Thursday, December 6, 2012

On Lessons Learned

In the past couple of years I have really gotten the quilting bug.  Quilting is peaceful and prayerful and relaxes me.  I have had some big stress-ers, some which continue, some that that resolved.    Quilting was something that I did. 

I suppose if I am really honest with myself, I got more and more into the quilting because I got some thanks and recognition for the baby quilts I made.  I hadn't thought that was anything I craved.  The quilting started as a generous act of love to celebrate the life of a new little one.  The fact that I came to enjoy the praise, doesn't take away from the good that was my intention.  It just helps me to be brutally honest and to see it for what it is.

After I finished the pink quilt, I decided that maybe I would do a little quilting project for myself, for my table at Advent By Candlelight.  I got some deer in the woods printed fabric with sparkles and cut some squares.  My intention was to make a centerpiece cloth for the table and to make matching mug mats for the party favors.  At first it seemed that the project would get done in no time and I would move back to baby quilts and finishing the Christmas tree skirt I started over 20 years ago.

But, although I worked on the mug mats and the centerpiece a lot, This project just didn't seem to want to get itself done. It was smaller and easier than the baby quilts in most respects. I think I worked on it as much.  Advent By Candlelight came and went and the project was nearly finished, but not on time. It was like the opposite of the loaves and the fishes.  I had plenty of time and it wasn't enough.

At first I felt regretful about the unfinished project.  I ended up using some leftover fabric and just bunching it artistically in the center of the table and placing the candles on that.  It looked fine that way. As I reflected upon the project that night at Advent By Candlelight, I realized that I wasn't supposed to finish that project.  The quilting project was vanity, a chance to get more recognition.  The mug mats and the quilted centerpiece were showing off, not necessarily acts of love.

I am finishing up the quilting on those projects.  I am not entirely sure what to do with them.  I will use the quilted piece like I would any other table linen.  The mug mats I am just not sure about.  I think I will finish them or maybe turn them into place mats.  No doubt when I use these things I will receive praise and complements.  I hope that I can be mindful of the lesson learned, vanity, all is vanity.


Monica said...

I don't know Mary. You have a wonderful talent and God wants us to use our talents and we are allowed to feel pride in our accomplisments. Getting praise spurs us on to continue to use and develop these talents God gives us.
It is good though, to recognize the reasons we are doing something. And then if we are doing it for the wrong reasons, we should have a change of heart and look for better reasons. I do hope you will continue to quilt. I have a lot of unfinished quilting/painting/sewing and drawing projects also. I find that it is easiest finish a project when I am under a deadline. It is also easier for me to finish a project when I am making it for someone else than for myself. There are organizations that make quilts for the homeless. Perhaps something like this would give you a sense of satisfaction and a good reason to use this wonderful talent God has given you :-) It's just a thought.

Mary said...

I don't intend to quit quilting and I will give baby quilts to people I know and don't know. But, I am going to be a little more suspicious of my own motives when I come up with ideas for myself. It is not wrong to use my talents and to receive recognition. But if I find myself doing it so that I outshine others, or become prideful, then I need to take a look. That was what I was saying. It was what God was teachig me in this.

Monica said...

So glad you will continue using your talents. You are wise to recognize your motivations. Surely you are growing in a spiritual way. God Bless you.