By Adam Carter
As I sit and think of Christmas memories, I look across the room and see the patchwork quilt given to me by my Grandmother. It is pieced together of all types of cloth, in all kinds of patterns, in many different colors.
Each piece, a scrap of fabric, that today would most likely be discarded as useless. However, with frugality, each one was kept, knowing that one day it would serve a purpose.
Individually, some of these patches are beautiful designs. Others, not quite so pretty. Some are textured, polyester patterns. The kind that probably came from an old dress that a woman would prefer to forget she ever wore. Others are threadbare flannel plaids that no doubt are from a worn-out work shirt.
Of these hundreds of swatches all sewn together, some look like window treatments, others more like handkerchiefs. Somehow though, when endless hours are spent cutting and hand-stitching these mismatched scraps together; when the dining room table has to be moved in order for the quilting rack to be put in place; when great pains are taken to assemble and quilt all of this together, something happens. What appeared to be useless scraps has become something completely different.
Amazingly, it all fits together. The yellow seersucker seems to match the army green canvas, the purple floral hexagon looks great alongside the red ticking and the teal solid compliments the blue gingham perfectly.
I am not sure if my grandmother knew from the outset how beautiful this quilt would turn out. I don’t even know if that concerned her. She knew this old blanket would offer warmth on a cold night, but I don’t think that was her goal either. I believe that each careful stitch was placed in this quilt with a prayer for me from my grandmother.
An item like this is not created with a profit in mind. It wasn’t made to impress anyone.
Artwork, like this quilt, is assembled with love and patience and attention to detail. I believe that she quilted each of her grandchildren a different quilt, knowing that one day we would have some idea of her love for us.
By these countless hours spent on each of us, we would learn that time invested in others, is time well spent.
Tonight, I sit in a well-heated home. Each bed is covered with store bought linens. But I look at that beautiful quilt, hanging on one of my grandfather’s old rickety step ladders.
The quilt and the ladder both, far too valuable for daily use! It reminds me of life. Each of those different fabrics and patterns remind me of how things change. Life is full of struggles, but it is also full of blessings.
And just like this quilt, they fit together. That scrap of wool makes the satin feel so soft.
Our hard times, that we often want to forget, give us something to sew the great memories to.
Looking back over my Christmas memories, so many details fade. The gifts received as a child are mostly gone, along with the recollection of them. T
he things that once seemed important have taken their proper place. The truly valuable things have come more clearly into focus.
These are the things I want to invest in. My faith in Jesus Christ, my family, my friends and community. I want to leave a patch in their quilts, as they have left patches in mine.