I know this is a pretty different style than the things I normally post about on this blog, but I just had to show off a little side project I’ve been working on. Every three years my church hosts an International Art Competition. They collect inspirational artwork of all types (painting, wood carving, quilting, etc) from all over the world. I was lucky enough to get a piece accepted into their last show three years ago and attending that opening night full of artists from all over the world was one of my favorite experiences of all time. As soon as I went home, I knew I’d have to try and go at least one more time. 🙂
I can’t believe it’s been three years already! And at the same time, I can hardly believe I’m actually done with this thing- I’ve been designing it and sewing it for almost the entire 3 years. I’m so happy to be done. In fact, I’ve been working on this sucker for so long I don’t even feel like I can even enjoy looking at it until I put it away for 6 months. I’ve just been staring at it for too long- do you know what I mean?
This year’s theme is ‘Tell Me the Stories of Jesus’. As soon as I heard it, I knew I wanted to design a quilt around the first bible verse that brought me peace as a girl. It’s Mark 4:39 and it says,
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
I’ve always loved the idea of a Supreme Being watching out for us and sending us peace during our own, personal storms. In my adult life, I’ve come to fully realize that life is a bit more complicated than I’d imagined as a kid. You don’t just say a prayer and have all your worries taken away. But I do believe that He can help you feel peace and even joy during a struggle, and I wanted to capture that feeling visually. I made the outside boarder out of dark, complex designs to represent the raging sea. The center medallion is simple and full of light, showing the hope and peace that can come amidst a storm.
The whole thing is made from different silks and embroidered with real gold thread. (Sounds awesome when you hear it, but sewing with real gold thread is a pain. If you’re tempted, I’d suggest doing a couching stitch rather than pulling it in and out of your fabric- the gold is very fragile and breaks very easily.) I sewed it by hand so I’d have something uplifting to work on during the days when I felt too sick to get out of bed.
It was a great experience to push myself into making an heirloom quality piece. And even better to work on something that I found personally uplifting on days when life wasn’t easy. I submitted it to the contest today, but won’t hear if I made it in or not for months. Personally, I feel like I got so much out of making this piece that not matter which way the judging goes, to me it’s already a win.