I've been sitting on this quilt design for several weeks wanting it to be a surprise for the new year, but honestly after the horrible events in Connecticut, I've decided that I need to share this RIGHT NOW.
This is what I want to work on with you all next year. It is a goddess quilt, and yes, it's designed to be a wall hanging. I want to share the process of creating this project, learning how to quilt and fill it with multiple designs, both new and old, on a small scale.
The name for this quilt is Express Your Love, and the inspiration comes from my life and experiences. Basically this fall I began looking at the way I interacted with Josh and James - my family, the two people I can honestly say I love more than anyone in the whole world.
I asked myself a simple question - do I express this love to them?
And in a small way, I had to answer no. No, I was not expressing my love in a meaningful way. It is one thing to say "I love you." Sometimes that is enough and it gets the job done.
But sometimes words fall incredibly short. Growing up my mother would often call out "I love you! Have a good day!" as I was getting on the bus. This was always wonderfully ironic because everything she had expressed - her actions and words - had been nothing but dissatisfaction, anger, and resentment up to the point I walked out of the house.
To say it plainly - expressing love comes from more than just words, but how I act and react to my family every day.
And to say it even more plainly - I need to work on this.
I need to learn how to put work aside and listen to my husband with both my ears and eyes. I need to stop talking at my son, and get down on his level to see his perspective.
Love is so much more than kisses and hugs - it is respect and openness to another person. In a way, truly loving someone else is a selfless act because it requires putting yourself aside to pay attention and focus on them.
So I decided at the beginning of December to make it my goal to learn new ways to express love and I designed this quilt with this goal in mind.
The goddess is a simple, powerful figure holding the Earth within her hands. This symbolizes our world either literally or figuratively as our family can be our world. From her mouth, she is expressing her love, and for this quilt I chose to quilt within these spaces with powerful words that have transformed my life.
Simply put - this quilt is exactly what I need right now. There are layers of meaning here. Layers of ideas and stories and lessons I need to share.
So I know I want to go one step further - I want to teach with it. I want to share this experience with anyone who wants to join me.
This is introducing a new element I've never before attempted, and yes, this is slightly terrifying.
But I know that through this fear comes excitement and energy that I have felt lacking in recent months. I'm looking for something to share that MEANS something beyond just teaching you how to free motion quilt.
So I know I'm taking a risk with this. I know most quilters aren't looking for wall hangings, most of you don't want to fill on a small scale, and you might never have considered making a goddess quilt.
But I also know I need to do this and if I help even one single person by sharing this quilt, it will be worth it.
My goddess quilts have always had the power to transform my life. Sitting and stitching for hours on end, you cannot help but allow your mind to wander to the purpose of the quilt, the intention behind it, and what it will mean to you once finished.
After the events this weekend, I find it even more important to follow this nudge, to share what is moving me to be a better wife and mother, a better friend and woman. I'm going to express this love, to share and be open, and I hope you will join me for this journey.
More details on this project will be posted soon!
Let's go quilt,