I pieced the top for this patchwork quilt more than 12 years ago. John and I were living in the 5 bedroom farm house he'd grown up in, leaving me plenty of space for keeping my sewing machine set up all the time. I had my grandmothers' old Singer in a large wooden cabinet that folded out into a sewing table. I loved having it set up and experimenting with various craft projects from curtains and pillows to this larger project...my first quilt. I pulled together scraps of fabrics I already had on hand including the 8 tiny floral squares that were curtains in the laundry room at the farm when we moved in. (They didn't last long as curtains, but made a cute little accent square on the quilt, I thought.) Anyhow. Times were certainly different then. I worked part-time in a physicians office, had no children, and certainly plenty of time on my hands. I cut and pieced this together in just a matter of days or so, found a background fabric and sandwiched a piece of batting in between...and that's where it ended. I had no idea what to do next, or how to finish it off. I'd never done anything like this before, and certainly was intimidated by the idea of finish-quilting it. So I didn't. I folded it neatly and bagged it up. It's moved with us twice now and remained in that bag until about a week or so ago.
For some reason, that silly quilt came to mind recently and I felt the need to just jump in and finish it. I still know nothing more about quilting than I did 12 years ago, but I figured I had to just get beyond the fear of messing it up, and get it done. I retrieved it from the storage area of our basement, along with my newer sewing machine that stays packed away until moments when the kids are sleeping, and something needs mended. I pulled the unfinished quilt out of the bag, pressed some of the wrinkles out of it, including the circle line from the hoop that I'd placed on it 12 years ago, as I had considered hand stitching a bit, then quit.
I managed to finish the edges in just an hour or so, and on my next free evening, I machine quilted a simple pattern onto it. Just like that. Twelve years of fear, overcome in just a couple short hours. How silly is that?! It certainly has it's imperfections...seems that don't quite line up, or puckering in the fabric as I quilted the layers together...but look! I think it's simply beautiful! And its done!
The same story applies to other things I manage to put off as well. How many times have I allowed fear (of whatever...embarrassment, failure, mistakes) keep me from doing something. God seems to know I have "fear issues" and has really given me opportunity for growth in this area as of late. A few weeks back I spoke to a group of ladies as part of a Women's Retreat. I was frightened beyond words, but the Holy Spirit worked through me, allowing God's perfect message to shine through. And more recently, I've received a very generous, albeit out-of-my-league offer to begin a weekly radio talk show on our local Christian radio station. Every bone in my body wanted to yell "NO" at the top of my lungs and run as fast and as far as possible away from that offer. But I know for as many reasons as I have to say "no," there is one very real reason why I must say "yes." God has put people and experiences into my life, leading up to this, and I feel certain it's what I'm being called to do. I prayed (A LOT) about it, and have decided to to give it a shot. Certainly this is way outside of my comfortable little box, and outside of anything I happen to know about anything. Our loving God certainly has a sense of humor! Again, I'm reminded he does not call the equipped (as I am most certainly not in this case!), rather equips the called.
The outline and schedule of the show are still up in the air, but I'll be certain to keep you posted as it comes to fruition. Would love to have you tune in, call in and weigh in with your comments, advice, support. Maybe I should offer the quilt as a prize (bribe?) to my first caller. ;)
(finding comfort/courage in these words) Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.