Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sewvivor-purple poppy quilts

I've quilted for so many reasons in the last 10 years. I've made quilts for babies, mine and others. I've made bed quilts for my children. I've made wedding quilts, graduation quilts, t-shirt quilts, and every other quilt imaginable. A few years ago, I made the smallest quilt ever for my sweet baby niece's casket. Quilts have been such a pivotal part of my growth as a person in the last ten years that I can't imagine my life without this hobby/craft. 

A few months ago, I started noticing this "Sewvivor" icon pop up on instagram and quilty friends' blogs. I was curious but felt completely overwhelmed by the task of getting 4 children through summer (who am I kidding, I was worried I would survive summer) that the thought of entering a quilting competition seemed daunting, intimidating, and downright scary. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to challenge myself to try new things, improve my craft, and be more intentional with my quilting skills. 

So, here we are at the very last day to enter the competition and I'm still sitting here, second-guessing myself, my skills, and even my sanity for taking on a four weekly project amidst vacations, soccer camps, beach trips, and general summer craziness. But I'm in, regardless of the outcome. I mean, I did pay my entry fee, so how hard could it be to write a blog post and upload a few quilt pics? Here goes nothing. 

This is my farmer's wife quilt top. It's not a completed quilt, but I felt it showcased my quilting ability thus far in my quilting journey.  There are so many things I love about this quilt. I love that it's bright when so much of living in Seattle is grey, dreary, or dark. I started this quilt almost 18 months ago when we first moved to Seattle. It was overwhelming, as I'd never done a sampler quilt before. But I kept at it and I finally finished the top a few months ago. 

 One of the primary reasons for choosing this top for this competition is because of what it symbolizes to me. First, the perseverance & tenacity of farmers' wives has always inspired me. Second, though my blocks are not even close to perfect, they reflect me perfectly. There are a few blocks that went wonky with pressing, a few that just didn't want to square up to 6.5", and even a few with chopped off points (gasp!). Why would I pick an imperfect quilt for a quilting competition? Because I believe the art of quilting is not in the perfection of the craft, but in being real and true to ourselves in pursuit of something that fils us with joy. 
 I learned so many new skills with this quilt and I'm immensely proud of achieving at least some level of competency in some of those skills. I'd never used templates, hand pieced a block, sewn Y-seams, set a quilt on point, used posts with my sashing, or made a sampler quilt. This quilt tested my patience, as well as my quilting skills. Some of the blocks aren't set correctly, but that's ok. Some of my fabric choices aren't ideal, but I learned so much about choosing fabric and what works for my eye, that I don't care. What I see as the goal of this competition, and quilting in general, is to expand our view of what can be achieved in the industry and in our own quilting experience. Whether I progress to the next stage or not, I'll follow along and test my quilting proficiency. I love this incredible art form that creates memories and tangible evidence of my love for friends, families, and perfect strangers.


  1. I love all the bright fabrics you selected for this quilt and they really work beautifully together in the end. Good Luck to you!

  2. So bright and cheerful! How are you going to bind it? Scrappy or solid? Best, Kate

  3. so pretty - love all of the fabrics you used ! good luck for the auditions !

  4. I clicked your link from the Sewvivor audition page and am glad I did. You quilt is beautiful. The colours popped right out of your photo and caught my eye. I would love to see it all finished, it will be amazing. Good luck with the auditions.


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