Education for Ministry Quilt

I have a special mentor who led me through four years of theological discussions as part of a University of the South (Sewanee) School of Theology program. No, I am not a priest. This is ministry, as in how we live our faith, and . . . do we understand what we believe? Do we believe what we say we believe?

As you can imagine, this is exhausting and sometimes distressing. My mentor is a wise and humorous woman who led our groups fearlessly. Although I am still a part of the program now, in another capacity, I wanted to tell this mentor in a significant way what her mentoring and her fine example means to me.

I had a lot of fun with this quilt. I found a fabulous metallic batik, which had several different colors, so when I cut it into a kaleidoscope. I could make entire squares of different colors.

As usual with my kaleidoscopes, color placement was everything. I wanted the center cross to be the most important part of the quilt. I hand appliquéd the two circles, padding the outermost with two layers of batting and hand embroidering the EfM on the cross, using an EfM lapel pin. Rarely have I been so happy with the entire process.

Except that I was terrified I would ruin it by quilting it. I have a friend with sterling instincts for quilting and she quilted it for me, using some metallic threads and enhancing the cross with radiating lines so the quilt almost vibrates with energy. 🙂 🙂

 

Here you can see some of the metallics and some of my friend’s fabulous quilting:

 

Now it gets even cooler. I had ALMOST enough blocks left over (I always make extra blocks because I am really picky about placement) but I had some fabrics that would fill in and I could make another, smaller quilt for another EfM mentor who had encouraged me through some of the rougher parts and who had generously admired the first quilt. It thrilled me to be able to thank her, too, for her part in leading our group through the heavy weather of theology.

 

I wish you could see these quilts in person. I don’t usually brag, but these thrill my heart.

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2018 Charity Quilts

You’ve seen this quilt before in other color ways. I love that it makes the best use of fabric, uses every inch, and goes together relatively quickly. I am not patient with block assembly, but this one is relatively mindless, and gets the job done.

The original star was called a Sloppy Star. I wanted a much larger star, and re-designed it to fill a full 16″ square; when assembled, it comes in about 15″.

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The kids love the wild colors. The charity loves the wild colors, and displays a quilt for a while before they pass it along to a recipient 🙂

 

Quilt for a Special Mentor

For the last four years, I have been taking part in a theological study program, guided by a very special woman who led us through Old Testament, New Testament, church history and an overview of theological thought.

I am so grateful for her patient leadership though the thorny grounds of theological thinking. She allowed for freedom to explore our doubts and new concepts. I made this quilt for her.

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I have a good friend who quilted the quilt for me. It’s a special quilt, so I wanted it to be more perfect than my quilting. I love the way she was able to make the cross radiate.

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I totally loved this fabric, the major fabric in the quilt. It shaded from turquoise to green to purple and pink and orange and red, and gave the quilt a movement that delighted my heart.

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My friend quilted the metallic sections with a metallic thread, brave friend! Her quilting was perfect for the design.

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36 Strip Challenge

My quilt group had a thirty-six strip challenge. Nine of us cut four strips each for nine quilters, including one set of themselves. At one of our meetings, we put together identical collections of thirty-six strips, and then we each plotted a quilt which would use each fabric.

It sounds easy. It isn’t.

The fabrics are not at all compatible.

I hesitated, I searched for inspiration, I planned and discarded. Finally, I just plunged in, and the idea didn’t work, but it gave me an idea for something that might work. This meandering approach was new for me; normally I use quad notebooks and plan my quilts to the fraction of an inch.

The big flower in the upper central right part of the quilt is where I started, and where I was able to use eight fabrics. From there, I would look at the panel hanging and the fabric strips remaining, and overnight, another idea would come.

I actually started having fun with the project. It took me all summer, but it was work I enjoyed, much of it hand work, which I haven’t done a lot of lately.

My husband loves the finished project. I don’t love it, but I’m not unhappy with it.

Pink is Complicated

Same song, different year – I don’t have the hours to quilt that I once had. Retired husband. Trips to exotic lands. Grandchildren. My quilting time is eaten away.

I remember how with every new move there was, at the beginning,  a time of great loneliness, and quilting was my solace and my therapy. When I start to bemoan my lack of productivity, I also have to a ask myself if I want to go back to a life where I move often, and have to start over making new friends?

I miss the nomadic life. I miss the challenges, the demands for new ways of thinking, new ways to approach problems. And also, I don’t miss it. I don’t miss saying goodbyes to people I really love,  I don’t miss the selecting out and giving away and packing up, really hard physical labor.

A new baby girl is coming, and I wanted to do a quilt for her Mama, also starting a new life in Pensacola. I think about being a woman; some times I am more hopeful than other times. I wish this baby to have more options, more equality, and a strong spirit to face the challenges of being a woman. I chose a wonderful swirly batik pink, with a range of pink, from purples to pale, and then put in cross hatches in a very light pink and a very subtle purple. It’s complicated. Just like we are 🙂

 

Nothing Since August??

Yes, I have been quilting. I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since last August, except that life is different when you no longer live the nomadic life.

Once you settle, you . . . kind of have to grow up. Everything we never really wanted to do. It has its merits – spending time with grandchildren. Not having to pack up a household every few months or couple of years, and unpack it again, no more of those frequent long trips when you live overseas and someone in the US is sick, or dying. . . those are the good things.

For me, losing the nomadic life has meant losing all the time I had to quilt. When you go someplace new, it takes time to connect with your community, your husband works long hours, I always had quilting – and quilting had me. Now, we are more connected – church, family, commitments, obligations, freely made . . . it all takes time.

I started this quilt in November and finally finished it in February. It is for a good friend, a woman I admire so much. She saves cats. She finds abandoned cats, feral cats, traps and neuters them, and works valiantly to find them new homes. Her first cat is a gold cat, my favorite kind of cat; she says Lucy taught her about the world of cats needing homes. My friend creates a better world by her selflessness, giving her time and focus to caring for and re-homing these lovely creatures. She just found us two more, Ragnar and Uhtred, and I made the quilt to honor her.

I need to thank my friend Paramjeet, who made sure I had the self confidence and the skills to do the kind of intense quilting that goes into surface quilting. I had tried it previously once, and where I quilted intensely, I distorted the quilt. Oh arrrgh. This time, it worked out better.

Made from a quick design, and quilted in the red part with an adaptation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. That was fun 🙂

This quilt is for a lady who works for me, and with whom I have become friends. She got to pick out the fabrics, and there were a lot of them. The challenge was figuring out how to make them all work together. It seems to have worked out; she loves the quilt. We both like African fabrics. Her favorite block is the one with the fabric from Ghana, it has green flowers and kind of jumps out of the quilt.

I forgot, there were also cat hammocks, and cat cage pads, and some cat coasters I also made. I am in the process of a series of quilts, those wonky star quilts, for this years charity project. I always end up loving them so much that I have a hard time giving them away 🙂

Umm Al Tawaman (Mother of Twins)

Even as I write, my niece is in labor, about to give birth to TWINS. We are all wild and dancing for joy! I reminded her she will now have to use the dual form in Arabic, and she groaned. Such are the jokes we tell one another in my family.

Baby girl’s quilt is called Desert Rose:

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Baby boy’s is called Interconnected:

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Each quilt is about 54″ square