The Quilt Of Life

Sunday, November 21, 2021
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 139:14a – How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. (NIRV)

As I have written before, I am not a quilter, but I can derive pleasure by proxy as I admire the finished products of expert quilters. As I was admiring a favourite quilt the other day, I began thinking of ways that quilts and quilting can serve as an analogy for everyday life.

Snippets of fabric are carefully pieced together to create a quilt, resulting in a completed work of art. The varying colours and shapes of these bits and pieces form a kaleidoscope of patterns. Even if the quilter follows a specific pattern, a quilt is unique with its own special design. So it is with us. We each have a unique pattern to our life. Though we may share common traits with many around us, our heritage, nationality, time and place in history, and even our personality set us apart from all others.

Time-honoured quilt patterns may serve as descriptors of our lives. We may be colourful though refined, like Dresden Plate or Wedding Ring. We may be determined and steady like Texas Star. Our life's path may meander a bit like Rail Fence or even Drunkard's Path. The chaotic hodgepodge of the Crazy Quilt might define us. Varying light and dark tones, bright and dull colours may reveal seasons and stages of our life.

Fabrics from which quilts are fashioned range from elegant silks and velvets to sturdy and utilitarian wool, to common, humble cotton. Our personalities and abilities exhibit the varying fabrics from which our lives are made.

A quilt consists of a quilt top, batting, and backing, and is finished with the binding around the edges. Every seam, point, or curve must be carefully executed to result in a smoothly unified pattern, even though all of the raw edges and finishing knots are hidden inside. The shape and pattern of our lives is visible to others around us, but God alone sees the sometimes raw, untidy interior of our lives.

Only when the final securing stitch is made, as we take our last breath, will the quilt of our life be completed. Perhaps, in eternity, we will be permitted to see the beauty and intricacy of our quilt that is now fully visible only to the eyes of our heavenly Father.

Let's be thankful for whatever pattern, design, materials, and use God has chosen for us. Each of us has been created for a special purpose, and we are unique and wonderfully made.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You have designed us for Your own purpose, using specially chosen colours, fabrics, and patterns for the quilt of our lives. May we serve Your purpose so that others can see snatches of beauty as displayed through our lives. Amen.

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About the author:

Gail Lundquist <>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Gail.

    Thank you so much for this encouraging devotional.

    Beautiful. Thanks.

    Beautifully written, thanks and blessings from Nova Scotia, Gail!

    Amen, Gail, God does create a fabulous quilt in our lives! Thanks for sharing! Blessings.

    Gail, I’m reading this again and focused on the paragraph about the end of our life and seeing the final design. Lovely thought!

    Hi Gail, lovely pictures came to mind in your devotional today. All the pieces from the special and useful fabric scraps kept from our lives put together! God’s mosaic!
    Love your writings!

    I’ve just finished reading a book about quilts being used as signals for safe places for the underground railway. As I am about to start my third ever quilt for my granddaughter, I will recall your words. Thanks for writing.

    Hello Gail,
    I just wanted to say Thank You for your wonderful devotional message that so touched me and seemed like a direct message to me from God. Thank you again and may God richly bless you and your family.

    Dear Gail,
    I have been reading your posts in PresbyCan for over a year now and have found every one of them poignant and seemingly focused for me.
    I am a quilter, so this one was particularly apropos.
    Thank you for the words you write and may God bless you always.

    Dear Gail,
    Thank you for this very beautiful and most meaningful devotional today. You have created a perfect analogy of a quilt and our individual lives.
    Yes, our Lord has created each of us in a unique and wonderful way and may we put to work each “snippet” of our being to serve Him very dutifully.
    Blessings for your special devotionals,

    So lovely. Thank you, Gail. I’m not a quilter either, although I have made a couple of very amateur covers. That experience has given me a beautiful respect for the intricate work that results in a finished cover.
    I love your analogy – that only God sees the hidden interior of our lives – and He still loves and cares for us, knowing everything about our thoughts, hidden actions, and attitudes. That is amazing – that is our confidence. Bless you for sharing such a rich analogy.

    Yay, Gail! Love the way you’ve rolled up so much in a few well-chosen phrases! You remind me, too, of the quilt pieces often from well-loved but now worn-out fabrics and all the journeys in my life that I took wearing this pattern and that one. Your devotional reminds me that, as a wedding gift to me when I married, the women at my church whom I had known as I grew up, made me a quilt, each contributing a square with something loving written on it and their name. Always so glad to read you.

    Dear Gail,
    You may not be a quilter, but you do know the various parts that make up a quilt and names of various blocks that can make up a quilt top. I do quilt and I found that your devotional resonated so much with me. I have often found it fascinating how colours and fabrics can relate to our lives. Sometimes we make quilts to bring comfort or celebrate a joyous occasion or encourage someone who is sick. I enjoyed the comparison you made to a quilt of life.
    Thank you for your thoughtful insight!

    Hi Gail. I absolutely love this devotion! I am not a quilter either, but I sure do admire each and every quilt I have ever seen or been fortunate enough to own.
    My grandmother quilted all her life, and her grandchildren were the lucky recipients of her beautiful creations. As well, I taught in a Mennonite community where many talented quilters displayed their craft on clotheslines or in stores. Upon my move from that community to another school, I was the recipient of a handmade quilt made by the parents and friends within that community. What a lucky lady I was!
    How warm Grandma’s quilts and the Mennonite-made quilt are when I snuggle under the covers.
    Thank you for your analogy today and keep up the good work!
    (ON Canada)

    HI Gail,
    Thank you for your devotional today. My mother did quilt, but it is not in my calling.
    When I read “uniquely and wonderfully” made it reminded me of a story that might make you smile. When our son was in 6th grade or so our church had an afternoon/evening event for fathers and sons of middle school age. They showed a film “uniquely and wonderfully made” and the purpose was to introduce sex education. So, when my husband came home, he was chuckling. One of our friends whose son was in the seventh grade was asked by his Dad, “What did you learn, son?” He said he learned how the sperm got to the female. His Dad said, “How did you think it got there?” Son, “I thought it crawled across the bed.”
    Thanks, Gail, for the devotional and for the reminder.

    Good morning, Gail,
    Definitely a great analogy between a quilt and a person’s life. I was surprised by how many ways you were able to address all the different aspects of the quilt with life.
    I have two quilts that I use on our bed that were made by my grandmother. I definitely enjoy them and can now think of them in a very different way. I have made small quilts and have enjoyed them for their beauty but now I can enjoy them and think about the life of other people and myself as I admire them.
    “Let’s be thankful for whatever pattern, design, materials, and use God has chosen for us. Each of us has been created for a special purpose, and we are unique and wonderfully made.” We all need reminders that we are unique, and God has made us for his purpose. We need to appreciate who we are and not be envious of who others are. We need to use the talents that have been given to us for the good of God’s plan.
    Thank you for the great picture of how our lives are reflected in the making of a quilt. May you have a blessed day and continue to inspire others with your thoughts.

    How beautifully said!
    Reminded me of another illustration of a weaver under the loom seeing only loose ends.
    God sees the pattern from the top.
    So our lives full of threads but in the end, God will weave them into a pattern.


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