Monday, January 18, 2010

A Crafter's Walk Through Proverbs 31: Apron

It has been on my heart and mind often lately to finish this series. I don't want it to be one of those things that I forget about and never complete! So, let's move on to the next verse!
Proverbs 31:18-19, "She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers."
At first, these two verses really caused me to pause ~ I don't really do any trading do I? I don't want to stay up late and don't want to advocate that to others do I? And, I don't even know what a distaff is nor own a spindle!

Yet, through the pause, I have really gleaned some things from these verses!

First, let's think of the idea of trading. I think that when I originally read this I thought of the virtuous woman having things she made that she brought to some sort of market area and used to trade for things her family could use or needed. It was a profit to her family.

My next train of thought was - but I don't trade anything to profit my family do I? Or, do I? I make choices everyday of things that will or will not come into our home. What will truly profit my family is a major background to these decisions.

So, in one sense - I trade time clipping coupons for the profit it brings my family in savings. Just the other morning, I took two big bags of children's clothes to a consignment store and received about $30 for some of the contents. After that, I had the opportunity to go and have lunch at my favorite tea room for some solitude and refreshment. The consignment money paid for my lunch and time of refreshment with a lot left over! That is profitable trading isn't it?

I think that I have settled on the thought that profitable trading for my home is when I limit one activity or expense to benefit another for the greater good of our home and family.

Next, let's think about the productivity mentioned in verse 18. The fact that her lamp does not go out at night tells me she is not lazy. I am not a night person - usually getting ready for bed as soon as my children are in bed! I might read and relax for a bit, but it won't be long before my light is out. I'm not going to take this any farther than what it said to me initially - I want to be a woman who is productive in my home and not lazy. And, I'll be thankful for the fact that I don't have to stay up all night to accomplish that!

Finally, what about the distaff and spindle idea? I learn that the distaff and spindle are both used in spinning wool. But, I learned something very interesting about the word distaff. Merriam-Webster's describes distaff as not only a spinning tool but as, "woman's work or domain."

Couple that with reading this verse in the Message,

"She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking."

I am not trying to twist what the Bible is saying here - I do believe women in Biblical days would've known how to do their own spinning! I will admit that I've never tried ~ yet, in our day and time we are doing the same thing when we fulfill the work God has given us to do in our homes.

Most of our work is done at home - cleaning, cooking, gardening, caring for our children and families. And, most of our work makes the lives of others more beautiful, more enjoyable. So, I wanted to create something that might make us feel more beautiful doing that work or to enjoy it a bit more with some beauty around us.

As we tie on a pretty apron, let's also put on the qualities we read of here: profitable trading, productivity and diligence in homemaking!

Supplies you'll need for this project:

Main fabric piece: 23 inches wide x 18 inches high
Coordinating fabric: about 3/4 yard
Trim or lace if desired: about 1 yard
Coordinating thread
Tape Measure
Iron and Ironing Board
Sewing Machine

Begin by cutting your main piece of fabric to 23 inches wide and 18 inches high.
Press to smooth out all wrinkles. On the two sides, fold over 1/4 inch and press.

Fold again and press. Stitch in place.

Next, cut a 5 1/2 inch square from the coordinating fabric for your pocket.
Fold the top edge over 1/4 inch and press. Fold again and press.

If you are adding lace or trim, pin in place. And, stitch trim in place.

Fold remaining edges of pocket in 1/4 inch and press.
Pin pocket in place onto apron as desired.
Stitch around three sides to secure to apron.

Cut another piece of coordinating fabric that measures 6 x 44 inches.
Fold bottom edge 1/4 inch under and press.

Pin trim or lace if desired along pressed edge. Stitch along edge to secure hem and trim.

Run a long basting stitch along the top edge of the ruffle. Pull to gather and pin right sides together to bottom of apron. Stitch in place. Press seam up and top stitch to hold seam in place.

