Nineteen years ago, in the quieter days before children, I joined a local quilting class. We were taught all we needed to know to hand make the above twenty square sampler quilt. Before we were quite finished the quilt the shop shut and our quilts remained unfinished. Shortly after this I gave birth to our firstborn and my quilt was popped in the back of a cupboard.
It got its next outing when our second child was waiting to be born. During those cold winter nights, when waiting for a baby seemed to go on and on, I would quilt a square or two.
Somehow, without intention, a tradition began. In the third trimester, of each subsequent pregnancy, I would begin to nest and out would come the quilt. Twenty squares were made and bound, but each needed ‘glueing’ together with tiny quilting stitches. These stitches aren’t just the glue which binds the quilt together, they are woven with care to form a pattern on the front and the back.
Nine babies on and my quilt is nearly complete. Each stitch has been sewn with a prayer, that our family would be ‘glued’ together by our love for God and for one another. I have prayed that each child would know that, just like the squares on the quilt, they are each different, but each beautiful and each made for a purpose.
It’s been nearly two years since our last baby, and with no signs of any more blessings at this point, I am wondering whether it is time to finish the quilt. The edges need binding and some squares need a bit more work. It reminds me that our family will always need my prayers, always need a little more work and always need to be bound together in love for God and one another.
I think I know what I must do now with these cold winter evenings. It’s time to finish what I began, and simply enjoy the gift of creating something, made with love.