When I walk through local antique and thrift shops, I am drawn to old vintage quilts—especially those created with patchwork motifs. If those quilts could tell a story, I imagine they would share how the scraps of fabric came from old feed sacks or from Grandma’s apron or from a faded pair of Pa’s overalls. A family history retold in scraps of fabric.
I make patchwork aprons. I don’t just sit down at the sewing machine and stitch pieces together and create an apron. I first decide on a color scheme and then I cut the squares. Now comes the fun and the creative part. I lay out the squares on my table and move them around until I find a flow of pattern and of color that I like. Those pieces may sit on the table for a few days while I look at them and maybe shift them around a bit.
Finding joy in creating
I recently read a wonderful blog post by Adrian Patenaude (https://www.alabasterco.com/blogs/articles/creativity-as-devotional-practice) about viewing creativity as a devotional practice. She shared these words: “When we start seeing art as a means to an end, we forget that it was often small, childlike moments, that led us to God’s presence. When we approach creativity as a devotional practice, experiencing God’s presence is placed at the center of our process.”
When we make something with our hands, we enjoy the adulation and accolades we receive for the finished product. But how often do we stop and really enjoy and revel in the process of creating a piece of art? We should feel as much joy in the making of the piece as we do in viewing the finished product. Sewing the pieces together to make my aprons is the easy part. The creativity comes from moving those four-inch squares around on my table. That is when I feel the flow of pride in my work—when I see something come together into a thing of beauty.
Psalm 139:13 (NIV) tells us “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” God made each of us different—just as my aprons are unique and one of a kind. He created us with a purpose and each one of us has a special place in the quilt of life. When God looks down from heaven, what a wonderful patchwork of humanity He must see!