As a quilter, I’m a novice…an extremely early beginner. I need patterns and directions. But, I have a friend who is an advanced quilter, teaches classes, and has started to design quilts. She sees the project in her mind, buys the materials needed and puts her vision into reality.
I’m amazed by her skills and abilities to pull it together. I recently had the opportunity of spending a little over a week with her and other friends writing. Each of us has different ways to unplug and re-energize…to tap into creativity that eventually refuels our writing efforts. She brought her quilting project along for “down time.” I have gained new perspectives on the quilt design process along the way.
Early in the week, she started with squares of white fabric. On paper, she drew a design and transferred it to the squares – each containing a portion of the whole design. Blue thread replaced the faint design she traced. Then, using off white thread, she filled in the remaining white space on each square with a variety of quilting patterns. Some were intricate and small, others larger and beautiful in their own simplicity.
Eventually, she will trim and connect the individual pieces together as a whole. I don’t know if I will see the final project before we leave, but watching the process has inspired me.
And I marveled to realize this group of women I’m spending a week with are so much like the quilt squares. We started the week with blank sheets of goals. The blue threads of our projects took shape as the days passed. But God began to fill in the subtle quilted lines in our white spaces. The chance encounters in the kitchen as we gathered to prepare meals. The longer conversations as we shared our dreams and struggles. Some were complicated and intricate – we shared tears and prayers over a family crisis. Others seemed so simple at the time, but taking a step back revealed the true depth and beauty of new and deepening friendships.
Like my friend’s quilt squares, we are so uniquely different from each other, but God is piecing us together into a project that he envisioned long ago. Through a variety of circumstances, he began to pull this group together for this time and at the end, we fit together into a beautiful piece of art.