Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)
TITLE: What A Quilt Can Do
By Janet Richey
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On my ninth birthday, Grandma took me into her sewing room, and showed me a very simple, but colorful nine patch quilt top, made mostly of fabric scraps of clothes I had out-grown. She presented it to me with pride and said “You're going to learn how to tie a quilt,” and we got busy with it. Since she lived with us at the time, she and I would work at it little by little.
We were about half way through with it, when the storm that was brewing would finally break loose. We were moving. Away from the little church that held the quilt frame, away from everything I'd ever known, and away from Grandma.
Dad felt called into the ministry, and as if to affirm that, was offered a preaching job at one of the very few Protestant churches in Scranton, a coal mining town, that is rich with descendants of European immigrants: Irish, Polish, Italian, and German. If you weren't Catholic, you were an Orthodox Jew. As if going from country to city life wasn't enough, I couldn't identify with any of those cultures, and so, I withdrew. Grandma would come to visit occasionally, and we would work on the quilt, but with each passing visit, I became less interested. And then, I became defiant. I started hanging around the wrong people, and distanced myself from my family.
In 1985, grandma moved it with us, and I was so aggravated over this. She was taking up what little space we had in that house. The quilt was pushed back further in my mind. The divide between the two of us couldn't have been wider.
Six years later, Grandma died before my eyes. I was 21. Nothing has affected me so profoundly since. Riddled with guilt, I moved away from home, but God lead me back to the faith I was born to.
The unfinished quilt resurfaced when I moved into my house with my husband. It was there that I was given my own sewing room, and my love of quilting was rekindled. Fittingly, Mom and Dad gave me that old rickety quilt frame Grandma used. I had since bought a modern one, but it's presence was a reminder of the good times we shared.
When my oldest daughter was nine years old, I dug out that unfinished quilt from so many years ago. I told her the story behind it, and I taught her how to tie a quilt. Eagerly, we finished it in a few months. It is her heritage quilt, neatly tucked away.
I have two girls now, both in their teens, and once in a while, I see the rebellious side of me in them. Before I get too consumed with worry, I remind myself of where I've come from, that God loves them, even more than I do, and He's got their lives in His safe hands.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11, ESV. A powerful promise, for the worried parent.
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