The next block in the Bible Sampler Quilt is connected with the account of Elijah being taken up into heaven by a chariot of fire. The prophet Elijah had fought the good fight, he had earned his retirement. God had arranged for his successor to be Elisha.
Now the time has come to pass the baton, but Elisha doesn’t want Elijah to leave him. What shoes he would have to fill! God worked amazing deeds through Elijah: He revived a dead child, started and ended droughts, sent down fire from heaven, just to name a few. A hard act to follow for sure.
But right before his eyes, a chariot of fire, drawn by horses of fire appears. Elijah is separated from him, a whirlwind snatches him up, and off he goes to his eternity.
Elisha is alone, the very thing he was hoping to avoid. But it’s a good thing he saw Elijah go, because it fulfilled the final prophecy Elijah spoke: that Elisha would receive a double portion of the spirit Elijah had because he witnessed the event. So Elisha knows he’s really not alone; he’s got the spirit of God in double measure. It comes as no surprise that Elisha goes on to accomplish amazing miracles and deeds.
I spoke about one of the pitfalls of being a “process” quilter in my previous post. I give you Exhibit A in today’s post. It was so fun to jump in and start without a firm vision of the end product in mind. However, If I had planned well, the colors in this block would be brighter, and there would be no solid fabric used. I need to save the solids because . . . (drumroll, please) . . .
I have decided to complete a Laurie Aaron Hird trilogy of quilts.
For me, it began with the Farmer’s Wife Sampler. I absolutely loved the look of the quilt on the book’s cover, and so I made my fabric choices accordingly. I used reproduction fabrics and kept to the warm tones. I created each block individually, with its own variety of highly contrasting colors. I didn’t think about how the blocks would all look when joined together on the quilt top. It’s lovely, but I realized that my eye preferred some rest, some negative space.
My Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt Top (not quilted yet)
So my next quilt, this Bible Sampler, gave me the opportunity to tone it down a bit. I limited myself to one color per block, with white as my neutral. I can’t wait to see how it looks when I join all the blocks together.
When Laurie Aaron Hird announced her next quilt sampler book on her blog, I immediately knew two things: number one: I would make this quilt, and number two: I would use solids. I don’t know yet if the neutral will be black or white, or some other color. I’ve got plenty of time yet to decide.
Three quilts: all different, yet all connected. Visual evidence of my growth as a quilter. I haven’t yet used only solids as a design choice. I’m already separating them out as I come upon them in my stash. I have plenty. I am so excited.
Now, back to the Bible. I have to respond to the parts I’ve read in between the quilt block passages before I move on. Second Samuel broke my heart. King David had a son, Absalom, that he loved. Their relationship was complex, and it ended badly. Absalom was rebellious, and he died before his father. Isn’t that a parent’s worst nightmare?
I remember when I first held my own firstborn in my arms. My love for her was so beyond what I ever could have imagined. At times, this profound love actually made me shudder. I realized (maybe it was the first time I thought about this) that she held the power to crush me within her tiny body. To realize that someone outside of myself can affect my deepest emotions made me uncomfortable. Then when I was expecting my second baby, I worried that I may not love her as fiercely as the first. Silly me. When she arrived, I learned the true nature of love. It multiplies to infinity and beyond, it has no end, it’s not a fixed substance that has to be sliced like a pizza pie. My third, and then my fourth child were loved as profoundly and as completely as the first.
When Absalom died in battle (leading a rebellion against his father David, by the way) King David was absolutely heartbroken. His advisors actually had to tell him to get a grip, because he had won the battle at the expense of many men who were also sons and husbands and fathers. But I can forgive David his grief. Even though his son didn’t turn out the way he had hoped, he couldn’t turn off his love for Absalom.