In a last-minute decision, I paid the fee for the Immanuel Quilt Ministry to be a vendor in the first-ever Virtual Quilt Show. The final numbers were delivered in my inbox.
VQS attendees—48,000. They were expecting 5,000
VQS page views—604,000
VQS attendees visiting the Immanuel Quilt Ministry booth—1,005
VQS sales for Immanuel Quilt Ministry—2
Was it a success?
Near the beginning of the year I had two separate, but similar dreams. Both related to me conducting workshops and teaching women how to make blocks portrayed in the Immanuel Quilt. Since the inception of the Immanuel Quilt women have asked for the pattern. I’d always responded the same, “It’s a unique quilt.”
After receiving these dreams and reflecting back I saw that over the last year my response had changed to inquiries for the pattern. I started saying, “If God wants me to make the pattern available, He will let me know.”
I was scheduled to speak at a quilt show on April 3-4 in Decatur, IL. Wondering if the dreams were God’s way of telling me that He now wanted me to make the pattern available, I asked that if it was His will, He bring a person with the knowledge and know-how to me at the quilt show. Due to COVID-19, the quilt show was canceled.
Mid-April, I get the invite to be a vendor at the Virtual Quilt Show—the last week in April.
The decision to participate didn’t come easy. I didn’t know if paying the $250 fee for a virtual booth space would be a wise use of the ministry funds. My gut told me it was something that I needed to do.
I uploaded photos for the book, the notecards, and the children’s curriculum. The items were put in the VQS store along with the merchandise of all the other vendors. I also uploaded a video to my VQS booth with me telling tidbits of the story of the Immanuel Quilt. Each day I logged into my VQS booth for a few hours, waiting for someone to visit. No one came. I trusted though that God was behind the scenes doing something that I could not see.
Finally, on the fourth day, my one and only visitor came. Corrine Hewitt, a Canadian quilt store owner and author who had help getting her book published by the same person who had helped me get the Immanuel Quilt published. As a quilter, she had also created and published 18 quilt patterns. By the end of our conversation, she had offered to turn the Immanuel Quilt into a pattern for me.
God answered my prayer and sent a person to me with the knowledge and know-how to publish a quilt pattern. And He had even sent her to me while participating in a quilt show during April. Still, I was reluctant to believe the Immanuel Quilt was to be made into a pattern available for anyone to make. It’s a unique quilt.
Maybe, I have gotten a bit too attached to the quilt, or perhaps my resistance has to do with a message I received shortly after The Immanuel Quilt was published. An email came in from a woman asking if there was a pattern for the quilt. I responded, “No, it’s a unique quilt.”
“Good,” she wrote back, “You can’t call the Immanuel Quilt a unique quilt if there is a pattern for it.”
The woman was questioning the claim that the Immanuel Quilt is unique.
The day after speaking with Hewitt, another Canadian quilt store owner, visiting the VQS, bought my book. Since shipping the book was going to cost $34, I called her to see if she still wanted the book. She chose to cancel the order but not before admitting she was purchasing the book to host a workshop to teach others how to make the Immanuel Quilt.
God certainly had my attention!
The following morning, I woke with a word stationed in my thoughts. Imitate.
Twice, in the making of the Immanuel Quilt God delivered one-word riddles to me. Was this another one-word riddle from God? The Bible tells us to imitate Jesus. To pattern our lives after Him and to fix our eyes on Him.
With each of the previous one-word riddles, another sign from God followed. With the name, Immanuel, He put the handwriting on the wall. With the word, invisible, He took me to Scripture to show me why He wanted the quilt stitched in invisible thread. “So, Lord,” I prayed, “Please, just one more sign to confirm this is Your will.”’
That very afternoon–I received an email asking what workshops I offer.
The story does not end here.
The message came from a woman who had visited the Virtual Quilt Show. She had watched the video I had added and, as the program director of a quilt guild, she wanted to see about me doing a workshop for her guild. She realized after she hit send, that I am merely a storyteller. But she had already pressed send. The message was on its way.
I called to tell her I offer no workshops, but that her email was timely sent. I shared with her all that I have just shared with you. Interestingly, as soon as she clicked send, she realized the video said I was a storyteller. She knew I offered no workshops, but the message had done been sent. In my opinion, one divine message—one final sign to confirm God’s plan.
She said, “Honey, I am the wife of an Army Chaplain. I know how God speaks and I don’t think He can speak any clearer. He is opening this door for you so that you may share the message of the quilt, the gospel, to an all-new audience.”.
God’s plan for me to participate in the Virtual Quilt Show was to show me the next step to take with the ministry. He wants to do something new with the Immanuel Quilt to reach more people.
The Immanuel Quilt is only another beautiful quilt without the story. Right? With that in mind, no pattern will be sold without the book. In addition to the book, the instructions for each block is going to include a devotional on the Name of Jesus the blocks portray.
I hope this news excites you and inspires you to think about what new ideas, opportunities, and perspectives God might be trying to give you. May you be blessed as you seek, and learn, and carry out His plans for you.