God's Gift Within

The Story of the Joshua Quilt

Christian - Living
92 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

God's Gift Within: The Story of the Joshua Quilt is a nonfiction Christian living/crafts book written by Gail Howard Gibson. Gibson’s interview with Marylee MacDonald forms the framework for this book. Gibson is an artist, homemaker, lifelong quilter and keynote speaker, who also was the primary caregiver for her mother for 14 years. As her husband’s job required frequent relocations, she also became adept at juggling children, mom and moving all in one fell swoop. Gibson learned about quilting from her mother, grandmother and aunts as she was growing up, and she had always been close to God and an avid reader of the Bible. Somehow, amidst the chaos of life, God inspired her to use her creative gifts integrally with her devotions. When she was asked to create a quilt based on The Book of Joshua, she began by thinking about the 12 tribes of Israel and wondered how she could represent them in her work. She came up with a plan to use colors, fabrics and quotes from scripture to have her quilt tell its story. Gibson felt inspired by the Holy Spirit as she worked, and she discovered in her an artistic spirit she had always longed for but never fully realized before.

God's Gift Within: The Story of the Joshua Quilt was of particular interest to me because of Gibson’s work as a creative textile artist. Textile arts are frequently overlooked, and while my own use of those arts involves weaving wire and metal, Gibson’s quilts represented something reverential, exciting and different. While quilts have long enjoyed collector status because of their loveliness and craftsmanship, Gibson’s approach is that of an authentic artist who uses her canvas creatively, in the case of this quilt, to present The Book of Joshua to anyone who beheld her work. I was most inspired by her story, and how she found the time and those spare stolen moments to make this project actually come to life. I especially appreciated how the chance to meet Dr. Mikhael in just a few weeks time actually provided that last bit of impetus needed to put the finishing touches on her work. Her quilt is inspiring indeed; her use of color, fabric and texture all contributes magnificently to the overall effect of the artwork. The additional touches of the stars stitched throughout the work adds dimension and depth, and I’d be surprised if there aren’t any number of quilters and artists lining up to work under Gibson’s mentorship. God's Gift Within: The Story of the Joshua Quilt is most highly recommended.

Edith Wairimu

From a small town in Georgia, Gail Howard Gibson was introduced to the world of sewing at a tender age. Gail’s mother, who mostly crocheted or sewed in her spare time, became her daughter’s inspiration. In junior high, Gail had her first assignment in sewing which inspired her to pursue the craft. In college, Gail studied home economics, developing her talent even further. Her story is contained in the book, God’s Gift Within, which chronicles Gail’s life in the areas of quilting and Bible study as she continued on a journey amidst different life-altering changes in her path. She has been a quilter for over fifty years while being actively involved in her community, especially through Bible study. Gail is also the artist behind the Joshua Quilt.

Gail Howard Gibson's story is definitely a source of inspiration to every one of us to share our God-given talents with the world. In God’s Gift Within by Gail Howard Gibson, the process of creating the Joshua Quilt is truly engaging. The Joshua Quilt itself is definitely a masterpiece, a piece of art that radiates the desire of a woman’s heart, a woman who chose to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance and tell the world about Joshua’s story in a fresh and creative way. The images in God’s Gift Within are also breathtaking. I could not help but admire the intricacy involved in creating this unique piece of art. Additionally, the book reads as a conversation, which helped me appreciate Gail’s journey even more and also take in her words and put them into action. Definitely a beautiful read and hence highly recommended!

Romuald Dzemo

God's Gift Within: The Story of the Joshua Quilt by Gail Howard Gibson is an inspirational journey with a powerful message that will resonate in the heart of the ordinary person. It’s a story of faith, a strong testament of God’s enduring love and the joy of following God’s call. Quilter and Bible study guide, Gail Howard Gibson shares her journey of fifty years and how it led to the creation of the Joshua Quilt. She documents, with wisdom and unusual insight, her experience taking care of her ailing mother and a move that took her across the country. Readers will get insights into dealing with stress, learning to grow in gratitude, staying positive, embracing their growth, and accepting and nurturing God’s gifts in their lives.

This book is a gem. Well-crafted as an interview by Marylee MacDonald, it is inspired by the author’s study of the book of Joshua. Written in a friendly, conversational style, the book is accessible to a wide audience. Art aficionados, especially anyone with an artistic soul, will enjoy the artwork featured in the book and how the author translates biblical messages into her work. God's Gift Within: The Story of the Joshua Quilt is one of those rare books that remind readers of where they come from and of their work; a book about one woman’s connection with God and her calling. I enjoyed the fact that the author isn’t preachy, but offers readers powerful insights from her own journey with God. There is something for everyone in this book.

Mamta Madhavan

God’s Gift Within: The Story of The Joshua Quilt by Gail Howard Gibson is the personal journey of a woman of faith who shares the skills, tools, and techniques she discovered while making a quilt based on the Book of Joshua. The life lessons in this story are insightful and uplifting and will strike a chord with readers who value creativity, family, and faith. The author’s journey is inspiring and will instill courage and faith in readers and make them confident of facing life’s challenges and also to discover the unique gifts they have. The book speaks about the author’s background and her experience in the field of quilting and Bible study.

The topic is unique and original and I like the idea of expressing this story as a conversation as it helps readers connect, and gives them the feeling the author is speaking directly to them. The conversational style also makes it easy for readers to understand the author’s journey perfectly and they are motivated to face the stresses that occur during major life changes, recognize their blessing in the midst of obstacles, draw inspiration from Bible verses, and reach out beyond their comfort zone. The color photographs in the book help readers to relate better with the author and it is interesting to note what prompted her to make the Joshua Quilt. The interpretation of the Joshua Quilt and the symbolism of the color of the fabrics are quite fascinating to learn. The author’s journey is good encouragement to all readers to discover the gifts they have within them.

Lee Ashford

God’s Gift Within: The Story of the Joshua Quilt by Gail Howard Gibson tells the non-fictional history of how a specific quilt, dubbed the Joshua Quilt, came to be. Although perhaps of somewhat limited appeal, the story is well told, and the book is well written. The author, a life-long seamstress and long-time quilter, relates the story in the format of an interview by her friend, Marylee MacDonald. Throughout the process, readers are treated to an in-depth look at factors which led the author to the place in her life where the Joshua Quilt came into being. For those who are not familiar with the quilt in question – as was true in my own case – Ms. Gibson’s involvement with a local church quilting club led her to design and craft a quilt for an upcoming conference focusing on the story of Joshua, the biblical character whom God used to bring down the walls of ancient Jericho. Each square, every color, and even the stitching used to fabricate the quilt convey a meaning relevant to that story, but apparent only to those who know the story. Hence the name, the Joshua Quilt.

God’s Gift Within will be of greatest interest to people who are quilters, or who may previously have heard about or seen the Joshua Quilt. However, I am compelled to state that I had never heard of the quilt, nor am I a quilter. I use one occasionally, but that’s the extent of my quilting experience. Nevertheless, I found the story interesting and read the entire book in one sitting. I found myself eagerly turning the pages all the way to the end. It was an easy read, yet it maintained my attention to the end. The author did a superb job of providing a glimpse into a world of which I know nothing. I highly recommend God’s Gift Within by Gail Howard Gibson to anyone with an interest in quilting, as well as anyone who enjoys reading about the creative process, regardless of the avenue that creativity takes. In particular, to those who may be already familiar with the Joshua Quilt, this book is a must-read.