Like the art of quilt making itself the paths are many, and all lead in the same direction, a completed quilt. Well that’s the hope anyway. Prayer is much the same, there are different ways of praying, and all lead to God.
Some quilts are quick, and easy. Like the prayers as I walk into the sewing room: “Bless this Mess” and “please work!” and “use my hands”
Some quilts bring out the whole “this quilt needs a come to Jesus moment” in oh so many ways. More than likely I need reminders to slow down, check my work, rethink thread and/or batting choices.
Some quilts draw me in so deeply that no one else is there, no sound, no one. My sweetie can come into the room and I get a little freaked out by his presence. These deep moments are the closest I get to meditation. These type of moments, these types of prayers are the ones that create the deepest longing in my spirit to experience again.
Some quilts have me pleading, begging them to work. You know the quilts. They’re the ones that teach us the most. Like the one where the edge of my index finger and the rotary cutter met. These are the prayers of longing, of need the ones where I’m not sure where the path is leading. The ones where my heart is poured out. The ones where I’m probably the most honest, and truest.
Then there are the quilts that require a lot of repetitive types of stitching to achieve a particular look, and goal. These quilts are meditative and require attention. These quilts are akin to praying the Rosary, where there is a mystery to ponder, a focus, something that the scripture can teach. These quilts and prayers require focus and thought. In Moon Set I can see a couple of places where I gave up. My gut says I’ll do one or two more like this. There is something about the moon that draws me in.
Oh let’s not forget the seam ripper prayers. The ones where something in me, in the quilt Must Change. It’s a moment to examine both myself and my quilts, rip them apart (rend) and put back together, rather than seeing perfect, seeking done to the best of my ability in this moment. Sometimes the best I have right now, in this moment, isn’t good enough – and that might not be good enough for me only – and I have to accept this.
Quilting and prayer. Prayer and quilting.
PS Mary deTurris Poust posted this ‘Shining like the sun’: Merton goes to the Prom