My second marriage fell apart over the course of years and ended with no grace. The court battle that ensued left me empty and exhausted in every sense of the word. One of my best girlfriends owns Rambling Rose Quilt Shop in the small eastern Colorado town of Cheyenne Wells. She introduced me to quality fabric, a quarter inch seam, and reminded me of my worth when I was unable to see even a hint of it. I made my first quilt top in her shop with my daughter playing dolls with her daughter at our feet. I left there each time reminded how much I can feel God’s love through the grace she extended me at the cutting table or in the back room listening to the long arm machine sing. Even when I took the fabric I purchased home and cut, pressed or sewed it, I could smell the rose scented shop and feel the strength she was so kind as to lend me. Beginning there in the quilt shop, I began to stitch my heart and life back together one piece at a time. The lessons I learned have driven me and allowed me to recover. Just like quilt fabric, the strength and quality of the people with whom you surround yourself matters. Even the most unlikely color and print combinations can be pieced and stitched into something outstanding if you begin with quality. With my toe on the foot feed, I was able to keep moving forward. There are many different speeds at which to progress but progress you must. The rhythm of the needle, at its slowest, is the perfect rhythm for a silent prayer, even if it is merely a whispered “help me”. Even the most skilled sewists can not produce a perfect product with a bad seam. I spent more time ripping seams than I would dare admit to the ultra talented sewists in my life but every ripped stitch took me one step closer to finding myself where I wanted to be. I’ve spent some time listening to Kristy’s long arm machine sing and spin, stitching together a quilt someone has worked so hard to prepare. Just like a top, batting, and backing stitched together- just like the Trinity- humans love spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I thought I would never trust myself to love after my marriage left me flat on the ground, unable to even pray outside of tears. One stitch at a time. I made mistakes on one particular quilt that left it nearly impossible to use. Kristy and I smoothed it out on the table and she didn’t fix it for me but told me what she would do. I tore it apart nearly to the block before I sewed it back together. The final product was presented to a graduating senior and it was everything she hoped it would be. No one can save you and you don’t want them to. I didn’t want to be a damsel in distress and allow someone to save me. What I ended up with was the ability to save myself with strong, faithful people standing at my side. Now, in my home, I have a quilt my grandmother hand stitched for my son. Each two inch square is made from familiar fabric from my childhood spending summers with her and my grandpa in steamy Missouri. My grandmother made every stitch by hand. Alongside that quilt is the quilt made from polished cotton my mother made me by hand. I’ve spent hours beneath that quilt and have never found a single flaw. And scattered elsewhere in our home are the quilts I’ve made. Each one is better than the last. Each one has a story and each one has prayers stitched into every square. Thank God for the ability to save myself and to stitch my world back together.