St. John’s has a long standing practice of gifting individuals receiving baptism, graduates of high school and university, and others going through life transitions. It began with the baptism of infants. They were given a receiving blanket embroidered with their name and date of birth with the assurance they were, are and will always be ‘wrapped in God’s love.’ In the past recipients were typically children, but since my call to the congregation it has expanded a little. The recently widowed, widower-ed, moving away or into assisted living were given a prayer shawl or quilt, because in my mind, we are all ‘wrapped in God’s love.’
Recently in the presbytery there was an ordination of a young woman as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. It was a month short of my tenth anniversary of my own ordination. I was reminded of the prayer shawl a congregation in the presbytery gifted me on the night of my ordination. I had just finished a quilt intended for a congregation member recently entering a nursing home. Sadly, they only lived a few days beyond the transition. It is a quilt drenched in prayer and who needs it more than someone newly ordained.
This was intended to be a simple Trip Around the World quilt. Once I began placing the blocks on the design wall I decided I had to line up the strip blocks as much as possible. Durn OCD. Solving the puzzle was worth it, I think it turned out awesome!
Exodus 29:29 The sacred vestments of Aaron shall be passed on to his sons after him; they shall be anointed in them and ordained in them.
I’m only a year late posting last Christmas’ quilt and realizing it is time to start thinking about this year’s Christmas projects. This fabric was another find I couldn’t leave behind. It was a layer cake I bought at the IQS in Gimli, MB. The result was a lap quilt to donate to the church’s annual bazaar.
Alas, it did not sell. I gifted it to a wonderful and faithful member of the congregation. She does not get out to Sunday morning worship any longer. She has type of dementia that she handles fairly well by leaving post-in notes everywhere as a reminder. She would call me Mondays after she had attended church with appreciative words for the sermon. Not long after she would call again, same reason. And then again, and again, until she remembered to throw out the post-in note reminding her to call me to tell me she appreciated my sermon. It was a blessing.
I gave her this quilt at the end of the bazaar, just as she was preparing to leave. During her ride home she mentioned to the driver someone had given her a lovely quilt. The driver answered, “Yes, I know, the minister gave it to you.”
“Did she?! How thoughtful of her. A good preacher and generous too! Too bad I won’t remember to thank her.”
Psalm 119:49 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.
How does time pass so quickly? It has been over two years since I have completed a quilt? If you could see the pile beside the ironing board you might wonder, “How that could be?” I have at least a half dozen tops that need binding, or sandwiching, or quilting. Big Sigh! I have been much too involved with work and just can’t seem to carve out time for hobbies. I am tired.
May 2018 a colleague retired as the Executive Director of an important mission in the city and accepted a part time position as the Minister of Word and Sacrament for a rapidly growing indigenous congregation. They refer to themselves as Oji-Irish, walking a blended spiritual journey of Indigenous and Christian belief and ceremony. A person of great strength and immeasurable compassion. To honour the occasion I designed this stole and it was gifted at a regular meeting of presbytery. The colours of the Dakota Star and the cross are those of the Medicine Circle. There are four bear paw blocks at the bottom of the stole. These represent the individual as a member of the Bear Clan. The eagle fabric on the back was chosen as it is part of the recipient’s name. I know God’s Spirit will rest always upon them and richly bless their ministry.
Jeremiah 6:16 – This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Over a decade ago I met one of the most interesting people I have come to call a friend. We met in the Where’s Willy forums. He is a veteran living in Ohio. We’ve had some serious heart to heart conversations. He is intelligent and funny and thoughtful. He has interesting hobbies, a fascinating life, and a great family. The popularity of fb gradually lured us to other ways of social media and we don’t connect as much. I miss it. While still in northern BC I came across a quilt pattern in a magazine that immediately reminded me of him. Over three years already! The cut pieces came with me to Manitoba and I managed to complete the project last summer. My bad waiting so long to get around to posting once it was completed. I know it was last summer because that was the summer we had the purple paint petunias bracketing the bench on the front veranda.
I quite pleased with this one. I used my favourite sort of fabrics, reproductions of civil war designs – blues that incorporated tiny stars, and red with stripes. The finished quilt was lap size. I think that bed size quilts are presuming too much. First colour preferences, second bed size, and this one was a surprise, so I couldn’t very well ask.
I mailed it off end of summer. They were surprised, and delighted, I think. They sent a thank you stating as much, my friend commenting it would be most welcome once the cold weather arrives. This quilt carried many prayers with it. Serving in the navy does not come with a plethora of good memories, especially when one serves in a way that sees atrocities done to bodies that no one should. The thought gives me a heavy heart and an ache in my throat. It’s becoming more and more difficult to witness the hatred and violence of the world.
The quilted design of loops and stars was applied by The Quilty Guilt. So blessed to have a long armer in the house. This quilt is one of the first to not have a flannel back.
2 Chronicles 14:13 Asa and the army with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until no one remained alive; for they were broken before the Lord and his army.
At the beginning of November, with the church bazaar approaching fast, I embarked on designing a nine patch quilt. Something quick and simple to donate for sale. I had a jelly cake roll that would fit the project perfectly. This is the end result.
The layout reminds me of a map. I added two other fabrics from my stash to make the quilt crib size. The quilt was priced at $125.00, I donated my time, only wanting the cost of the fabric. A deal! It’s still available.
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
I have a soft spot for fabric lines. I don’t have to make the effort to co-ordinate colours and patterns. This was one of those lines I couldn’t resist. I bought a layer cake, a charm pack, and a couple yards. I separated them into blues and purples. (Of course I want the latter for myself …) I’ve wanted to do a sampler sort of lap quilt for some time using pinwheels. I made them using the 5×5″ charms and bordered them with strips from the layer cake fabric. Throw in a few modified nine patches and a couple log cabins and voila! Very pretty. I titled it “Song of Solomon 2:12” chosen for the flowered fabric and flower quilting. It gave me a chuckle, people grabbed a bible to look up the verse and then asked, where are the turtledoves?!
This one I donated to our church’s annual bazaar. It sold. A congregation member purchased it as a baptism gift for her new grand-daughter.
Song of Solomon 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.