Begin the ties by cutting two pieces of coordinating fabric that measure 8 x 44 inches.
Place the pieces right sides together at one short end and stitch together.
This will give you one really big long piece.
Next, fold that piece in half lengthwise and press.
After you have pressed in half, fold right sides together and stitch short ends closed.
Turn right side out.

Fold remaining edge 1/4 inch and press. Repeat on both long edges.
Mark the middle of your apron with a pin.

Open your tie piece and lay the apron on one half to create a sandwich with the ties.
The pin should match up with the center seam on the tie piece.

Pin waistband/ties in place and stitch to apron finishing off all unfinished edges.

Enjoy your apron!

It's not too late for a chance to win this apron! Details are here!


Disney Chef said...

Very pretty. Being an apron buff I know how to spot a good apron from twenty paces. :)

MameyJane said...

Some years ago we had a ladies' devotional meeting at our church, and the sister presenting the devotion spoke about the lamp being on all night. She had done some studying and said it represented hospitality. If a traveler saw a lamp burning in the window he would know he was welcome to stop, knock on the door, and be invited in for rest and refreshment.

Danielle said...

Thanks for bringing this back! I have many of the other items and it truly is helpful for me to have a keepsake of the verse so I don't forget:-) I'll probably applique the verse on the pocket!

Heather said...

The apron is so pretty!

I love that verse in the Message Bible!

Adell said...

Thank you for putting that verse in perspective for me, are a blessing.

Debra said...

Cut apron!

My first thought about the trading was about trading favors or things (you babysit for a friend then she baby sits for you or you loan something to a friend and she does the same when needed). It's not profitable in the financial sense necessarily but helps you out in other ways. I enjoyed your take on it.

Amy said...

It is adorable!! I love aprons. I can't make them, but I can really wear them :) Ha! Beautiful, Monica!

Kathy said...

I really have to say that this series has been an inspiration to me. I have been following it from the beginning (it was what brought me to your blog) and it really opened my eyes to new ways of looking at this "womanhood challenge" the Bible gave us ;) Thank you! - Kathy

Leah said...

Why don't you just consider the verse "her lamp does not go out at night" to mean that she leaves her night-light on all night! =)

Seriously, thinking about that for a little bit brought me to the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25. I think it means to be prepared, organized and ready for the Lord's coming. As far as it relates to home, I don't know. Keep your pantry stocked? Have your Sunday church bag packed by the door Saturday night? Don't procrastinate with chores that needs to be done? Never run low on diapers? It'll be interesting to hear what others think!

~ Leah

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

What a beautiful apron.

I heard the same story at MameyJane, that the light meant that you were welcome to stop at any time.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I feel like I am sitting at your table with a group of women sharing God's Word.

Danielle said...

Leah... that is a very good thought! Thanks for sharing it!

Becky said...

I love your perspective of this section! It's a good reminder that we are to be productive and not lazy, which is something I battle at times.

I love the apron too! Sewing, sadly, is one talent that I cannot grasp.

Thanks for a great post!

Lanette said...

ok, I'm new to your blog and would LOVE to go back and read the rest of your Proverbs 31 posts. Any hints as to where to find them?

Lanette said...

ok, I'm new to your blog and would LOVE to read the rest of your Proverbs 31 posts. Any hints as to where I'd find them?

Monica Wilkinson said...

Lanette - Here is a link to the complete list (so far!). Welcome and enjoy! :)


Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

I'm really enamored with those pins...

What are they? yellow flowers? are they vintage? I've never seen anything like that before.

I really appreciated this post and I love Proverbs 31:18 - never thought about it all like this - so deeply. Made me think...

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I know this is an old post, but I stumbled upon it while doing some research on Proverbs 31:18 and wanted to say thank you for your insights! They really helped me as I was struggling a bit in applying it to my own, non-trading life. :) I'll definitely be checking out more of your wonderful blog!

Kim @ Little Rays of Sunshine