Catching up

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post. Bible quilts are continually on my mind, but since I’m not the artist who can draw the coloring pages, I’m unable to crank out a lot of new stuff. Most of my pictures correspond with the Bible storybooks I am working on. I am still praying for artists who will share my vision for getting Bible quilts on Children’s beds.

My latest project is the story of Jonah. I’ve come up with a few layouts for these pictures, but have a long way to go before I will start sewing on them. I’ve included one of the Jonah layout ideas with this post.

I’ve also been sewing a banner using the pictures from The First Christmas Coloring Pages. This project was completed with the help of the youth at my church. I’ll post a picture when it is finished.

I am swallowing hard today as I venture into something new. I ordered a set of quality textile paints that I hope will help me create some of the details I’ve wanted to add that are too tiny to applique – such as the beak on the dove in my header, and some of the smaller animals on Noah’s Ark. Can you imagine mice and elephants in the same appliqued quilt block? I’m eagerly waiting for the paints to come in the mail. I’m also praying I will be able to develop the skill needed to use them well.

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Cheryl Almgren Taylor

I recently discovered Cheryl Almgren Taylor’s book while exploring Pinterest. She has designed and created some beautiful Bible themed quilts that I know my readers would enjoy. Cheryl graciously agreed to write a guest post about her book…

I want to thank Janice for inviting me to her blog. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Cheryl Almgren Taylor, a quilter and designer who specializes in fusible-web appliqué. My latest book, Inspirational Appliqué, published by Martingale (That Patchwork Place), is a collection of scripture-inspired quilts, wall hangings, and small projects. As I worked on the book, I felt a connection to the quilters of past generations who also used their quilting skills to express their deeply held religious beliefs. We are told that a common practice in historic quilts was to include a deliberate mistake to express the maker’s religious faith, the belief that nothing is perfect except God. I’ve never had to create a deliberate mistake in a quilt—I’m quite proficient at providing numerous mistakes without any extra effort, but I admire this tradition and its place in our heritage.

Birds of the Air

In Inspirational Appliqué I designed special quilts based on passages of scripture that were significant in my life. One of my quilts was inspired by Matt. 6:26, a scripture that my father kept posted in his work area, which says, “Consider the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” The quilt features four window panes, each with a vignette of birds. It is a reminder that we spend too much time worrying about things God has under control.

Fruit of the Spirit

One of my favorite quilts, which was quite challenging to design, is based on Gal 5: 22-23 and is my “Fruit of the Spirit” Wall Hanging. I deliberately chose red as a key design element because it historically has been used to represent the Holy Spirit, and the fruit included apples, pomegranates, and grapes, which all have spiritual significance. They are arranged in a heart shape to represent God’s love.

My Daily Bread

My “Daily Bread” Wall Hanging was done in a color palette of creams, gold tones, and blues and reminds me of my Swedish grandmother and her strong faith. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you need to understand that the national colors of Sweden are blue and yellow, and Grandma was very proud of her heritage.

Faith, Hope, and Love

Finally, my “Faith, Hope, and Love” Wall Hanging, inspired by 1 Cor. 13:13, features three intertwining hearts with the words “faith”, “hope”, and “love” quilted into their centers. This passage of scripture was read at my wedding and is always a source of comfort and inspiration.

Quilting is a source of great joy in my life and it has been a blessing to be able to express my faith through fabric, thread, and color. I wish you well on your quilting journey and feel free to drop by my website www.atimetosewquilts.com or email me at Cheryl@atimetosewquilts. Blessings to you all.~Cheryl

Thank you, Cheryl for sharing your beautiful quilts with us. Cheryl’s books and quilt kits can be purchased on her web page, A Time to Sew Quilts, or on Amazon.com.

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Plodding along…

Mary visited by the angel GabrielI had hoped to applique at least five advent pictures and have them posted by now along with some devotional thoughts, but life got in the way (I’m going to a new church and directing the choir). I finally completed this one after Christmas.

This is Gabriel visiting Mary and giving her the message that she would give birth to the Messiah.

I feel overwhelmed each time I start one of these appliqued images. Even though I had Violet Vandor’s illustration to go by and Nancy Gordon’s sketch to simplify the picture for quilting, I was still apprehensive as I tackled each part of the picture. I wonder if I’m being too much of a perfectionist or if I should simplify the pictures even more before trying to applique them.

My heart’s desire is to find a simpler way to make Bible quilts so children will have them on their beds or in the family TV room where they can inspire Bible reading and discussion. I recognize that applique isn’t going to be the answer for very many people, but I hope to inspire people to try to make Bible quilts one way or another.

I would love to get feedback from my readers. What would inspire you to make a Bible quilt? Are coloring pages a realistic approach to making the quilt pictures? Do I need to work harder at finding a way to get pre-printed fabrics with Bible pictures on it? That too seems overwhelming to me.

Some good news: I discovered a website that had square coloring page Bible story pictures on a web page today. The address is www.thecolor.com/

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