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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)

TITLE: The Quilt
By patti winters


Margaret was cutting the old clothes into squares to make the quilts that her mother sold to make extra money for the family. It was how they survived since her Daddy had been killed when the tractor fell over on top of him. Margaret looked over at her sister Bethy and noticed her hands had started bleeding again where the needle poked into her skin. She set down her scissors and got up to get the rags to help her sister. If their hands got too bloody they wouldn’t be able to work with the material to make the quilts.

“Bethy, let me see your hands. I need to wrap them up and then we will switch chores,” Margaret stated.

Beth set the needle into the material and carefully laid the quilt into her lap then held her hands out to Margaret. Margaret gently wrapped Beth’s hands in the rags.

“You can cut out the material for a little bit, and I will finish off the quilt.”

Beth moved over to the cutting area to take over Margaret’s task. Margaret didn’t have as fine a hand as Beth at the finishing of the quilts but if she concentrated she could make the stitches invisible.

The two girls worked silently together for another hour before Momma came into the room. Momma looked at them for with tears coming to her eyes.

This isn’t something they should have to be doing at their age, she thought to herself. She closed her eyes and sent a brief prayer to God, “Dear Father, thank you for my girls. I am truly blessed to have them.”

Momma continued the rest of the way into the room, but frowned when she saw Beth’s hands. “Oh, my sweet baby, are you alright?”

Margaret and Beth smiled up at their Momma. “Yes, ma’am. I just didn’t want her hands to get any worse, so I wrapped them up and switched chores with her. Is that alright,” Margaret asked.

Momma knelt down in front of the two girls. “Of course it is. We will put some special salve on both of your hands tonight to make sure they don’t scar. Is the special quilt done?”

Beth nodded her head vigorously and raced over to the hutch to pick up the paper the quilt would be wrapped in. Bethy carefully laid the quilt out flat and folded it into a neat square before placing it on the paper. She then proceeded to wrap the paper around the quilt and used the twine to tie it off. At one point she took Margaret’s finger and placed in on the knot to keep it from slipping. Once she was done she proudly handed the package to Momma.

“It is time to deliver the quilt. Are you ready?”

Margaret replied, “I still don’t understand why we put so much work into making a quilt that we aren’t going to sell.”

Momma smiled down at Margaret, “God gave us the task of looking out for each other and Mr. Wiltens doesn’t have anyone, so it is our responsibility to take care of him.”

Margaret sighed, “Maybe I will understand when I get older.”

Momma smiled, “I am sure you will. Bethy are you ready?”

Bethy smiled at Momma and came over to take her hand. The three ladies walked out of the house and headed down the lane toward Mr. Wiltens’ house. His last son had died of the plague about a year ago and they had been coming to visit him since then.

They knocked on his cottage door and waited for him to answer. They went in to find Mr. Wiltens setting tea out on the table for them.

“Hello ladies. I just put tea on for us, come in.”

Bethy handed the quilt to Mr. Wiltens. “Is this for me, Miss Beth?”

When she nodded, he carefully unwrapped the package and looked down at the beautiful quilt. A lump formed in his throat before he said, “Thank you, Miss Beth and Miss Margaret. It is lovely.” He smiled at Momma.

“Momma,” Margaret asked as they were heading back home.

“Yes, love.”

“Mr. Wiltens is our family now isn’t he?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Thank you, Momma. I understand now.”

Beth and Margaret skipped ahead of Momma, who couldn’t help but smile in wonder at her two girls. “Thank you Lord. These two girls are all I need until I am with you. Thank you for blessing me with them. Amen.”

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This article has been read 503 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Chrissi Dunn05/10/07
A very tender and heart-warming story.
Leigh MacKelvey05/11/07
Yes, tender, is the word! And charming. Well done.
dub W05/11/07
Very touching. A minor note: watch the accumulated speech tags (she said).
Kaylee Blake 05/12/07
This story has some real potential. Just pick a point of view (POV) and stick with it. Short stories especially need to be tol from only one perspective. You switche dhalf way through from Margaret's POV to Mom's POV. But the story does fit well within the genre!
Mariane Holbrook 05/15/07
You did a good job with this and I'm glad I read it.