In the Bulb


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.
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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.

Strength for Today


It has been a trying year.  Too many prominent members of the congregation have died with difficult circumstances surrounding their deaths.  It is emotional fuel for continued conflict and hurt within the leadership.  Too much personal anxiety around mental health issues in immediate family members, inheritance details, feelings of isolation, and decreasing hours of daylight has given birth to a silent litany of “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care” as a way to cope.

I’ve been quilting, constantly, but not finishing a single project.  I’ve started three major pieces in the last month, all with deadlines.  I get almost finished, pull it down off the design board and start something else.  I contemplate whether my inability to finish mirrors my inability to let grief go.  Daily I begin by praying I will have enough emotional resources to get through today.

14729352_10202070259313637_5136655464477300416_n A couple of weeks ago the widow of one of the recently deceased members celebrated her 65th birthday.  Attempted to celebrate.  It has been very difficult for her.  The first anniversaries after a loved one dies typically is, the first Thanksgiving, the first birthday, the wedding anniversary, the baptism of a grandchild.  Christmas is going to be bleak.  I managed to finish this quilt and gift it to her.  I named it “Strength for Today, Hope for tomorrow.”  A line from the powerful hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness.  I pray it brings her comfort and some measure of peace.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Lamentations 3:22-24   The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

And Two Shall Become One


Yesterday was the first wedding I officiated in my new congregation.  It was a long and lovely day.  The bride looked beautiful, the groom handsome, and both, very nervous.  Both are quite shy, hating to be the centre of attention.  Their vows were barely a whisper.  They got through it and the second highlight was the piper leading them out of the church.
I had been working with them towards this point for over a year.  It gave me time to sew them a quilt as a wedding gift.
I designed it with two different blocks, Bridal Path and Honeymoon, using the colours they chose for the wedding.  Repeating hearts was a theme through their engagement, only made sense to quilt it with hearts.  The Quilty Guilt did a lovely job.DSC_0867DSC_0869DSC_08641 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Christmas/Easter/Communion/All Saints’/Transfiguration/Baptism Banners


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48″ x60″

This is how far behind I am.  We did manage to get ten banners completed in time for Christmas.  We hung and dedicated them the first Sunday following the celebration of Christ’s birth.  That would be January 29th!  They have been hanging in the sanctuary up until last Sunday when they were replaced with the Lent banners.  I know it was a week past the beginning of Lent but we celebrated Holy Communion on March 9th, white and gold being appropriate in that case.

They were all a variation of log cabin blocks done in yellow and set in white.

 

DSC_0332DSC_0326DSC_0324Eight of them were 36″ x 48″ and two were 48″x 60″.  Each quilter could place the star and quilt their banner as they pleased.  When it came time to switch them out I finally got out the camera to take and post the pictures as I promised I would.

Of course for at least one of my banners I had to do something entirely different.  I wanted a project with more of a modern feel.  I absolutely love it.  There are a few people in the congregation that aren’t as impressed with it as I am.  After all, breaking with tradition is a difficult thing to do in the church. 😉  Resistance to change seems to be a defining characteristic of Christians.  There are lots of jokes about it.

How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb? — We don’t change!

Although, my favourite is, because I am — How many Calvinists does it take to change a lightbulb? — None, the lights will go on and off at predestined times.

And my second favourite, because I am — How many Presbyterians does it take to change a lightbulb? — Well, it requires a least five committees to study and review the need and procedure behind changing the lightbulb, each committee represented by at least half a dozen people, so — 30?

I wonder when the Christ returns and there is a new heaven and a new earth if any one will want to be part of it because they have never ‘done’ it that way before …

The ‘modern’ banner is still my favourite.

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Isaiah 43:19  I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Meeting the Deadline


The Mystery Quilt is quilted, bound, washed and in the dryer on a very low setting.  Tomorrow night it will be one of the silent auctions at a fundraiser for youth.  The binding was hand stitched on this morning as I watched the Canada – USA men’s semi-final hockey game at the Sochi Olympics.  Our boys dominated.   It was a good game, worthy of being a final game for gold.  Our women won gold in hockey against the USA yesterday.  A nail biter, we were trailing 2-0 with four minutes left in the third.  They tied it up with less than a minute to go, and scored a beauty to win in overtime.

A seminary classmate recently became a Canadian citizen.  We exchanged comments on facebook the day of his swearing in.  He said he felt conflicted over which country to cheer for since he now has dual citizenship.  It got me to thinking about loyalty and what binds us.  He has been an American all his life.  We graduated from seminary at the same time.  He had married while he was studying and recently he and his wife were blessed with a beautiful baby girl.  Are relationships the glue, the possibilities provided through education opportunities, the ability to build a good life, freedom to make choices, love?  What is it that forms and shapes our loyalty and love for country.  Is it nostalgia, because this is the place of first breaths and discovery of the world’s wonder, the taste of fresh wild strawberries, the sound of the robin’s praise from the top of the maple tree bright with spring green leaves?  Is it learning the national anthem through a daily repetition with classmates, to swim in clean, cool waters, to fall asleep to rain’s gurgle and drip on the roof?  What is it that spawns patriotism?

Proverbs personifies loyalty and faithfulness.  There appears to be some chance that they are fickle, able to forsake.  Somehow we are to bind them to ourselves, absorb them into our being and live them for life abundant.

In life’s marvelous quirks and twists, I flip over the corner of the quilt for its portrait and I am reminded of maple leaves.  “God keep our land.”

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Proverbs 3:3  Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

 

Ordination Stole – Ordinary Time


A dear friend of mine was ordained for ministry yesterday.  It was a lovely service, she was very emotional and excited.  So it is for those of us set aside to be a Minister of Word and Sacraments.  It is also a little daunting, because we take on the responsibility to bring the Word of the Lord to the people of God.

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I finished the stole, and she was delighted with it.  Coincidentially the minister that gave the charge used the words of Micah 6:8.  I had quilted those very words into the design of the stole!

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Hearts for Baby


DSC_0944 My holidays are going splendidly!  The grand-daughter’s quilt was finished well in advance.  Great grandma (my mom) loves it, my son and his girlfriend think it should be hung on the wall.  Completely their choice.  I was really pleased with the quilting, towards the end.  It took a little time to get in the ‘groove’.  The idea was to emulate the swirls in the border/binding.  It worked, eventually.  It is not entirely uniform throughout the entire surface.  I am not ripping it out, thank you very much, in spite of my anal retentive attitude toward ‘perfection.’

DSC_0941DSC_0939I bet you can’t even tell, unless you click on the picture to enlarge.  (Made you look!)

 

 

 

 

Exodus 35:29     All the Israelite men and women whose hearts made them willing to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done, brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.