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Piecing It Together

Amyandquilters

Amy and children with quilting group

By Amy Larsen

It’s no secret I picked Abiding Presence because of the opportunity to become part of a quilting group – a detail I found on the church website when I was searching for churches before we moved here from El Paso in July 2013. My husband Chris is in the Army and was selected for a training program in San Antonio. I was excited about moving to San Antonio but nervous about the road ahead.

I had never been part of a quilting group before; apparently it’s not something someone my age typically does. I make baby quilts and Halloween costumes for my kids, but I am a self-taught crafter and typically sew alone. I don’t know why I was so adamant about joining a quilting group. Maybe I was looking for a non-threatening social circle. I knew joining some kind of group would be good to help with the move and transitions. We had just lost our infant son, Adam, and I needed a reason to get me out of the house. The couch is a nice, safe place during the grief process but not necessarily the healthiest choice. After we moved to San Antonio it was tough to meet new people and make friends. I wanted to grieve privately and I wasn’t ready to tell my story right away.

In a determined first step, I joined the quilting group right after we moved here. The group welcomed me AND my children (Carlee age 5 and James age 2 ½ at the time) with open arms. They were loving and supportive without knowing my story. During the quilting time, I could be quiet and listen and be around great women without having to talk or be too “social.” In between piecing, pinning, and sewing they would tell their stories and I soon learned these women had experienced hurt and grief as well. I realize why people attend support groups for different challenges; it’s easier to share and be open when the people you are talking to have been through similar situations. This group of women have raised children (buried children) had occupations, been/are married, etc. And we’ve become family.

In life, like sewing, I don’t have it all figured out, but I’ve learned a lot in the last couple years. As we piece and pin and sew, what seem to be scraps come together in a beautiful relationship of colors and shapes in a life and love giving quilt.

(Amy Larson is part of a growing group of women who meet weekly to assemble quilts for Lutheran World Relief. In April of 2015 the group sent 120 quilts, 60 personal care kits, and 100 school kits.  “Red envelope” donations that month also funded a $2500 donation to the LWR Shipping Fund.)

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