So with that out of the way, this last weekend I went to church camp with a bunch of girls and made a quilt.
I can't tell you everything because, 1) I don't do that, and, 2) I hope those ladies have another one of these "spend the night in the woods, hand-stitching stuff" retreats and I don't want to spoil it for any who might attend.
But I also need to read mine to you.
It's necessary that you know we heard a talk, first off. It was about some things and about how we should choose fabrics for this thing in accordance with things that mean things to us. Got that?
"Choose fabrics that have meaning." And then the first step was to choose the starter kit...which was a bag containing the center cross portion, the six strips around it, the batting, and the backing. Read: we didn't have a lot of choice in that part of the assembly. And we had a (necessary) time limit in which to pick it.
The next step was to choose the two longer pieces in the middle portion and the last step [(before starting the actual stitching steps, needless to say) (but I've obviously just said it anyway)] was to choose the two largest strips on the outside.
Now, I don't know if y'all've realized this by now, but I need stuff to mean stuff. When they told me to choose fabrics that meant something, I was all up in that, you get what I'm sayin'? But since I didn't have time to choose pieces that told my life story, I decided to tell a color story and it started with that darkest and most colorful piece. I was enamored with that fabric and began to work everything else around it. ...
Meaning that I wound up acting a little like a diva or a completely spoiled brat. In my defense, I saw another lady trade one piece of fabric between her starter kit and one of those kits not chosen so I didn't actually start it. (pointless grin, here.) Anyhow, I began a process of switch and switch and switch until I had everything just the way I wanted it ~ to tell my color story. (One of the very gracious leaders kept assuring me that it was okay ~ they wanted me to be happy with it at the end.)
So it's also necessary for you to know that we heard another talk. It was about how we don't always understand things while they are happening but often in the hindsight...and that's when I started to see.
First, I realized that my first favorite fabric was the first disciple, Peter, the one with whom I most relate, that sometimes crazy-acting guy who did, in fact, turn out okay. This means something to me.
This is not just colorful, but living.
And then I saw, in the second piece I'd chosen, my first scripture passage, the one from which my grandma taught me to read, the one from which my faith was established.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you."
Here is my guiding scripture.
"I have been crucified with Christ;
it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me..."
Here is one of my favorite passages, Psalm 139.
I suggest clicking through to read all of that one!
And the unknown future.
Unknown to me, that is. And that brings me to the last piece, which happens to be (from) the first that I chose - that starter kit - and the piece that I actually liked the very least of all because I did not think it went with my story. I did not know at the beginning of this process why it was, but I could not make myself replace that piece.
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love." 1 Peter 1:6-8
And while I planned and planned (read: attempted to control) this whole thing, only He knew where it was actually going. In the end, "my patchwork has become God's artwork." Gemma Parmer
Okay, that's all I'm gonna tell ya. Except for the P.S.
P.S. Those of us sitting right together kept trying to wind up each having a same piece of fabric in our quilts. Finally, we chose a fabric that none of us had and did this so that we would leave that place carrying a piece of one another's hearts with us forever.
You May Now Party On!
For-ever, I pray!
For-ever, I pray!