Monday, October 5, 2015

A Spiritual Gift


“If you are a craftsman…only look at your tools, your needle, your thimble…your scales, your measures, and you will find this saying written on them… ‘My dear, use me toward your neighbor, as you would want him to act towards you with that which is his.”              Martin Luther

When our family first joined Rejoice Lutheran Church, new members were encouraged to assess their spiritual gifts and apply them in service to the congregation. As a quilt maker, it wasn’t surprising that liturgical art was my forte. For several years, I put my sewing skills to work making banners for worship.

That was long ago, and my days of “making” are over. Nevertheless, I've felt a persistent calling to contribute one more banner to Rejoice. And why not? Just because I can’t make things, doesn’t mean I can’t make things happen!

My friend, Wanda Hanson, is a remarkable quilt artist, a genius with color and design, who blends fabrics from her palette of thousands into extraordinary one of a kind pieces. After seeing Wanda's latest series of colorwash quilts, I knew they'd be perfect for Rejoice!

The first time I approached Wanda about making a banner she declined. But at some point, my "calling" became her "calling" too. Eventually, she looked on the project as a personal challenge and an opportunity to share her God given talents with others.

The Creation story became our theme ~ both the scriptural version:

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw the light, and it was good.  Genesis 1:3-4  


as well as the scientific theory for the origin of the universe ~ a kind of Bible/Big Bang mashup!
Wanda cut, arranged and sewed hundreds of luminous batiks, 356 3"x 6” rectangles to be exact, each a different color and print, to create “Let there be Light”


Wanda with the 69" x 93” banner

What better backdrop for worship could there be than this glorious riot of color, representing God's creation and His loving spirit at work inside us all?



double click to enlarge

Visit Wanda's blog, Exuberant Color.


16 comments:

  1. Wanda is an artist and is inspired just like those who made those timeless stained glass windows.

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  2. A simple and beautiful post and tribute to our use of talents. I appreciate you sharing the rest of the story on this piece by Wanda. It is amazing to behold in its place of worship. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Thank you for telling us more about this beautiful piece.

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  4. This post made me cry. It says what I try to do in my quilting of comfort quilts and art quilts. Thanks for the quote and validation of using our gifts and resources. Wanda is the best! I owe so much to her talent and explanations.

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  5. I watched the progress as Wanda worked on it. So nice to see it in place. What a lovely focal point for worship.

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  6. Lovely to see Wanda's efforts appreciated. I think that wall should be painted to better accent her work.

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  7. I subscribe to Wanda's blog and watched the progress of this lovely quilt from it's inception. I am thrilled to see where it ended up! A wonderful tribute to the book of Genesis! I sew banners for St. John Lutheran church in Eagle Point, Oregon.

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  8. Stunning, beautiful, gorgeous! Could not be more perfect for that space.

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  9. Thank you for allowing us to see the banner in your church, it is perfect.

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  10. Wanda's work never ceases to amaze me. I, too, watched the progress of this quilt and am in awe of its beauty in that location. It is absolutely perfect.

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  11. Love the quilt, love Wanda who is such a nice person, and love that quote from Luther. Can you let me know where it came from? I'm starting an "Arts in Ministry" in our church and it fits!
    epm dot mail dot 444 at gmail dot com

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  12. Oh, my goodness...a post from you...and one featuring two friends, you and Wanda...This is so uplifting. xxoo

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  13. I cannot imagine a more appropriate and beautiful enhancement for worship.

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  14. Thank you for this marvelous sharing. Thank you for your calling and vision. And thank you to Wanda, who I count as a friend and mentor, for sharing her amazing gifts and talents.

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  15. My little corner of France, I'm glad to see you!
       Friendship Mamifleur

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  16. Beautiful! How wonderful it must be to sit in church, listening to a good sermon and watch the banner!!!

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