Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stripping Away

You might remember this folk art assemblage quilt I had pieced together a few posts back, having been inspired by the work of Janet Cooper.

I finally began to permanently assemble it, but in order to do so I first had to remove all the assemblage pieces so that I could start to sew the foundation together.

I started with a border of red eyelash trim around the old doll quilt. If you look at the original photo, you won't see it, I hadn't planned to use it before, but as I put it together I knew it needed to be included. Just that tiny embellishment made the quilt come alive visually.

Next came the red and white doilie down the middle, then the vintage linen hanky with its fresh Spring like border. I have folded it to create a little pocket.

And finally the centerpiece is some sort of odd ladies hat. As much as I am delighting with the way it looks here on my quilt, it amuses me to think of this on somebody's head.

As I started to sew the foundation together I began to think about all the pieces I had to remove in order to start. Even though the quilt looked finished in the photo I took, it would not have held together if it was moved. It made me think about how much, once again, my art was hinting at what was happening in my life.

When this season of storms began for my husband and I, I "happened" to hear a radio program in which the speaker said "Sometimes God will allow everything we rely on to be stripped away in order to teach us to only rely on Him." And that is what has been happening ever since my husband was laid off from his job.

One by one God has been loosening my grip on the things I believed were my security, the things that I could count on in my life and as I recognize what has been happening, I realize that He isn't finished yet.

I believe that not only is He teaching me to rely on Him alone, but He is showing me that while my life may have had the appearance of being put together, nothing was securely attached. The foundation wasn't solid enough and if He had answered the prayers I have been praying for Him to answer, we would not have held together. It sounds backwards, but He has to take it all apart in order to put it together the right way.

As I attach each piece to my quilt, it becomes more and more beautiful to me. When I am finished it may look a lot different then I first envisioned it. I'm betting it will look even better then I imagined it.

With God as my Creator, I'm betting my life will too.


  1. Praise Him and trust Him, even when we don't understand Him. He loves us, even when we don't think He's near. I love reading your blog, dear Crystal, because it takes me back to where I need to be. I'm sorry for the trials, but they do indeed grow us up for Him. Blessings to you! --LaRinda

  2. I have been lurking for some time - this is my favorite post. I always try to find meaning in my works and I can see that you do as well. Hugs and positive thoughts on the way to you.

  3. A wonderful quilt with a lot of faith sewn into it. It is a visual record of your learning and I feel inspired just looking at it.

    I hope things improve for you soon.

    Kari x

  4. Beautiful! I love the lady's hat centerpiece!


  5. Crystal,

    What a great post and project. I just love how God talks to us in so many ways...especially our art. What a wonderful visual and physical experience He has given you to remind you He is with you and His will is perfect.

  6. Crystal, I was offline for a while due to techie problems, but I'm back now. I love your blog so much - your honesty, even when painful, your creativeness, and your sensitive heart. You are a continual inspiration and I'm grateful the Lord caused our paths to cross. I appreciate you greatly and you are in my prayers.

  7. You inspire with every's just lovely!

  8. Crystal, I know what you mean that He must tear things apart in order to rebuild them on a solid foundation. Wow, is that happening here right health, my Dad's health and my family of faith all seem to be being torn apart.
    But His arm is not too short. Your words, and your gift, and this post are encouragement and bring light into my life today. God bless you!

    The quilt is beautiful!


  9. Crystal,
    I was just reading 2 Cor. 1:3 the other night after a very trying day, and it's so awesome how God shows us what we need to see at the right time. Paul was talking about how God comforts us, how we comfort others, and how the more we suffer, the more He comforts us. I haven't been reading alot lately, but I felt very comforted at that moment, like God knew exactly where I was in my life. Also, I pray that you and your husband would be unified- I've only been married a little over a year, but I'm learning how important that is. Keep up your hard work! Ellene

  10. Hi Crystal, I took a season away from the computer and art as I focused my energy on my family, and health issues. I'm starting to get back into my art and it feels great. I love what you said about this piece. This past year has been difficult for me and I feel like your quilt! Taken apart and being slowly and gently pieced back together into a stronger and more beautiful work of God's hands. I still have your cabinet assemblage with the tree of life and missions picture on my mantel. I get so many wonderful comments on it. It is one of my favorite treasures in my house. Have a blessed day!

  11. Crystal, it's been so long since you last posted! I just want you to know you've been on my mind and in my prayers.
    I'd email you, but my computer crashed and I lost addresses. :(