To the average mind, a link between faith and quilting is hazy at best. But, the Rev. Judi Wortham-Sauls clearly sees a connection.
“Just like God use us as ordinary people to do extraordinary things, we can take scraps of fabric and create beautiful pieces of art called quilts,” she said.
A quilter for 20 years, Wortham-Sauls credits her relatives with acquainting her to the craft. As a teen, her great-aunt showed her how to make quilts with handmade stitches and another aunt nourished her interest by teaching her additional skills. After marrying Pastor Kelvin Sauls of Holman United Methodist Church, she decided to concentrate her efforts in this area.
Wortham-Sauls’ long relationship with Christ is a great asset in her success in creating unique and colorful coverings. An itinerant elder in the AME Church, she applies godly principles in designing and completing each project, such as desire, an open heart and a commitment to finish.
Explaining the bond between the two areas, she said, “God has given me the gift of teaching and I’m working on a course now entitled, “Gathering The Fragments” based on John 6:12, which says, ‘Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.’ God gathers our life fragments and uses the gifts and graces the He gives us so that nothing is wasted.”
Noting that the same approach is used in quilting, Wortham-Sauls added, “I have officially launched my quilting business, ‘All In The Fabric,’ and I look forward to how God is going to bless that journey.”
Wortham-Sauls is currently working on about 20 projects and she has more lined up. The organization, Church Women United, has commissioned her to create a quilt. Also, new AME Bishop Frank Madison Reid, Wortham-Sauls’ father in ministry, selected her to produce a piece that commemorates his election to the episcopacy.
Now that she’s adding businesswoman to her roles as a wife, minister and first lady, Wortham-Sauls said her key to success is maintaining equilibrium in all aspects of her life.
“Balance is my word for the day every day. My first ministry is to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I continue to ask God to order my steps so that I may be available to serve as needed. One of my goals is to be an encourager so that people know that there is a solution for every situation,” she said.