Monday, January 31, 2011

Not So Random

Six years ago, my twin sister had her first baby. Around that time, I decided I would attend the "Quilting Fever" class so that I could make my very first nephew a Cuddle Quilt. It was tedious work, but having chosen only two fabrics, it was not as difficult as I had imagined. I enjoyed thinking of sweet Henry as I stitched it together, and even now get occasional opportunities to snuggle under it with him. However, it has not been until a month ago that I considered a second attempt at such a project. My younger sister is due to have her first child in late March. Aunt Bec Bec cannot think of a better reason to try again! 
Thus the process of choosing fabrics, planning patterns and stitching squares together has begun. 

Making My Quilt:
Step One - Choosing Fabric: I had to take Linda (Smith) with me to choose my fabric. I can mention browns, teals, and greens to her and from the rows of countless rolls of fabric, she can pull together the most random, yet most beautiful combination. I have learned that "green" can mean paisleys, flowers, plaids and polkadots. Linda says, "Think outside the box." This is not an easy task for me, but watching her gives me hope!

Step Two - Cutting the Squares: This part, I get. It's methodical. It makes sense. You measure it. You cut it. Done! I got this step done the first night I had the material at home!

Step Three - Deciding How to Arrange the Squares: In direct opposition to my "inside the box" thinking, Linda thinks in "random." She stood with my five different fabrics and just pulled one at a time in no particular order into several rows. She would look, shake her head, move a few around, and then look at me with satisfaction. What she had done was beautiful, but I wanted to try. Of course, I had to see it all lying out on the floor. So I spread out a sheet and carefully placed all 120 of my squares. I could NOT do random. Even my random was turning into a pattern. It was very difficult for me to just let go of the idea that it must be symmetrical and perfectly squared. I cannot even PLAN to be random! "Think outside the box," Linda would say. I'm not there yet. I'm not sure I can do random and make it beautiful. Fortunately, Linda has books of patterns, and I found one that looks great! Maybe I'll get brave and try a small random pillow with my scraps!

All of this process has reminded me that we have a Master Quilter who is stitching together what may appear to be random circumstances and events in our lives. He has placed people into our lives who possess a variety of gifts, personalities and experiences. We may not understand why He is placing polkadots next to paisleys and in the moment, it may not be pleasing to the eye. However, what we believe to be beautiful and orderly cannot even compare to what He has in mind for His finished product (1 Cor. 2:9). What a peace that washes over me as I trust my Master Quilter to stitch together the fabric of my life in a way that to Him is not so random (Is. 55:8).


  1. Awesome visual of God's hand in our lives! Thanks!

  2. My grandmother was a quilter. She made some amazing random designs. It's a good reminder that God has a plan--a beautiful plan. This reminds me of the tapestry illustration Pastor gives from time to time---the one about the threads on the back being a mess but the design on the front being orderly and lovely. We are looking at the back, but occaionally I think God gives us glimpses of the front to help us keep going.

  3. So true, Sherry. I love that He doesn't leave us in a state of confusion and anxiety. His glimpses give such hope!