Quilting Plan for “The Way It Is”

March 14, 2009 at 11:23 pm Leave a comment

I have been thinking, praying about how to quilt the woodcut image of “The Way It Is”, a man desperately crying out to God.  The original church banner was not quilted, just plain black and white.  I wanted to show that more was going on. 

Sometimes when we try to pray,  it seems like we can’t break through the distraction of the day to day events.  In extreme situations,  we are in such painful circumstances, we can’t pray at all.  The words don’t come, even thoughts are incoherent.  We can only cry out, “O God, help!”  But God hears, even if it seems like we are at the bottom of a pit crying out to the light. 

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. …….  To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.  Jonah  2:1-6

To represent the intensity of prayer, I quilted an aura surrounding the man and extending heavenword crystal-quilting1from his raised hand. I also wanted to show something of that pit that Jothe-way-it-is-quiltingnah experienced.  I found one of the quilting patterns at Patsy Thomson’s website http://patsythompsondesigns.com to provide a crystalline pattern I thought would convey what I wanted.  I pinned the quilt to the design wall and moved yarn around til I was pleased with the line.  I wanted sharp angles, because what drives us to prayer, and also distracts us, are the painful thoughts and circumstances of life. The crystalline quilting now fills the space to the left, right and below the figure.

Somehow, the story told by this image was incomplete. Yes, prayer, especially intercessory prayer, is a spiritual struggle. Yet I also wanted to show that in prayer, the repressive influence loosens, as God’s Spirit helps us to connect with him, to be aware of his presence.  And so, I asked for some way to show that grace of God moving down to embrace the one who is seeking Him, forcing the intrusive circumstances away to provide an envelope of peace that allows communion to occur.  Man cries out to God. And God listens.

What developed to show this divine intervention to enable effective prayer is a vertical quilting pattern set into a background of stiple. The vertical quilting sets up a vibration in the air that offsets the random confusion in the surrounding air.the-way-it-is-quilting-plan-final-cropped

Of course, as the quilting is white on white, the struggle and consummation of that struggle in communication between God and Man is subtle, will only be apparent if the light falls a certain way.  And so, too, are the unseen influences that make up the landscape of prayer, communication with God, and spiritual forces that seek to cripple that communion. You have to be sensitive to more than the gross outline offered to our physical senses, to be aware of the greater reality of the spirit. 

the-way-it-is-quilting-plan-final-compI am so thankful that God made a way for communion and fellowship with Him to be restored. What blocks this relationship is sin, ours, and even that of the culture in which we live. Without the work of His Son, no fellowship is possible.  Without personally accepting the part our own sin plays in that separation, and following through with accepting Jesus as the only adequate and necessary way back to God, each of us is lost, separated forever from Him, in this physical life and the eternity to follow.


Entry filed under: Sanctuary Art, Uncategorized, Wall Hangings.

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