Monday, December 17, 2012

Express Your Love

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 oout "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,

Leah Day

61 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to this project.

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  2. Leah, you have so great ideas! My english is too bad, I can't express, how much I adore your work and your intention to teach us!

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  3. So amazing can not wait to discover my own Goddess!

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  4. can not wait to discover my own Goddess ! Thank you

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  5. I LOVE it. You are such a warm and caring person. I look forward to this project.

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  6. Leah, I admire your ability to use your past to intentionally improve your 'now and future'. I know it is hard to remove the 'tapes' of childhood and replace them with the rational thought of adulthood. I am glad that your introspective work is bearing fruit!

    and you make beautiful quilts!

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  7. Oh, wow! I cannot even tell you how much I love this goddess best of all of them. The colors, the words, the shapes...they speak to me!
    I will look forward to whatever you have planned for her and hope to participate.
    She is beautiful, and I agree that she is here at the perfect time.
    Thanks for sharing her.

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  8. This is an amazingly beautiful quilt, a powerful design with even more powerful intent. I am very interested in this quilt project for many reasons.
    Leah, you cannot begin to know the impact you have on the world and its huge. Thank you.

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  9. It's really beautiful! I don't know that I'll participate along with you - I'm trying to challenge myself to finish old projects rather than start new ones - but I'll enjoy watching the process unfold.

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  10. Leah, I have checked in at your blog occasionally, and have greatly admired your techniques, your dedication to the project and your readers, and your generosity. Now I just have to join others in thanking you for a beautiful way to do something positive today. You're pretty amazing!

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  11. I love it, and I'll certainly quilt along with you! Thank you for doing this!

    It's selfish, but I hope you will keep a UFO Sunday or "Project [Anyday]" type of link up as well. It's so inspiring to see what unique creative things everyone is working on, and it's great to have a place to post, share and get feedback on what I am making.

    I hope we give you enough feedback, Leah. You're awesome and inspiring!

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  12. She is so beautiful!
    I really relate to your struggles to step away from a difficult childhood. This Goddess quilt is exactly what I need. I have a feeling it will be absorbing many tears on my end.
    Thank you!
    Heidi
    HeidiRider@aol.com

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  13. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself in a meaningful post that offers something for each and everyone of us to think about. And thank you for wanting to take the step of sharing the steps of your very personal Goddess quilt. I admire your determination to grow on all levels.

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  14. This is just the thing for me. I have recently moved in with my father, to help him and be a companion to him. He is 90 and incredably in good shape. His mind is sharp as a tack. He doesn't move as well as he used to and he doesn't hear as well, but he has a lot to say and wants to hear from people. I am struggling with being Ms. Independant to being Ms Helpful (the way I should be helpful) I think this Goddess will help me with this tremendously. I can't wait to join in. Thank you!

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  15. This quilt says it all. You did a great job! Now I made a couple tops, and made a small wall hanging once quilting by hand and I would love to make this! Yet again I'm so scared to do it with my machine... I wonder if you could get me over my fears. Help me! Teach me! I promiss to be a good student, listen and practise as you say! Go for it! You rock! ♥

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  16. This looks fabulous Leah! I would love to join in with this sew/quilt along project, and look forward to the journey ahead!!

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  17. Such a great post. It is timely on so many levels.Thanks for sharing your heart!

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  18. This year I signed up in my mind to learn to free motion quilt and finally use your book and dvd I bought even before that. I did not accomplish that goal.
    Lots of excuses. The best was when I have time...
    I love your honesty and your work.
    Goddess' are not much my alley so I won't join for this challenge but I think I will renew for myself the challenge to move on and overcome my own fear of free motion quilting. It is not that I can't do it but that I am not doing it as I see it in my head. It is the skill vs learning curve thing. I want perfection the first time.
    As with my family I am hard on them sometimes because I expect them to have the same goals, ethics, and work habits as me. I can be hard on them especially when stressed. I was much more patient with them when they were small than now they are adults.
    Thanks for your honesty - time to throw some loving on my family...
    Thank you for your generous sharing of your self and your talents.

