The summer of 2014 we visited Glacier National Park in Montana. After checking into the “Cheap Sleep” motel, we were on our own to explore. (YES, that’s the actual name of the motel!) Tonya, our tour guide, would not be available until the next day. As is my custom, I had a list of nearby quilt shops. Also in tow, was my tote bag with the prayer quilt and ALL THE STUFF needed to accost innocent strangers!
“Glacier Quilts” is a great quilt shop with fabric everywhere! They seemed to carry every quilting ruler, gizmos and gizwats, you could imagine. It was the first shop where I found fabric printed with huckleberry designs! The berry itself only grows in the northwestern US and Canada. They require elevations of 2,000 feet or more. We have been told they only grow in the wild and are impossible to cultivate. The woman cutting my huckleberry fabric was very outgoing and talked nonstop as she measured and cut.
I was hesitant to interrupt her monologue. I nervously waited for an opportunity to ask a favor of her! As her words spilled out, I became less and less confident about asking her for a favor! Finally, I heard it, silence! My opportunity had arrived, and my courage had taken a ride! There I stand, clutching my tote bag, staring at the silence. Then I hear myself say “Would you do me a favor and sign my quilt?”. There it was out of my mouth now all I had to do was wait.
I’ve never been good at waiting, in fact I am terrible at waiting! As she contemplated the request, my mind went to a thousand different responses she might offer, none very positive. I was brought back to reality as she began to shout to her coworkers and customers! “Everyone come sign this lady’s quilt, she’s from Texas!”.
That was the first time someone I asked to sign my quilt then in turn invited others to sign! I love it when that happens! Soon several women eagerly gather around the cutting table, each eager to sign my quilt. I explain it is also a prayer quilt and the mood changes from giggles to serious in a heartbeat. Each woman has a request. Some requests are general, health and happiness, friends and family. Other request are desperate pleas for loved ones battling terminal illnesses or broken hurtful relationships.
As I pay for my huckleberry fabric, some of the women are still lingering near me. They send me on my way with hugs and heartfelt thank you. They all say smiling they have never been asked to sign a quilt before and it made their day! I really did not know what to expect when I started this prayer quilt journey. I thought the signers might enjoy being asked to sign my quilt! I hope they would see the benefit of having folks pray for them. I had no idea how deeply it would affect me. I was awed by what God did that day in that quilt shop. As I wrote down each woman’s name and prayer request I was both humbled and overwhelmed.
Written by Susan