Rayna

Ranya Gillman was a wonderful teacher to work with at Quilt Wyoming.  I was already an admirer or her quilts and books, but hadn’t yet really explored the idea of sewing in an improvisational method.  It makes sense though; I play jazz improvisation; why not try that in my quilting?  Rayna set us completely at ease from the very start.  Well, I guess I should say, “She tried to set everyone at ease,” because some of the ladies were freaking out about having to sew without a pattern!  But they soon fell in step and made some beautiful creations.

The best way she inspired us was by sharing some of her own quilts with us, up close and personal.  They are absolutely beautiful!  They resulted from Rayna experimenting with the blocks and asking herself, “What if…I did this or that?”  She let the fabric and the blocks, as viewed on a design wall, determine the next direction to go.  Aren’t they beautiful?

Here is Rayna with the quilt that is on the cover of her book, Create Your Own Improv Quilts.  I absolutely love it!  Next week I’ll explain more about the improv method she taught us, and show what I came up with.

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Journey to Survival

Broken Glass

As a start to my new Word of the Year, I’d like to share this devotion from Beth Moore.  It speaks about joy in a very interesting way:

Seven blessings are pronounced during a Jewish wedding ceremony, each of which comes from the dignitaries at the wedding, my friend Arie tells me.  Usually the rabbi begins it.  Then maybe a father-in-law, maybe an uncle, maybe an older brother.  But there are seven blessings spoken.  And the seventh blessing is always the blessing over Jerusalem.  I find this to be very intriguing.  The blessing goes something like this:  “Bless You, Lord, the Builder of Jerusalem, who will rebuild the temple one day.”

Then what do you suppose they do?  What is the part you and I probably now the best?  Right–they break the glass.

Arie said, “There are some who think that the broken glass just begins the great ceremony, but that is not what it’s about.  The breaking of the glass is to bring them to a very sober time of thinking that in the midst of great celebration, we must remember” — and I’m quoting his exact words — “that our joy is incomplete.”

I said, “Okay, Arie.  What makes our joy incomplete?” (Remember all the times that Christ said, “Make My joy complete?”)  “What makes our joy incomplete, Arie?”

“Two things,” he said.  “The first thing is that some of our loved ones are missing from the wedding, those who have already died.  The second one is because there is no temple for now in Jerusalem.”

But for us as New Testament believers, both of those longings have been satisfied.  Regarding our loved ones:  those in Christ will be present at the wedding supper of the Lamb.  And regarding the temple:  well, no, there’s not a temple in this new Jerusalem.  But that’s okay, “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22).  Who needs a place of worship when the object of our worship is right here before us, not seen through representation and symbolism, but here for the enjoying?

Isn’t that enormous?  No more sadness, reflection, regret, or mourning.  No more holes in our happiness–having someone who’s not there to share it with, a shoe waiting to drop.  No more taking worship to a level that only makes our heart ache for more.  Do you understand that our joy gets to be complete, just as John had reported, just as Jesus had said?  –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 511

 

Back to Life

This is a very compelling story about Angelyn, whose life was nearly destroyed by drugs.  Listen to her carefully, and see if you might want to sponsor a child like her, to give hope and a future.

Happiness

Compassion’s ministry is helping thousands of mothers, especially young ones, to learn now to care for their new babies.  They’re providing resources, education and supplies that make it possible, literally, for the babies to survive.  This is a really sweet and compelling video you don’t want to miss: