Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces,
joy and sorrow, stitched with God's love.
My friend Lanie called me back last Spring (2011) and asked me if I would be interested in taking a quilting class with her. I had taken a quilting class years ago when I was in my late 20's. That busy season of life as a stay-at-home mom with two little boys didn't allow much time for learning to quilt. Fast forward to now when I am in the "empty nest/Gran Jan" season of life and everything in me said, "YES!" So I signed us both up that very day.
We went to class at a wonderful shop called "A Scarlet Thread." The owners are believers in Jesus Christ - wonderful people. The shop is the largest quilt store in Georgia and the ladies who work there are kind and helpful, always making us feel at home. One of the side blessings of the 8 week Tuesday night class was our "road trip." We had to travel over an hour each way and the class itself was two hours long. There is nothing like precious "windshield time" in the car for long uninterrupted conversation with a dear friend. We took turns driving each week and came up with a plan the first night. Whoever didn't drive bought supper that night (and Starbucks on the way home to keep us AWAKE)! God blessed us with traveling safety for the entire two months we went to class as we logged many miles up and down Interstate 75!
I have decided to keep a record of the quilts I make for my own joy and hopefully as a memory for my grandchildren one day as well. I had no idea the joy and contentment that quilting would bring me. Last year was unprecedented for my husband and me in ministry. It was a difficult yet blessed time of growth for us spiritually. Aside from time in God's Word and praying - this creative outlet calmed my heart as I would sit at the sewing machine...sewing and praying.
Here are the quilts I've made so far, beginning with the first one I made back when I was 29 years old. As God would have it, Lanie's own mother, Mrs. Polly, is the one who finished the hand quilting for me several years ago. She passed away back in 2010, making it more of a treasure to me. It is called a "Sampler" quilt - each block is a different type of patchwork. This one hangs in my home office/library. My oldest son's mother-in-law, Catharine DeLoach, finished the binding for me. She is very talented.
#2. (May 2011) My second quilt was made during the class at "A Scarlet Thread." The pictures show both the front and the back. I need to make a label for this one...
#3. (June 2011) What ever made me think I was ready to give a quilt away as such a newbie quilter? All I can say is...LOVE. I made this quilt for Beth Moore for her birthday. Keep in mind that I finished my last class the end of May and her birthday is June 16th. It was stitched with love and I told her it was flawed, just like me! She sent me a picture of her and the Director of Living Proof Ministries, Sabrina, holding it up. (The colors in the picture of the label below are truer.)
#4. (August 2011) When I began this quilt I really didn't have anyone in mind to give it to -I just loved the colors and the pattern was very simple as you can see. Straight ROWS with two vertical inserts. The beautiful batik fabric was so much fun to sew. I ended up giving it to my youngest son's wife, my daughter-in-law, Erin. She loves purple and it was just meant to be. She loves it!
#5. #6. #7. The Grandchildren all received quilts from Gran Jan for Christmas last month. The two grandboys were John Deere themed and my granddaughter's was just pink and precious. This is Zeke's quilt with a solid green backing:
This is Jackson's quilt with a solid yellow backing (and a closeup of the label):
#8. This is my Dad's "fleece" shaggy raggy quilt. It is very WARM and he loves it too! This was part of his Christmas gift too. I used my new embroidery machine to make his label.
#9. This is the first "baby quilt" I've made. It was a joy to give this to the newborn daughter of a young woman who serves with me in Women's Ministries at our church.
I have 3 more quilts started now - one that has proven a bit difficult, so I just work on it sparingly; one for my youngest son that I'm almost through piecing, and then another baby quilt that I just bought the fabric for last week. My oldest son and his wife have many beautiful quilts made by her mom - she is a very talented quilter, so I haven't made any for them...yet. :)
This I know - I am having a wonderful time. I have a lot to learn but I'm loving every moment and I'm thankful to have the resources to enjoy this delightful hobby!
God is so good to me!