April 16, 2018

Wavy Borders

Devotion for the Week...

My local quilt shop owner recently bought a long arm machine. After she'd had it for a while, she started offering long arm quilting services and a while after that I asked her how things were going. She is really enjoying the quilting, but we had a good laugh together about wavy borders.

"I never understood what other long armers were talking about when they complained about wavy borders," she told me. "I thought they were just being over dramatic, but they weren't! One quilt I had was 6" wider at the ends than it was in the middle!"

Wavy borders happen when quilters cut a strip of fabric to be the border, but they don't measure the quilt and cut the length of the border to fit. Instead they just start sewing it on and when they reach the end of the quilt, they cut the border even with the edge of the quilt top. The problem is that as we sew, we tend to stretch the fabric just slightly. If you're adding multiple borders, stretching the edge each time, then the edge of the quilt gets bigger and bigger while the middle of the quilt stays the same size. It's a slightly hourglass-like shape when it's supposed to be a perfect rectangle. Then, when a long arm quilter is trying to make the quilt edges square up, there's all kinds of extra fabric in the borders, which makes it almost impossible to quilt the border smooth and flat.

She tried to explain this to a couple of customers, but they just waved their hands and shook their heads. "I've been quilting for thirty years. I know how to put on a border," was a typical response.

 Obviously, sewing on quilt borders is an inconsequential thing. Whether it's done properly or not doesn't have an effect on much at all (except the long armers patience, probably). But it is a good example of an attitude we can all exhibit at times.

"I've done this before. You don't need to tell me what to do."

Proverbs 10:8 says, "The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces." In that moment, when someone is trying to correct something we're doing wrong, we have a choice. We can listen or we can wave them off and insist we know what we're doing.

The other person won't always be right and we might actually know what we're doing, but that's not the issue here. The issue is our attitude. Do we just assume that we know what we're doing, without being willing to listen to what the other person is suggesting? Or are we willing to consider another point of view, another way, and in so doing maybe find something valuable?

A person is not wise because they know everything. Dictionary.com defines wise as "having the power of discerning and judging properly what is true or right." Being wise, then, starts with being willing to listen to what others have to say, even if they're saying we're doing something wrong. Being wise means we listen to them and then evaluate whether or not we think they're right.

And if they're right, of course, then we do our best to incorporate their advice into our lives. We let their instructions change us for the better. Proverbs 15:If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise."
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The next time someone offers a little constructive criticism, let's take a moment and think about what they're saying, rather than brushing it off. I'd rather be at home among the wise than be a babbling fool, insisting I know everything I need to know, and falling flat on my face. Wouldn't you?

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