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A Patchwork Life…

October 30, 2011

At least 3 decades ago, my grandmother made a quilt.  Actually, she made 2, but I only have one of them.  They were made for my younger brothers’ beds – blue with a panel of athletes in the center.  After all this time, there’s been some damage and wear, so I’m attempting to re-use what Mamaw made originally.  That’s something she would approve of, as she was the Queen of Reuse.

Somehow, my darling son had a corroded battery land on this quilt and there’s a hole.  Didn’t fix it, but washed it and made it worse. (NOTE:  neutralize the acid with baking soda!!!)   It finally left Frank’s room and I claimed it as a lap quilt for downstairs.  One of our adorable four-legged kids found the hole and removed some of the batting.  Still — didn’t fix it!  But now I’ve come to the conclusion that if I don’t fix it, it will fall apart (hmmm, kind of like life’s problems).  So here goes.

Taking out Mamaw’s stitches around the binding was a bit hard for me.  Each stitch was hand-stitched.  Kinda felt like I was taking bits of her out of the quilt.  I hated tearing out Mamaw’s stitches.  But then I saw the holes, tiny as they are, all the way around the binding of my quilt, and I knew I would always have a bit of her with me. I finished removing the stitches.  I also realized that the center panel is hand-stitched, and those will stay.

I’ve chosen my fabrics to make a new panel, found some fleece to layer over the old panel (because I’m not removing it, just covering over it), and the material is in the washer.  I have to choose my pattern now – stripes (which would be so much quicker!) or blocks.  Nothing fancy, very simple.  There are much more complex patterns — diamond blocks, log cabin (I know, it’s probably easy, but you’re talking to the girl who can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, let alone CUT one!), jewel box, Sunbonnet Sue, etc.  I prefer the simplest way.

Life is like a quilt.  The top of the quilt may look new and shiny, perfect in every way, but underneath there may lurk damage and old layers that we have hidden.   There are people who have stitched themselves into the fabric of our lives who sometimes, must be removed from the top for whatever reason, but the holes they leave in the fabric will never go away.  Some people are stitched into the lower layers, hidden from view, like Mamaw’s stitches will always be.

Today, I have to choose a pattern.  How will my choices determine my life’s quilt?  Will it be beautiful and warm, or ratty and something you MIGHT let your dog sleep on?  I’m hoping my choices make my life a lovely thing.

(For a sermon on choices, watch today’s sermon at – it will post 10/31.  Your past is gone.  You can’t change it.  Your choices NOW will determine your life LATER.)



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