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  19. This is your best goddess quilt yet! I am looking forward to reading your tutorials about quilting on a smaller scale.

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  20. I'm in Leah - Goddess and quilt - there can't be a better combination....Looking Forward to your inspiration and learning new techniques.

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  21. Leah, Goddess plus quilt - What a great combination - I'm in and will defeinitely try to accomplish something like that. Can't wait.

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  22. Oh Leah, You have touched my heart and sole. Everything you said, I need to improve on as well. So yes, I will be joining you. Many Blessings.

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  23. Leah...we are like our quilts...a work in progress....do the work it is so worth it!

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  24. Sounds like great fun!
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

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  25. Wow. Well said. Thank you for sharing so much of you with us.... although I didn't grow up in your family situation I can relate to needing to be a better mother and wife. Looking foward to hearing more. Always room for improvement.

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  26. I am so excited to be a part of this. I have wanted to do a Goddess quilt but had no idea where to start. Thank you for all you do for quilters

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  27. I love the quilt and the idea! Count me in :)

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  28. I may not have ever considered doing a Goddess quilt, but sometimes when you stop looking for what you want....you find exactly what you need. I can't wait to see more of this project....

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  29. I sometimes feel the same way. I feel like I get too caught up in what I'm doing and don't take time to react, interact, and act with my loved ones...and boy do I love them. Like you, they are my world. Thank you fir sharing this quilt and allowing it yo be a teacher itself.

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  30. This is wonderful. I've admired your goddess quilts for a long time and will ow have the opportunity to make my own. Your sentiments on expressing your love in other ways than just words is spot on, also.

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  31. I live a short distance away from where the school tragedy occurred...I think this project will be good for me. xoxo Jae

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  32. I love this idea. I hope I'll be able to join you!

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  33. I made the quilt with Amy Gibson and I was so excited you quilted it. I just finished my quilt. I loved doing it so much. Many of the designs I wasn't very good at but only I know that. I look forward to a new quilt.

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  34. WoW Leah! Thanks so much for your beutiful words, your honesty and your encouragement!
    The godess looks beautiful! I'm looking forward to work with her!

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  35. Leah, Your quilt is beautiful and your sentiment has far greater meaning after the events of last week.

    In Australia, our government has acted to prevent that type of event ever happening here again after the Port Jackson Tragedy. I only hope and pray that President Obama is able to be successful in changing the guns laws also for the USA.

    Now personally thank you so much for all your knowledge and skills that you have passed on this year to me and the many other quilters that visit here or are priviledge to see your class at Craftsy. I have learnt more that I can adequately express from you at both places. I only wish I could FMQ as good as you but with practise that will happen in 2013 perhaps with more hard work. I want to wish you a merry christmas and for a safe prosperous new year. I look forward to your newsletter to hear how your celebrations went. A fan for life Julie Beard.

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  36. She is beautiful and I am sure the techniques can be applied to other ideas. Thank you for all the ideas you provide.

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  37. Leah, This Goddess quilt is gorgeous! You are truly an inspiration to me, not only to improve my sewing, but to improve myself. I look forward to your e-mails as they brighten my day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your talents.

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  38. I loved your other Goddess quilts but this ones speaks to me. I'm excited to get at it!!

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  39. Beautiful sentiments written in todays post and your idea of teaching and sharing the process on the goddess is great. I have been trying to evolve my own inner goddess for years and loving and acceting the phases that entails. Looking forward to 2013. Jane

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  40. What a great post Leah. I'm definitely looking forward to this project and will also help heighten awareness of it with others too! Going to be fun.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  41. You have opened my eyes for FMQ and learned me SO much. You are my FMQ guru :-). Now you are taking it one step further. You are such a vice and sensible person to be that young. I´m 66 and it can be a little late to change my way but you got me thinking tonight. It´s never too late to really take good care about the people you love. I will be following you thr next year and I really look forward to it.
    Have a very nice Christmas
    Sorry about the english but I´m an old women from Sweden doing my best :-)

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  42. Leah, it takes great courage to share your inner most feelings for the world to see. Thank-you for saying a lot of things that we all feel, but couldn't put words to. I look so forward to quilting my own goddess - and being more aware of how I love and how I show that love. You have really positively impacted a great many people today - I thank you.

