By Kristen Johnson
Picking out beautiful fabric, choosing coordinating thread, deciding how how to lay it all out, piecing it all together and then seeing a beautiful creation – that’s the joy of making a quilt. Add in a pray for the person who will receive that quilt and suddenly a beautiful creation becomes a gift of service.
My blessing basket consistently overflows, and that includes a mother who sews, a mother-in-law who quilts, and a Church group that can use my quilts to serve the community. My mom has been slowly teaching me to sew over a number of years, and a few years ago my mother-in-law taught me how to make quilts. Although I am still quite a novice (and absolutely nowhere near as talented at quilting as my mother-in-law is) I am able to put together basic quilts to be used in my Church group. The quilts we make for the Church are used in one of two ways:
Prayers and Squares: We have a nice group of ladies (men are invited of course but we don’t have any volunteers yet!) who piece together amazing and beautiful quilts. Once the quilts are finished, they are set out for church members to pray over before they are given to anyone in need. Church members fill out a form in the Church office to request a quilt and no request is ever denied. I have requested quilts for quite a few people over the years and recipients comment often on how blessed they are and how thankful they are that an entire congregation of people (often complete strangers) are praying for them! As each knot is tied in the quilts, a prayer is given for the recipient.
Chadwick Center: Smaller quilts are given to The Chadwick Center for Children and Families located here in San Diego. (I love making smaller quilts because of space concerns – and because I’m not an overly confident quilter yet!) The Chadwick Center serves children who have been abused and I love the idea that a quilt could provide at least some comfort to a child in need. http://www.chadwickcenter.com.
There is nothing quite like finishing a quilt that you know will go to serve someone else. No matter how down you may feel, serving someone else will always uplift the spirits.
Matthew 23:11 (NRSV): The greatest among you will be your servant.
I am also incredibly blessed by my good friend, Joan, from my Church. We have served together on a variety of service teams in the past and we both currently serve as quilters. Lucky for me, Joan is an absolutely gifted quilter and she is gifted at embroidery. When I finish a quilt, she takes my quilts and adds in the most beautiful embroidery you can imagine – really making my simple quilts into beautiful art creations. I finished several quilts this summer (because I’m a teacher and summer is when I have time for quilting!) and Joan gave them back to me last week as beautiful creations. I can’t wait to see them used as prayer quilts or quilts for Chadwick Center! (Pictures are below.)
Serve all with love.
Photo (at top) courtesy of: stocksnap.io