3 Have You Heard

My son used to play a trick on me. He’d ask, “Hey, Mom, have you heard?” And I’d say, “Heard what?” And he’d say “The word”. And I’d say “What word?” and he’d say “The bird. The bird is the word.” Our exchange had a cadence and a rhythm, just like the song the Trashmen sang in the sixties. I don’t know if my son knew that reference or not. But I fell for it over and over again.

How’s this for a clever segue from yesterday’s post, “Word”. I am up to day five of creation in my reading of Genesis, when God spoke into being all the swarming creatures of the waters and sky. This passage is covered on block number three, Birds in the Air.

And now I share a tip. It’s a sharp tip. Particularly about my choice of pins. I use these. They make a huge difference in the sewing fun factor. I looked them up on the internet, and apparently they are Clover quilting pins, superfine. (I acquired mine secondhand.)

I used to use big honkin’ pins with flat heads. (Get it, honking. Like geese.) Now these glass ball pins glide in and out just like hawks riding the aerobatic lifts outside my window. Okay, I’ll stop with the bird references.

But before I do, I must share how “Birds in the Air” resonates in my soul. I recall the words of Christ in His sermon on the mount. He reassures us to be anxious for nothing, because even the birds, who are worth far less than people, are fully provided for.

Birds in the air defy gravity. They soar, glide, and sail through the heavens. They are unencumbered by the density of the ground below. They have a bird’s eye view, free from the scuffle and strife below. How carefree they must be.

When our founding fathers were deciding on our national bird, the turkey was nearly chosen. Instead, they went with the eagle. The eagle has the intelligence to fly above the storm. Like the eagle, they strove to stay above political fray and keep their eyes fixed on the prize of a United States.

I remind myself to be more like the eagle, the bird of the air, to be anxious for nothing and to keep my eyes fixed on the prize we share as believers in the gospel.

2 Word

I love words. Even when choosing a blog service, the fact that it’s called WordPress drove my decision. Although they’re probably great sites as well, names like Wix and Blogger just didn’t appeal. Sorry, no offense Wix and Blogger.

But Word. Yum. And “wordpress” calls to mind a big room with typeset and inks and blotters. The sun streaming through a high window casts its light on an elegant printing press and makes it glow. As if by magic, the wordsmith is making the alphabet come alive with every turn of the big wooden lever. The letters become text and the text lives in the hearts and minds of its readers. I’m jumping ahead in the Bible, but I can’t resist the parallelism here. Compare the first words of the Old Testament with the first words of the New Testament. Check this out: John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” How about that. Both start with the same words. And WORDS are what brought forth creation. I can’t help but add the familiar tie-in: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus is the Word of Life. He was with God, creating our world out of nothing. With words. Wow. Talk about magical.

When God spoke there was light, and darkness, and day and night. The second block of the Bible Sampler quilt describes night and day, evening and morning, the second day. Amazing. We can’t do that. We can’t create something out of nothing. Everything around us is made from things that God created. We merely re-create.

When friends would say “You’re so creative” I would think, no, I’m actually re-creating. God made the raw materials. I’m just refashioning them into my own creation, er, re-creation. And isn’t it fun that it’s called “recreation”?

Words are fun. Think on the word “vacation”. The root is “vacate”, or to empty. As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, I have chosen to vacate my self-will and surrender to His will. So my entire life is actually spent on “vacation”! Such an adventure!

Making something out of nothing intrigues me. I’m a scrappy quilter. My stash is substantial, and nearly all of it came from thrift stores or yard sales. At first, it was because I didn’t want to impact our budget with my hobby, and I didn’t have the confidence to slice into expensive fabric. As I got more proficient, I looked in the quilt shops and big box stores, and realized my thrift stores were supplying me with high quality fabrics that suited me just fine. I’ve now put myself on a cloth diet, restricting use to what I have. Besides the budget, I also don’t want to impact our home space. (Too late.)

One of my first quilts was re-created from a big bag of squares found at Goodwill. I think the project was a bargello. My guess is the donor abandoned the project because the squares and strips were cut all whopperjawed. (How’s that for a word?) He or she probably got frustrated and quit. I thank that person, because I learned how to cut accurately as I squared up the hundreds of 2.5 inch blocks into something a bit smaller. This project also gave me the opportunity to practice a uniform quarter inch seam over and over again on those little squares. Here’s what I made:

The second block of the Bible Sampler quilt is night and day, evening and morning, the second day. The Amish have a quilt they call Light and Shadow. Traditionally it is made and given to bridal couples to remind them that their years ahead will bring both good and bad. And God will be there through it all. This is my Light and Shadow quilt, or maybe it’s a Trip Around the World…

I had so many squares left over that I pieced a back. I used the blooming nine patch idea. It cascaded rather than bloomed – I was limited by what I had left over. The back:

Here’s my block two of the Bible Sampler Quilt, Night and Day: