Quilting to Serve

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



2 thoughts on “Quilting to Serve

  1. Dear Kristen

    Had to share this with you this morning …

    Stumbled out of bed. washed my face … made a coffee. Turned on the computer to check email contents … there was “Tugoffaith” as usual.

    But … my eyes were not fully focusing yet and instead if reading: “QUILTING to Serve” … I read “QUITTING to Serve.”

    Felt a bit down at heart for an instant to “read” this, and immediately wondered what had happened to you that you should be making such an announcement. My mind turned straight away to people in the Bible who had tried to quit serving, and the first person who sprang to mind was Jonah. (Jonah 1: 1-3). Most of us will know that story.

    On re-reading your Tugoffaith post, it was a relief to discover that you are no “Jonah” – quite the opposite. Shows what can happen when we don’t get the facts right, doesn’t it!

    But this little aside caused me to look to see where my own life has its “Jonah” moments, and I didn’t have to look far. There are numerous examples of where I have not done what I knew in my heart God was asking me to do.

    Sorry to be posting off-topic, but had to share this little wake-up call for me. Your quilting is an amazing service – may you and your group be blessed by this humble activity. I know you are already.

    Thank you for your own diligence and faithfulness – again your blog has caused me to see more clearly. The Grace of God is overwhelming sometimes – there has never been such an unconditional love.

    Instead of of taking Tugoffaith for granted now, I am praying for you, because of the insight that you are subject to the same pressures as the rest of us, and the same discouragements. Your light is shining alright. So in the moments you might have that are less than encouraging, remember there are readers “out here” who support you and need your daily thoughts too.

    Struggle does not build character, as much as it reveals it.


    1. Thank you so much for this comment! Sadly, yes, I have my Jonah moments. So, prayers are certainly appreciated. I know that I can’t do any service projects at all without God’s guidance. Just this morning we were talking in my Sunday school about how the angel Gabriel came to see Mary about Jesus coming and how she just said “here I am Lord.” What amazing faith that is – it certainly made me think of the strength I get from God to carry on (as well as holding each other up so I appreciate you boosting my spirits so often!)


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