the fabric of life
August 1, 2007 10 Comments
In honor of my newest blog buddies, I have decided to step out of my comfort (no pun intended) zone and speak about quilting.
I am amazed at the amount of people that share this interest, and although you will probably never see me basting, bearding, or binding; I must admit that I was thinking about getting a rotary cutter to help me cut my thin and crispy margarita pizzas into perfect little triangles.
Please understand that you could take everything I know about quilting; put it in a thimble; and still have room for the 300 Spartans.
What I do know is this:
Traditional quilting involves a process that has four steps: piecing, layering, quilting, and binding.
Piecing is the sewing of the quilt top, which is composed of small pieces of cloth arranged in a pattern. A unit of the pattern is called a block. I like to think of the “arrangement” of the small pieces of cloth as a symbol of the characteristics that make up an individual being. You know the way you look, the things you like, and the image you project. The “block” is what happens when a few of these arrangements get together. They start to make better sense when they are combined. They actually look and feel better just because they have come to know and rely on each other.
Like a family.
Layering places the quilt’s backing, batting, and top in place. This reminds me of the relationships that come with authentic community. Your family, friends, co-workers, teachers, pastor, etc… These are influences in your life that can make the experience more fulfilling, safer, and more successful. They offer support and they have your back.
Quilting involves attaching the three layers together as well as adding decorative elements. When you take advantage of the authentic community around you, there are inevitable treasures that are provided. Putting these decorative elements together, relationally, ensures that if you don’t have the tools, knowledge and strength to continue the journey, you can be sure that someone will help cover your imperfections. The hardness of life will be cushioned thanks to your deliberate preparation and specific placement of the people that are closest to you.
You can surround yourself with the comfort of friendship.
Binding completes the quilt by finishing the edges with a trim of fabric. That touch is God. Without him in the mix, it will always seem like something is missing. He is the strip of beautiful fabric used to cover the raw edges of our lives, he finish the quilt off. He is the tie that binds.
“Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.” —-John Fawcett, 1940
I think I get you “quilterites” a bit more now; and although you may never catch me with a quilting needle; I will be certain to pay better attention the next time I look at your sites and enjoy your work.
I may never make a quilt, but now I know that I am a part of one, and boy is that comforting.