For many years I’ve been making quilts with the number most likely over 70 by now. The kinds of patterns I use are very simple and can be finished by machine in a day or two. Most of the time I make them out of scraps I already have, though some have been planned and fabric purchased.
Recently while visiting my sister, Jackie, I saw one of her most recent quilts and it was beautiful. Unlike me she occasionally hand quilts her beauties. She’s also more “crafty” than I am and has a mind that can do mathematics. I decided to copy this beautiful quilt of hers which was a pattern unlike any I have ever tried. (In quilting circles it’s called “on point,” and the squares are on the diagonal.) Remember, my quilts are simple; I make up my own patterns.
I gathered my scraps, cut out the squares and got ready to put it together. I had a picture of Jackie’s quilt but I could not figure it out. I had to call her several times as my un-mathematical brain tried to “get” what I had to do to make this quilt as a diagonal. Finally, I got part of it and began my rows from the corner. At the third row, I was stumped again. This time I had to face-time Jackie to figure out what I could not get because I was looking from a totally new perspective. I could not see a rectangle or where the next corner would be. After much deliberation, we finally figured out what my next steps were and the pattern emerged.
As I worked on this quilt, I mused on what it felt like when I could not “see” what it was going to look like or figure out how it would become a rectangle. That’s how we feel sometimes when God is trying to teach us something new. The brain feels off kilter, like a diagonal, when we are used to rectangles. Jackie was patient, kind, and helpful as she coached me along to see from another perspective that she already understood–answering questions and repeating instructions until I could see a bit at a time.
Isn’t our Heavenly Father so like that! He knows well what we don’t know. His perspective can see all directions and He is never thrown off kilter when we feel like our world has turned upside down. He is patient as we walk, stumble, fall, and try again. He does not condemn us when we struggle and can’t quite see that new perspective.
This quilt was the most difficult I’ve made. I ripped out and started over many places before I figured it out. I talked with a coach who understood the pattern. I persevered. That’s how it is when we grow–it’s frustrating and often painful. But just like this is one of the prettiest, and the most unusual quilt I’ve made, when we learn that new thing that God wants us to experience in life, the gain is worth the pain.
Pinned and ready to quilt. Are you listening to your Coach and persevering in spite of frustration and off-kilter perspectives? He wants to make something beautiful out of what you see only as scraps.