Mar 04

Life Lessons from a Quilt

Fullscreen capture 342015 123015 PMYesterday it was ice. On everything. I was afraid that it might snap the power lines and then we couldn’t get anything accomplished. No laundry, no sewing, no vacuuming, no sewing, no computer work, no sewing, no cooking, no nothing! Fortunately, even though we had to stay inside all day because of the ice, at least the power didn’t go out so we actually were able to accomplish something. But no sewing.

There are days when I can get out in the sewing studio early in the day and just whiz through projects all day long. Then, there are other days when it just seems like one thing after another keep me from getting out there. Actually, since I slipped and fell on the left-over ice patches this morning when I walked outside, it is probably a good thing I didn’t get to venture outside the door yesterday. And now, it is today. Lots of the ice has melted, but there is still enough to make me hesitant to walk across the driveway out to the sewing studio. And I do have lots of computer work to do, and the appliance repair guy is coming any minute to see if he can fix the dryer, and we have piano lessons later, basketball practice, and then church tonight. So I might not get to sew again today, either.

As I’ve been planning my next refashion projects, I got to thinking about how life is a bit like making a quilt. Crazy quilts are my favorite, and that seems like a pretty good metaphor for life. When I first learned how to quilt, we were told that all piecing had to be done by hand (if you were going to do it “right”), every seam had to be perfectly straight, and for goodness sake, your corners needed to be matched up without the slightest hint of a tuck or a pucker.

So, I dutifully made my teeny-tiny stitches, straight as an arrow, all by hand, and every corner was methodically measured to be sure it was perfectly square. Guess how many quilts I finished? One. It took me three years. And then I discovered crazy quilt piecing, and I realized that it is OK if my creations were not all uniform, matched and straightened, perfectly perfect. I discovered that I could take all kinds of bits and pieces of fabric, ribbons, and lace; buttons, beads,and charms, and mix them all up in a riot of different colors, textures, sizes and shapes and it actually turned out pretty . . . . pretty!

That whole episode in my creative journey brought back memories of my childhood with a mama who grew up during the Great Depression. Her favorite saying was, “Use it up, wear it out, make do, do without!” and that’s what we did. Apparently it is just something that comes naturally to me, taking a bunch of scraps of stuff and putting them together to make something new and different. That’s why I love my crazy quilt projects, my upcycled clothing projects for kids, and the refashioned sweaters and other garments that I make for our online shops.

Crazy-Quilt-SectionBut the idea of taking broken and scattered pieces of fabric, ribbons, laces, buttons, and beads truly is a metaphor for my life. I’ll bet it could be a reflection of your journey, too, if you think about it for a minute. There were days, weeks, months, even years, when everything in my life felt worthless, tattered and torn, broken and battered. It felt as if the whole broken mess had no value other than to toss it into a trash can and give up. Then God touched my heart and revealed to me that, just as I had been taking bits and pieces, really scraps and rags, and putting them together in a brand-new beautiful crazy quilt design – He could do the same thing with my life. And He did.

If you are feeling a bit worn out and weary, battered and bruised, I promise you that all those broken pieces can be put together by God and make an absolutely beautiful new work of art. Never underestimate the power of God’s creativity! Just bring those bits and pieces, scraps and rags to the foot of the cross and let God make them into something new and beautiful. Trust me on this one, I know.

I hope you will join us this week for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine’s Corner. It is great fun meeting and making new bloggy friends. If you don’t know how a blog hop works, send me a message and I’ll walk you through it.

PS This post was inspired by Carrie at A Mother’s Shadow in her post “Waste Not – Want Not” which reminded me of how much the notion of frugal living has influenced  my whole life. Thanks Carrie!



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  1. Judy

    Thanks for hosting. Have a great week! 🙂

    1. Nina

      Hi Judy – thanks for stopping by and for joining the Thursday hop! Hope to see you again this coming week ;o) Nina

  2. Carrie Groneman

    Hello Nina, I want to thank you sincerely for your truly kind words and I very much enjoy your own very inspiring post! I appreciate being able to link up at your party and brought along, “Is There Enough” and “Why Does Carrie Blog”. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

    1. Nina

      Hi Carrie – thanks for being my “muse” this week ;o) Looking forward to catching up with you this coming week for the Thursday hop! Nina

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