Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Patches Quilt and Thoughts on Tradition

The Ministers of the Cloth have completed piecing the first "Patches" Quilt, which has military patches and insignia sent to the group anysoldier by soldiers on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Each square has a patch and is embroidered with the name, regiment and location of the soldier who contributed it.

The next step will be the actual quilting. We have been told that the quilt will be displayed in the rotunda of the Capitol building in Washington DC when it is complete. Now we are thinking about organizing a group field trip to view it there!

We have received more patches than we can include in one quilt, so we plan to continue making these quilts as long as the soldiers send us patches.

Today I read to the group a note from a local doctor who presented one of our quilts to the family of a soldier who died in Iraq, thanking us for the quilt and telling us how much it meant to the family who are devastated by their loss. We continue to sew and pray for those who are serving all of us at home in dangerous places around the world.

I remember my grandmother participating for many years in a quilting group at the church where I grew up. When she died at the age of 98, an elderly woman introduced herself to me as the "baby" of the quilt group and recalled anecdotes of my grandmother with me. In a world of rapidly changing technology and lack of connection, it is comforting to see the Ministers of the Cloth as a part of a very old tradition in the church of women gathering together to sew for the community as a ministry. I can see this group as part of the long chain of faithful witnesses to Christ that links back to Dorcas in Acts.

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