The Beauty of Quilts

The other day I was making up the guest room in preparation for a friend’s visit. As I spread a quilt over the mattress and smoothed out a wrinkle, my fingers lingered over a seam. This quilt is one of several I received when my husband’s father passed away. He and his wife lived in northern Ohio, an area that has deep Anabaptist roots. They were devout members of the Church of the Brethren, which shares a history with the Amish and Mennonite traditions.


My in laws were plain people – not Plain, but like their Amish neighbors they lived hard-working, no-frills lives as farmers. My mother-in-law made these quilts decades ago with her church quilting circle. They’re beautifully bright and colorful, and the stitches are small and even. But not perfect. Every now and then one stitch will be longer than the others, or will point slightly toward one edge instead of lining up in a machine-like line. Those tiny imperfections somehow add to the beauty of the design, and remind me of the human hands that created them. They make me appreciate the quilters’ efforts even more. Just looking at them makes me smile, and I find myself hoping the quilt will bring happiness and comfort to my friend when she snuggles beneath it while visiting my house.


Now, personally, I don’t quilt. I have a feeling I would be lousy at it. My creative gifts tend to find expression in words, not crafts. But when I look at these quilts, admire their beauty, and run my fingers over the stitches, I confess that I have a desire to give it a try. None of us are perfect, are we? And yet, we’re all beautiful creations that God has pieced together. Like my quilts, perhaps even our imperfections can be testimonies of our efforts to become something bright and beautiful that God will use to bring happiness to others.

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2 Responses to “The Beauty of Quilts”

  1. I love quilts. I remember from childhood watching my mother and grandmother quilt at my grandmother’s house.
    The quilting rack was hanging from the ceiling where it ci=ould be let down when they were ready to quilt. I wasn’t lucky to get one of those but a fond memory. The only quilts I have made was a baby quilt for a granddaughter(the first) and it was a tied quilt. Next I made a wedding quilt for my son when he married. It was a heavy quilt made from winter materials, also a tied quilt. But I was very proud of them. ( I know the Amish think you shouldn’t be proud, but I was!
    Maxie Anderson


  2. Last year, our UMC District Superintendent was retiring and someone decided each church could furnish one or more quilt squares with Christian themes – all we had to do was go on line, choose and copy one of 4 suggested patterns and get material and put an 8″ x 8″ square together. Easy, simple, right? Three of us in my church decided to furnish one. Two were turned in to the final quilt maker. Somehow or another mine ended up about 5″ by 4″ and was very deformed. One lady in the church asked to take it home as a souvenier. I’ve been nervously awaiting it to show up in some public moment to embarrass me. Definitely not my calling!


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