The Free Motion Quilting Project: Power of Now

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Power of Now

Yesterday I shared a link to my update to The Duchess. I hope you haven't run away with the idea that that quilt was ruined recently. It happened over 3 years ago and I've definitely moved on and gotten over the experience.

Yeah, it sucks that I ruined that quilt, but I can always recreate her, this time with much better quality fabric, definitely not white!

But this leads to an even more important point: it's good to learn from the past, but the time to pay attention to is right NOW.

Yep, I'm sharing one of my personal posts today, so feel free to catch up on Quilt Along posts if you'd rather not join us.

As I've learned in 2 years of trudging through the drudgery of my past, if you look for pain and sadness, boy, you will find it!

You'll find a hole that will suck you up and just get deeper and deeper with more pain and blackness, which is why I've made a conscious decision to stop being so introspective, and not surprisingly, I'm a lot happier for it.

So as a reminder to this new awareness - to stay present, HERE, not in the past or in the future, but right here in the NOW, I've created a simple goddess:

free motion quilting | Leah DayThe goddess in the center with her eyes open represents being awake - fully present in the present moment.

All the crazy fabrics around her represent all the thoughts that could be distracting her. Thoughts, memories, worries, pain - they will always be there, but they don't have to rein supreme.

This is the first time I've added eyes, nose, and a mouth to a goddess. I struggled for a few weeks to pick the right colors for her hair and background and ultimately created two faces that weren't used for this quilt:

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis one just came out too dark and I didn't end up liking the weird combination of purple skin and green lips.

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis one ended up too light and I didn't like how her eyes finished. Kinda creepy...

But these faces were completely put together so I think I'll use them in a goddess tote bag!

I'm so happy with how this quilt is coming along. I've wanted to create a goddess quilt that could look as good on the wall as it could on a bed or the couch - literally a goddess throw quilt - and this one seems to fit that bill perfectly.

So rather than quilt the snot out of her, I'm going to keep this simple and very open. This quilt is designed to be used and enjoyed as a bed quilt, so I don't want to make it too stiff with excessive quilting.

In many ways this quilt has pushed and pulled me out of my comfort zone. Towards the end, I realized just how much I've depended on black fabric, almost as a crutch, when I couldn't figure out what color would be best in a quilt.

Well I ran out of black fabric with this quilt, so I guess that's another nudge to move beyond that dependency and try new things!

I still haven't come up with a perfect name for this quilt, but I'm leaning towards Power of Now. The book this is based on (The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle) has been so extremely helpful, it seems to be a fitting title.

Now it's time to get this quilt basted and quilted. I can't wait to curl up with this pretty girl on my couch...wait...that sounded weird...

Oh, you know what I mean! Lol! I'm going to shut up and quilt now!



  1. Beautiful colors, and the "Green" goddess works well! :-)

  2. love your choice! I like the other two but they have something "different" to them, your green goddess is much better.

  3. Love your Goddess NOW! Terrific!

  4. I really like this one. Did you piece the 'background' or something else (like fusing?)

    It is a beautiful goddess.

  5. I have to say I actually like the 'hair' on the other two better? just and opinion! Everyone has one! :) I agree the one face is way dark and the other eyes are creepy! LOL

  6. Love how your final goddess turned out, and I am so glad you showed us the other two as well. Watching your process is a real learning experience that things are not always the way you want them on the first try! Fabulous idea to use them in a tote. That'll get some eyes turning!

  7. beautiful quilt! i'm almost to the end of the book (for the first of many readings)

  8. Beautiful! It looks so simple compared to some of your others but there are a lot of intricacies and colour when you really look... And I love the odd coloured purple goddess as well, but then I am a sucker for odd colours!

  9. Yesterday is gone (we can do nothing to change it), tomorrow may never be ours, today is a gift-use it wisely and fully. This is something I have to remind my self of often. It's so easy to get caught up in planning/scheduling that the 'present' is missed! Love your Goddess series! Hugs...Doreen

  10. "The Precious Present" comes to mind immediately when I read your post today. It is a book (by Spencer Johnson) that I treasure and read every year or just when I fall into the past. Your new Goddess is just amazing and beautiful.

  11. Love the goddess. She looks happy. I have always been of the school of thought - Acknowledge the past but move on. Enjoy the here and now.

  12. Leah, I actually like the goddess face with light color fabric. It would be a good contrast to all the colors surrounding her. You just need fix her eyes to pop. May be outline her eyes with satin stitch in dark black or brown to keep the lightness.
    This color of face looks calm, that's the reason I like it. No matter how our/her life is full of chaos she needs to be calm and peaceful to enjoy the present moment.
    But this is just my own personal opinion.

  13. Leah, you are such a positive and up-beat person. You inspire me each time I read your blog or watch one of your videos! Your inspiration covers making myself a better person and also a more creative person willing to take chances. Keep up the awesome work!

  14. Having read the Power of Now, I appreciate you sharing your process with the concepts in it and how they translate into your quilts.

  15. Thanks for the smile....the "light" goddess brought one to my face that lasted quite a while....she's sort of an e.t. goddess! And I mean that respectfully....your final version is stunning. I'm glad you've obviously had fun with this project.

  16. Leah, Will you share with us how you sewed the ring separating the face from the petals? I would love to know how to sew circles such as the one in this quilt!

  17. Hi, I have a few things to say.
    First of all, thank you so much for this blog and all of the posts - about quilting AND the personal ones. It's good to know that I'm not the only one sometimes!
    Secondly, and more specifically, thank you for teaching me how to 'break my foot.' It has helped me finally get into free motion quilting (I had spent a good couple of years following this blog before I got the courage even just to watch your video!). Who would have thought that throwing away the instructions could work so well?
    And finally, on a similar note, thank you for your new tagline - along with 'throwing away the instructions' (or at least, forgetting about other people's expectations), the phrase 'just shut up and go ___' has really helped me to let go of a lot of stress/avoid stressful situations. It's hard to argue or make things worse if you don't open your mouth, and it sure does free up a lot of time for the fun/necessary stuff!

    Now, if only I weren't 5000 miles away from my sewing machine! I'm not 'quilting along' so much as 'drooling along' ;)
    Thanks again, everything you do is beautiful, even when it's not to my taste (I hope you understand that...)

  18. I love your new Goddess, she makes me think of our Earth Mother. Like her lots. Jeani


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