A Faith in Quilting Post

Where is God leading?
I do not know.
For in this place, at this moment
I revel in the unexpectedness of it all
For there are moments wherein I said No
and yet The Father waits for my return
heart in hand outstretched, Him hearing the faint
sobbing, “it hurts” barely whispered
Once consoled, experiencing the betterness
of a kissed knee, running off joyfully,
freely at first to truly seek His Will
and perhaps once again to return
snot nosed and sobbing, heart in hand
reaching up, being held
knowing my need a bit deeper


The other day I led the students through an exercise which then led to something magical happening. The thing I’d been struggling to get them to break free and do all during class actually happened. This will become the lead-in to any given class for in this precious moment each person in that room was in a place of active creativity nudged by a single memory. For me though it was an aha! moment, here is where the change happens, here is the new place of beginning, and here sister is where you learn to teach better.

One of the coolest things about waking up stupidly early on any given morning is that making a few changes to establish a new to me prayer time has happened. Yesterday I experienced the after effects of travel and a week without staying in that new to me dedicated prayer time. There is evidence of being thirsty both physically and spiritually. I have to admit I’m sometimes a really terrible traveler because drinking water has consequences The area of California has so much chlorine in the water it was impossible to drink water, even after leaving the water open in the room overnight.

This first few weeks of January were over the top busy getting ready to go teach at one of the bigger quilt shows here in the US. Part of the over the topness of it all was the underlying thinking that the show would be cancelled. It wasn’t, thankfully. I’m glad I showed up for it in a couple of ways. The first being physically present at the show and spending time teaching my students. Monday I got into a good rhythm of teaching bringing small groups of students to the machine to demonstrate, by the time I was finished with the third group the first was ready for the next stitching demo. Tuesdays class by about midday I knew I need to split this class into either two different classes or make it a two day class. Wednesday. I taught the same beginner class as Monday and brought the demo part over and it worked but not quite as well. Wednesday evenings doodling class needs a complete revamp. This is all good as it there is a level of listening and openness happening understanding the imperfectness of my own being, the willingness to take the steps to change is essential.

The big thing I had at the show was an exhibit of quilts the earliest dated to 2006. There is something really incredible about seeing all of these quilts in one place, a body of work, a clear path to both improving as a quilt maker, developing classes and showing beginner quilts (work). Learning and growing is a hard thing, a frustrating thing at any point in our lives. Sometimes fraught with the big questions of “why didn’t I know this before now” and “why did it take me so long to learn this” but also there is a deep sense of accomplishment and gratitude for the role quiltmaking has in my life.

Starting from the place of “you need a hobby,” to an exhibit of a body of work including a whole cloth quilt, “Learners Permit” (the orange one on the end here) that took nearly a year to become fully comfortable with quilting on a longarm to showing all the bumps and bruises of a quilter still confidently in the learning process Whew. It’s a lot of hard work. From top to bottom I can see skill development. Through the whole quilt I can see skill development from the last year. I can see areas needing improvement. I can see where I asked a longarm teacher for help. Yes, I asked for help. I literally video chatted with a friend for help.

In quilting I can see growth, a journey and a path. In my faith life I struggle a bit for there is a place where I think it’s not for me to know where and how I’m growing. Which is a weird thing. Please feel free to judge me on my internal contradictedness. About mid year 2021 I started having lunch with a new-to-me friend, learning soon after that we’d both been praying for the gift of each other. As a direct result of this we’ve both gone to Confession monthly. I’d started Spiritual Direction just after we’d started our conversations. I was having a moment the other day and recognized a couple of things that were going on that I was particularly annoyed with myself for once I recognized it. Here’s the thing though I recognized what was happening and did my best in that moment to stop; this is something that can and will change with the guidance of the Holy Spirit; I see God’s Grace and mercy at work here. Keeping this quilt related as I work on regularly examining my life, picking out the stuff that’s not working, working on a redesign, yearning to listen to God I see some changes, I experience some changes.

I ask your prayers as I prepare for several things in over the next few weeks including the Retreat at Cedarbrake, and also being the evening leader at my parish for the Book Study. We’re reading Elizabeth Scalia’s Little Sins Mean a Lot. My Spiritual Director will celebrate Mass for us and is also giving the keynote at a big event in March. Please pray for him.

Also look for growth in your own life.

Happy Stitching,

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