt, is selecting fabric. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but before I even have a pattern, the colours and textures are usually what catch my eye. Bits and pieces that will eventually come together to create something.
The next step is to either purchase or create a pattern. I can be swayed either way and what I choose is often determined by the fabrics themselves; what they have to offer in terms of inspiration and motivation.
Now, here comes the tedious part: cutting out all of the pieces. As much as I enjoy sewing, I find cutting painstakingly difficult. It is time consuming, it is fussy, it is tiring and making a mistake can require more work and extra investment in order to make everything work.
After the cutting, the quilt needs to be pieced together. Corner by corner and seam by seam, the fabric is guided, stretched, and fitted so that the raw edges are concealed and a pattern begins to emerge.
Once the top is pieced, batting is added to provide depth, warmth and stability.
The backing is the foundation that completes the layer; the backing gives a place of rest to the other layers, it is generally unseen, but touches the body most closely.
Stippling. What a process. Bit by bit, tying the whole thing together, the stippling can be simple or it can be elaborate, but the meandering path eventually makes the layers inseparable.
The binding seems as though it would be the last step; finishing all of the edges and presenting the quilt as whole.
There is one more part to a quilt and it is often overlooked. This part is not necessary to finishing a quilt for use, but it is necessary for a quilt to be complete: the label. The label is a clear indicator of who the master creator is. The label alone can often tell us what to expect in the quilt.
So, now, here is the lesson.
God has chosen me. (fabric selection)
…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.
God has a plan for me. (pattern)
For I know the plans have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
1 Timothy 2:3-4
God our Saviour…wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
God will refine me. (cutting)
For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net, You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.
“Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time;…”
God put the pieces of my life together. (piecing)
For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
God needs to be the center of my life. (batting)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name fo the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Jesus Christ needs to be my foundation. (backing)
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which I Jesus Christ.
God calls me to unity. (stippling)
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:17
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
I need to be bound by Christ. (binding)
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Le the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
9. I need to be identified with Christ. (label)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
In the same way, let your good deeds shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.
The finished quilt looks nothing like all of the bits and pieces that started out in the pile (life). It takes time and effort to create a masterpiece (God’s plan), but when the work is done for God’s glory, the result is a treasure (you).
Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.