I have one more finish to share with you before I wrap up the year in quilts. It’s appropriate that this is my last big finished quilt because I worked on it all year.
I’m calling it Mend, because not only are the blocks inspired by visible mending (check out the hashtags on Instagram, they’re gorgeous), but because I used these blocks as therapy. Whenever I needed to make something, I made a block.
I used a Seminole-inspired style of improv strip piecing, using no rulers (and surprisingly, becoming pretty good at free-hand rotary cutting). I made one here and a few there, laying out the whole top at Mid-Atlantic Mod.
It was around this time that I realized that I was using these to cope with some generalized anxiety that I was feeling, and after Mod, I started taking concrete steps to get treatment and professional help for it. I started to see that this quilt was becoming a representation of my self-mending process.
I realized that part of my personal self-care involves being realistic about my limitations and asking other people for help when I need it. So in one of the best decisions I could have made for this project, I enlisted the help of the wonderful and talented Krishma Patel to quilt it. I gave her a plan– no curves, as much crosshatch as you like– and she improvised in the negative space, of which there is a lot. She turned negative space into focal points, and really brought the whole quilt to life.
Here’s a shot of the back to show just how amazing the quilting is:
Before binding, I decided not to square the top up, to leave the edges a bit wavy and imperfect. It preserved a few beautiful bits of quilting, but made the bigger point that no person, and no quilt, is perfect. But we can accept our wavy edges and keep going. I’ve learned some fantastic coping skills since the summer, and I’m feeling so much healthier and better equipped to take on 2017. (Also, how could I cut off those adorable little quilted triangles?)
The irony of the quilt doesn’t escape me, in fact I love it– it’s a quilt inspired by hand stitching made entirely by machine. It’s a quilt about introspection made with a largely open and communal process, at retreats and on social media. And it’s a very imperfect quilt that will hang in a show. I’m proud to say that Mend has been accepted to QuiltCon 2017 in Savannah, and I am so glad that people will be able to see it (especially because it’s so hard to photograph) and hear its story.
I LOVE the quilt, Mel, and I just love the story, and your honesty. I find we all have the tendency to become overwhelmed with what we plan to accomplish….quilters especially. But some of us handle these anxieties better than others; some people find coping mechanisms that are positives, and others are negatives. Glad you decided to seek help.
Warm wishes for a happy holiday with the family, and wishes for a grand 2017!!!
Love the intent you had in making this quilt and that it helped to bring you to a better place in life. It’s really amazing! Love it!
Mel, As I read your story of the making of Mend, I am chocking back tears! Unbeknownst to you yet, Mend has helped me take off the edge of the depression & anxiety I fell into post elections. I had loaded it and started to quilt it the day before the election. I proceeded to quilt it block by block over a period of 6 days. Each time I spent time with it I began to regain my mental normalcy. I was so sad to finish quilting it. I delayed informing you of it’s completion until you actually had to email me and ask! Mend helped mend both of us, right?
I can feel the power of the quilt in the way you describe it. Congratulations on having it juried into QuiltCon. ❤
Lovely quilt, congratulations on being accepted to quiltcon. I understand about the generalised anxiety disorder. Well done on getting help, i hope life is getting easier now
it’s beautiful and so are you. i appreciate your honesty and look forward to seeing your quilt (and you?) in Savannah! xo.
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Not sure my comment went through? But, anyways, will look forward to seeing this at QuiltCon. Great quilt, made even better by your story
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