Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Quilt as Metaphor

Just before heading back to school this fall, Oldest Daughter casually mentioned that she needed another blanket for her dorm bed this winter. And I casually responded that I would make her a quilt, reminded that I had intended to make her a quilt of recycled denim when she went off to college, but somehow never did. I planned to make this quilt and send it with a dear friend who was traveling to the States the first week of October.

The next couple of weeks found me working purposefully and unrelentingly on this quilt; though I used to sew frequently, I hadn't worked on a sewing project in years, many years. I had a small stash of recyclable denim but needed more, so for a couple of weeks rose early on Friday morning and headed to Amman's used clothing market to hunt for just the right jeans. Besides traditional blue I found pink (two identical pairs!) and turquoise jeans. The purple fabric is from a men's cotton shirt.

Sometime around the second week of working on this quilt, en route for the second time to the used clothing market, I realized that my crafting of this quilt had gone beyond enjoying-a-new-creative-outlet to near-obsession level. What was up with this?? Once I began thinking about it it didn't take me long to realize that this quilt was a metaphor for my mother love for Oldest Daughter, a surrounding, protecting love, and a love still being perfected and righted by a gracious and loving Heavenly Father.

And here is a glimpse into God's beautiful providence: soon after Oldest Daughter arrived back on campus, pressures came to bear on her that caused my mother's heart to ache. I was challenged by the irony of the word "mother" being contained in the word "smother" as God gently, though painfully began working on my smother love, refining it into a more fitting mother love. (With three more children to send off into the world, something tells me God will have more refining to do in the future.)

I stitched and prayed, stitched and prayed, thanking God for his loving care of me, giving this quilting project as a gift to me so that I could give Oldest Daughter a tangible gift of my mother love at this particular time, reminding her that she is ever surrounded by my love and prayers, and for his loving care of Oldest Daughter, strengthening her in all Truth to bear the pressures that had come her way.


MagistraCarminum said...

It's just beautiful, M!

KF said...

What you have done is absolutely beautiful in so many ways.

I have kept my favorite babies' clothes over the years or cut out scraps from them to cut down on the quantity. I hope to make a quilt someday. I can also sew, but have never done a quilt. Any hints on where to go to get started, with good techniques, for a successful product with such precious materials?

desert mom said...

Dear KF,

I took my idea for this quilt from an old magazine that I saved, and my quilt, as you can see, is pretty basic--just square blocks sewn together. The only hand "quilting" is the bold running stitch which I did on every other block using embroidery floss. I also tied it at every corner using the same floss.

This is the first quilt that I bound and I followed a great binding tutorial that I found at this inspiring blog:

This and other tutorials can be found in the sidebar. In her FAQs section she mentions the cotton batting that she uses--I used the same on my daughter's quilt, purchased from JoAnn's.

Since making this quilt I can't wait to start my next recycled denim quilt! The next one will be for my son who leaves for college next year. I don't know much but if you think I can be of any more help please email me at desertmom88 @ gmail . com (leave out the spaces)

KF said...

Thank you so much for your answers. I checked out the quilting link you mentioned. I have also made a note of that link and your contact info for future reference.

I'll be back.

melissa griz said...

You did a wonderful job! I love the finished product, especially the stitched message. What a great mom you are!