After I married Don Bair, I had time to pursue hobbies that had interested me. I tried knitting.Embroidery. Calligraphy. And crafting natural objects such as dried leaves,pods, and seeds into attractive pieces of art.
If wasn’t until my sister-in-law introduced me to the art of quilting that I set aside all other hobbies for my new passion. I spent hours choosing fabrics, finding the right patterns, cutting the fabric into pieces, and sewing them together into beautiful, useful items. I began to make quilts to sell. Soon our small house overran with bolts of fabric so we decided to buy a used trailer to house my new business, which I called Three Bairs’ Quiltery. It stood not twenty feet from our country house.
My passion grew. I began to teach quilting. I attended quilt shows. I started a local quilt club,one that continues after almost 30 years.
Over time, my favorite quilts became patchwork quilts, which call for many pieces of numerous, harmonious patterns of fabric. Sometimes they’re called Samplers.
Quilting is a metaphor about my life, I discovered.
Fabric choices of color and pattern determine the final beauty of a piece. The choices I make in life also can be beautiful. I can choose to be kind and joyful, patient and loving. With the Lord’s help, I can become as harmoniously colorful as a quilt.
How closely I follow directions also determines the outcome of my quilt. Sometimes I try to hurry through a project and the end result broadcasts my impatience to the world. My crooked stitches end up as unmatched pieces. I need to remember Paul’s words: “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians10:31)
Variety is the spice of a quilt’s life. Apiece can have plaids, dots, and stripes and still be lovely if the colors blend well. And a quilt needs at least one contrasting color that stands out. Choosing all pale colors means a piece will look … pale. I love variety. Without it, I get bored. We can all find new pieces of variety in our lives. Driving a back road to work, for instance, can offer a new perspective on nature or on a knotty problem that gives us angst, and might bring a more positive feeling about life.
I hope you enjoy my writing samplers about life. Please let me know your thoughts.