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  43. I love this Goddess! All of your Goddess quilts are very powerful (you put yourself in them and your power is displayed!) and this one is no exception. The message this quilt gives is one that all of us need to be reminded of every day! I definitely want to join you on this journey!!

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  44. Beautifully written! I always love reading what you have to say about life and family AND quilting. I hope 2013 brings your family lots of success and happiness.

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  45. Your post has touched my heart. It's a grand idea and I need to do it also. I'd love to quilt along with you on a Goddess Quilt... the size doeesn't matter, it's the purpose of the 'vehicle' that counts.

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  46. Oh the DEMONS inside all of us. Not only are you ENOUGH ....you are WORTHY of all good life has to offer.
    I saw this saying on Facebook:

    You don't need Religion to have MORALS
    If you can't Determine Right from Wrong
    Then you lack EMPATHY
    Not Religion

    Thank you for sharing your life!

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  47. Merry Christmas you are such a blessing to all.

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  48. Лия, великолепная идея, и я предполагаю, что результаты этого проекта будут радовать нас , как лучшее лекарство для души. Хотелось бы присоединиться к вам. Буду ждать начала.

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  49. She is beautiful. I will look forward to this project. Thank you for the time, inspiration, ideas, and help that you so freely give us through your blog. Merry Christmas, or whatever you observe, and wishing you a new year full of love and happiness.

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  50. I love wallhangings and look forward to working on this awesome project! Thank you.

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  51. Would love to share with you. I've been crying very much lately since my Mom passed away last year. I feel a sadness I cannot comprehend. Am looking forward to learning to make my own inner goddess quilt.

    Thank you

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  52. Leah, I need this....I will definitely be joining you. How exciting. You are an inspiration to all. Hugs....

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  53. I'm ready to learn - not just quilting but also about showing my love better....so let's go for it

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  54. How exciting!! You were my inspiration to start quilting so I would love to join in creating my very own goddess quilt...she and all your goddesses are beautiful!!

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  55. Hi Leah, I'm taking your crafts class at the moment. It something totally new to me. I really like your tutorials and class, I'm learning so much from you. I am looking forward to this Goddess quilt lesson. I love your other Goddess quilt, wow all those little pieces cut out one by one and then pressing them to match so perfect. I'm embroidering some snowflakes for the students who will be starting at the new school, it's an idea from embroidery library, which they offered a free snowflake and have added the address to send by Jan 12/13. As soon as I'm done those I'll be getting back to my practicing FMQ. Thank you for sharing your awesome talent, Merry Christmas and all the best for you and your family in the New Year, Hugs Denise

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  56. Well, Leah, my sweet young woman, I am going to give this a try. I need to center myself, and, amidst all the multiple things I try to accomplish, this will be one. Thanks for the opportunity. You are a wonderful inspiration to so many. Thank you for your honesty and straightforwardness.

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  57. Hi Leah, I like this project. I'll go with you on this project, no doubt. I am confident that this project will help us understand these horrible killings and crazy people anywhere in the world.
    A hug and happy holidays.
    Yasmin

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  58. I followed the first few months of this year's project, but then got distracted and have only just come back to my sewing machine. I now intend to pick up where I left off (week 14!) and continue to deal with all the UFOs in 2013. But I will follow your journey with the goddesss quilt - I find your posts so inspiring.

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  59. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Thank you for your inspirational quilting and wise words! I'm really looking forward to joining you on this journey!

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  60. Here it is 2014 and I just stumbled onto this quilt! I instantly thought I need to make this for my daughter. You are such an inspiration and artist. I can never express to you how much you have inspired me. Since first discovering you 2 weeks ago I have now gotten 8 quilt blocks quilted! I have been wanting to do this FMQ for 5 years!!!! I plan on putting very special words on this quilt to show my love to my daughter. Thank you. You are enabling me to making a lifetime memory for my family.

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