I have started a second quilt in the last couple of weeks. The baby quilt for my soon to be born grandson has made it’s way to California and my son and daughter-in-law love it. Whew! I have not shared a picture of the quilt with you yet, because it will be featured in the April newsletter and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. In the meantime, however, I have started a complimentary quilted wall hanging that will have more of the original Babar picture in it than the baby quilt.
I am finding the new quilt much easier to work on. Part of the reason for this, of course, is that I learned a lot doing the first quilt! So the appliques are not difficult this time. I figured that out last time. Nor is it difficult to work with the different stitches, because I recorded my settings for those stitches the last time. But the most important lesson I learned the last time has to do with the artistic decision making. This lesson I learned from Terry McCaskey who was quilting guide through the baby quilt project. I can’t count the number of times I called Terry and asked how I should do this or that. Should I do the applique with turned edges or fusible interfacing? Should I blanket stitch or zigzag? Should I use matching thread or disappearing thread on this piece? And each time Terry would say to me, “Well… that’s really your decision as the artist creating this quilt. There really is not right or wrong way to do it.” I have to tell you such an answer made me a little crazy at first because I was worried I would make a mess of the quilt, but I didn’t. In fact I was delighted with my quilt when it was all finished and pleased that the work was mine.
Sometimes we find ourselves approaching our spirituality in the same way. In college I was part of a Christian fellowship group that wanted to tell it’s members exactly how to develop your spiritual life and if you didn’t get up early to do your daily devotions, you just weren’t spiritual. This early morning stuff didn’t work for me, especially in college. I did my devotions at night before I went to sleep. I still like to read the Bible at night.
Just as we are different children in God’s family with different spiritual gifts, we also practice our spirituality differently. Some of us read the Bible. Some of us pray at a particular time of day. Some of us pray on the run all day long. Some of us are nurtured in our conversation with friends. Some are nurtured in worship. Some during a long walk in the woods. Some staring at a beautiful icon. Some working for justice or assisting those who are needy. We need to adopt Terry McCaskey’s wise words and realize there isn’t one way to do things. We need to find what works for each of us to come close to Jesus, to learn from him and to worship and serve him.
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