Quilting Legacy

About a week ago, my good friend’s mother died at the age of 97. She was a quilter. Many of her quilts were hung in tribute on the railings of the church. It was lovely, but even more touching to me were the words of the priest’s homily. He used quilting as metaphor for her life. I want to share some of the main points I remember which will probably be slanted by my own perspective and memory.

Quilts carry the quilter with them. A piece of the maker goes with each quilt.

Each quilt tells a story. It may be the story of a new little one born, the joining of the lives of two people, or the celebration of a birthday or an accomplishment like graduation. It may be made to comfort someone going through hard times.

Quilters can take a limited amount of fabric from an array of colors and bring it all together to reveal it’s fullest potential and beauty. They can see the usefulness of even the smallest pieces of fabric to bring them together to form a work of art.

Quilts also represent communities. The fabric may be gathered from a number of people and sewn together with friends forming a community of quilters. Quilts, too, bind together a community of people – like husband and wife, mother and child, grandmother and grandchild, friend to friend.

The lives of people are the best quilts pieced. When each individual is treasured, they are not seen as “scraps”, but as whole and beautiful. The relationships with these diverse persons are brought together just like a scrap quilt to form a beautiful design. The backing of the quilt of life is the strong stuff of faith which moves quilters to warm others with thoughtfulness and prayer.

A handmade quilt is a sacrament of love.

Amen.

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