Friday, May 30, 2014

Holy Journey, or A Whale of a Tale

This quilt is the fourth of Irene's lovely series of donations to Quilts of Compassion for the deployment to Tupelo, MS in July 2014.

The word "holy" means to be set aside and designated for a purpose. The entire time I was petting this quilt in the quilting frame, I thought about our upcoming trip home with Eight Days of Hope XI, and how the plans of both rebuilding homes and comforting the homeowners with quilts have been synchronizing into this lovely, perfect plan that only God could orchestrate. (After all, face it, most of the plans I try to arrange fall apart, not weave together into something better organized and more beautiful!)

Here's what happened...I learned about Quilts of Compassion from Facebook, where I learn about almost everything these days. I decided that I'd whip up a quilt myself (and Tupelo Strong, plus my double pinwheel tutorial were born). Then I also volunteered in a couple of key high-traffic Facebook locations that I frequent to quilt unfinished quilts for donations to QOC for free. It costs me batting, thread and time, but time spent quilting pays me in other ways. A quilt arrived from Pat F. in Conway, SC almost immediately, so Summer Roses was the first quilt off my frame designated for Tupelo. Then a local friend, Diane G. here in Greenville, NC, brought me NINE unfinished "flimsies" and several yards of muslin for backing, with promises of more backing fabric as needed. Diane is also going to help bind her quilts as I finish, although I had time to do the first one. You can see it featured here .

And then Irene emailed from San Diego, and suddenly the ten quilts I'd hoped to send became 15. And fifteen quilts seemed like they might be expensive to ship to Toledo, OH...but I decided I'd worry about that later.

Like any story of God's faithfulness and provision, this one is getting long. Here's another quilt picture to tide you over...

So, then through a Lori-reads-everything-in-print-including-toothpaste-tubes moment, I noticed on QOC's Facebook page that Janice had changed the dates of her Tupelo trip to coincide with Eight Days of Hope XI. I sent Janice a quick email, and included my phone number, and just asked if it would be okay for me to hand-carry my stack of quilts when I go to Tupelo. After all, it's already quite a pile...

...and a few more to come. Imagine my delight on Sunday afternoon when Janice called me to talk about quilts, Tupelo, and God's working out His plan to weave our lives together. It turns out that Janice was blue and disappointed that circumstances had delayed their trip to Tupelo (a couple of ladies cannot go, due to life), but after we talked, so many good things happened that she is now excited and amazed. Isn't it cool how God allows us to refresh one another in our walk? So, Janice is going to learn more about Eight Days of Hope (and I hope we can partner to give our quilts to the homeowners we serve through 8DOH), and share her mission of disaster response/quilt distribution with the leadership there. But even better, when she comes to Tupelo, she is going to stay with my mom and dad (while Dennis and I are there), and we are going to use their church as a "staging" area for the 1000+ quilts we'll distribute to the families in the area.

And what am I going to do? I'm going to reach out to all the North Carolina Quilt Shops in my area and see if they would consider collecting donated quilts for me to pick up and hand carry to Tupelo. My new goal for the Tupelo trip is now 100 quilts! I thought I'd make one. Then I thought perhaps I have time for 10. And God has multiplied that into a hundred! Let's see just how big this can get...I have a van I can load down with quilts. Heck, I'll rent a trailer if I need to!

Now you see why this quilt became "Holy Journey." The quilting design I chose is called Classic Panto, but I've used it on a few other all-batik quilts, and it yields a lovely stained glass effect. For this quilt, the design fit the piecing ideally! There is a nice triangular line in the pattern, and each row of piecing held two rows of the quilting pattern repeat.

So, without further ado, here are a bunch of pictures of Holy Journey. I love the backing. I love the binding. I love everything about this quilt. I debated about thread color, but in the end, went with the Glide "Marigold" that sparkled so well on the surface of the quilt. I used Glide Teaberry to topstitch the binding. This quilt was the largest of the four of Irene's quilts, and is the one that is going to have me stripping up some of my own fabrics Sunday afternoon to make one just like it.

Here are all four of Irene's lovely quilts in a pile. Aren't the backs as beautiful as the fronts? If you missed any of the quilts in this series, just scan back through the blog for the last few days!

I'm going to end this with another appeal to support these marvelous organizations with your financial contribution, of any size whatsoever. After all, as excited as I am that Reading Rainbow was funded, I would love to know that families affected by the tornadoes in April have homes and warm quilts.

Fund Quilts of Compassion
Fund Eight Days of Hope XI

Thank you for listening to my whale of a tale, and many, many thanks to Irene T. for her generosity and faithfulness in using her talents to the glory of God.

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