Gatherings...Needles and Thread

Theme
: Needles and Thread – a women’s event
 
Invitations
Use quilt pattern blocks as a background for your paper invitations. Give date, time, and place of event as well as anything women need to bring for refreshments or a ministry project
 
Decorations
Use the quilts you have placed on the walls to decorate your meeting area. Drape them over a piano, on stage, on chairs or sofas, etc. If food will be served, placemats can be made by photocopying quilt blocks from quilting books. It is possible to find patchwork style paper goods. If your group is small, you may be able to enlist a group of women to make simple fabric placemats that each woman can take home as a souvenir.
 
Icebreaker Activity
The theme of this event lends itself very nicely to using quilts – old ones and modern ones. It won’t matter if they are handmade or commercially made quilts. If possible display the quilts around the room where the event will be held. Give each quilt a number and ask women to identify the quilts’ pattern names. If you think this will be too difficult, list the quilt patterns on paper and ask women to match the numbers and the names. Give a prize to the woman who gets the most correct answers. Greet women as they arrive and ask them to participate in the icebreaker activity immediately. (Note: if you don’t have access to quilts, make large color photocopies of quilts and post them on walls around the room and use the same matching activity)
 
Event Details
  • If a meal is not served and no table seating is needed, arrange chairs in casual groups creating vignettes of quilts, rugs, rockers, plants, etc. The program can be presented in this setting.
  • Enlist a guest speaker to address your theme or one of your own women to present a devotion about God’s design for our lives. Be sure to ask speakers to use the Needles & Thread theme in their comments.
  • Arrange for special music and/or group singing.
  • If refreshments are served, carryout the quilt theme in paper goods and food table décor.
  • A door prize drawing could present a devotional book based on quilt patterns or a purchased or donated small quilted wall hanging.
  • If by chance you are presenting a program that contains historical information, using quilts and this theme will transport your women to another time in history.
 

Devotional: God’s Pattern for Our Lives

The beautiful quilt patterns women have used through the decades have brought great beauty into our lives, haven’t they? Some of my most treasured possessions are the quilts I have received from my grandmother and close friends. The pattern names are interesting and we wonder how our foremothers thought of all of them! While they made the quilts out of necessity to stay warm, we regard them almost as an art form.

As we look around us we can see patterns everywhere. God’s creation reveals patterns. Think about the four seasons. Take fall for example: planting, harvesting. The patterns of snowflakes in winter and the pattern of flowers and the leaves of trees are rich with pattern and God's creativity. When we see the families of animals in nature, we find patterns there, too.
 
Our own daily lives show patterns also. Our very habits are patterns, aren’t they? Not all of our habits are positive, but they are still patterns! Our behavior indicates patterns too. We do things a certain way, follow certain steps – patterns! In the past, patterns were seen in the occupation a son had. If his father was a goldsmith or a farmer, so was he. 
 
Scientists see patterns through observation --- earthquakes, hurricanes, and other weather issues provide patterns. How about certain physical traits that we inherit? Red hair runs in families – a pattern! My mother has a funny little toe that has been found in both of her children, in her daughter’s three children and all six of their children! A definite pattern.
 
The Bible talks about patterns. We see God’s faithfulness and love over and over again in Scripture. We also see man’s fickleness and disobedience frequently which creates another pattern (2 Timothy 1:13, Hebrews 8:5). Worship and sacrifice patterns are given in the Old Testament. Adam is said to be a pattern of Christ. Christ is the perfect pattern for us to follow.
 
The Bible also records the stories of women whose lives provide us with patterns of behavior that give us examples of how we should live our lives. The popular Proverbs 31 woman’s actions reveal a pattern of consistency. We see that consistency as she cares for her family and for others, is faithful to God. Because of her life a pattern of influence emerges.
 
Consider the patterns these other women provide for us:
* Mary, mother of Jesus – pattern of devotion
* Deborah the judge – pattern of availability
* Dorcas – pattern of service
* Esther – pattern of willingness & courage
* Martha – pattern of responsibility
 
We see these patterns because these women let God direct their lives.
 
About 20 years ago an aunt gave me a quilt. She knew I loved anything old. She had begun the quilt but had never finished it. It was pieced but had not been put together, bordered, had batting or a backing attached. I still have the quilt Aunt Dixie gave me. It is still unfinished! It really won’t become a quilt until I put all the pieces together and quilt it. We are similar to Aunt Dixie’s quilt.  We won’t become all God wants us to be if we don’t allow Him to take all the pieces of our lives and join them together as He sees fit.
 
He wants to take the pieces to prepare us…. To fine-tune us….. to mold us into something He can use.
 
The few quilting attempts I have made have proved that I am an amateur! No one would confuse my stitches with those of my grandmother or my mother-in-law. I avoid patterns that require matching points because my efforts just don’t measure up. Our quilting results in jagged edges, unmatched points, crooked seams….but when we give our pieces to God, He joins them to make His unique pattern for each one of us.
 
READ Romans 12: 1-2 from The Message.
 
Let’s commit to allowing God to determine the pattern of our lives so we can be the women and leaders He intends for us to be.
Last Published: August 24, 2007 6:49 PM