February 2007 - Volume 11, Issue 7

Quilting And Christianity

By Beverly Saylor

"Each one should use whatever gifts he has to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4: 10 NIV)

Photo of a quiltMy mother is a Sew and Sew. That means you'll find her at church each Wednesday afternoon doing one of her favorite things - quilting. As a long-distance daughter, I love knowing that Mom has this group of friends. They enjoy time to visit, but they also take pleasure in seeing quilts completed. It's a piece of themselves they put out into the world.

Mom learned the art from her mother, whose quilting frame filled her living room. To my sister and me, the frame was merely a fun tent to play beneath. By the time Grandma gave me a quilt as a young woman, I'd only begun to understand its meaning.

The patchwork quilt perfectly illustrates God's master plan of weaving lives together. First He assembles all kinds of contrasting fabrics and both coarse and fine threads. Then He stitches them into friendship, families, and church bodies. By using people as His hands, He teaches them how to learn from each other. Sometimes threads of circumstances become hopelessly entangled. In our own strength, we get the threads all knotted. When we release our tangles to God, He can unravel and use mistakes to His glory.

For years while living on the farm, Mom belonged to the Methodist Country Circle. Those women became stitches in the fabric of each other's lives. Alone, each block would have become faded and frayed. Sewn into a whole, the blocks became a life- long community of God's hands.

Mother Teresa once described herself as "a pen in the hand of God." I think of my mother and her quilting friends as "a needle and thread in the hands of the Master Quilter."

Used with permission