By Linda Post Bushkofsky

IT WAS A HUMBLE NINE-PATCH SCRAP QUILT that started my lifelong love affair with quilting. My maternal
grandmother made it for my sixth birthday. Little did I know then where my quilting journey would take me. All I knew was that I was fascinated with all the different fabrics and the pattern the nine-patch blocks made. Within a couple of years, I had pieced my first quilt top, a small quilt for one of my dolls. In the ensuing decades, I’ve made many quilts, most of them to honor relationships. I’ve made a few quilts just to explore new patterns and creative ideas, but most have been to celebrate births, birthdays, graduations, weddings and friendships.

For me, quilts and quilting have always been grounded in relationships with women of all ages. In quilt guilds, I’ve learned so much through monthly lectures, frequent workshops and casual conversations among the women (and a few men) gathered. Through less formal gatherings, like quilting bees, I’ve learned as much about life as I have about quilting. For 30 years or so, I’ve been involved in various online quilt groups where women have been ready to share a creative idea or solve a thorny problem.

By studying quilt history, not only have patterns come to life for me, but I’ve learned so much about women’s lives over the last two centuries. When I’ve stopped at quilt shops wherever my travels have taken me, I’ve always found a welcoming community willing to share their love of quilting and all their tips and tricks. On my quilting journey, I’ve also come to know of quilters in my family, including great-grandmothers and even a great-great-grandfather.

In-person meetings. Study and learning. Women of all ages. Service projects. Supporting one another. While I’ve found all that and more within the world of quilting, I’ve found it somewhere else too. And so have you. Within our women’s organization, women of all ages come together in community for service, study, worship and fellowship.

This coming together is an essential part of our faith journeys. It’s where we learn, share, grieve, celebrate and grow in discipleship. Those of us who know this experience don’t jealously keep it to ourselves. We want other women to know and appreciate what an incredible and holy thing it is to come together as Christian women.

Women of the ELCA is about to embark on a special journey to raise money for the Katharina von Bora Luther Endowment Fund, lovingly known as Katie’s Fund. As an endowment, Katie’s Fund ensures funding for ministry for all time. You’ll be learning more about this special effort in the coming months. For now, I invite you to think of the women who have been important in your faith journey. Your baptismal sponsor. A mentor. A Sunday school teacher. A confirmand. Someone in your circle. A pastor or deacon. Might you make a gift in memory of those no longer living? Or a gift in honor of those who walk with you now? For now, offer prayers of thanksgiving for these women and consider how you might support Katie’s Fund in the coming months.

Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director, Women of the ELCA.

Photo credit: The abstract of the quilt, “My happy teal church,” was created by JoAnn Worsencroft, Parma Heights, Oh., Women of the ELCA.

This article is from the May/June 2022 issue of Gather magazine. To read more like it, subscribe to Gather