Monday, July 5, 2010

A therapy quilt

Sandi from Piecemeal Quilts has submitted a beautiful quilt she's named Neapolitan Quilt.  This is a great story about how she used quilting as more than just a hobby.  Make sure to check out her blog, she so kindly has offered many quilt and block patterns available for free!  Here's her quilt story... 
In July 2008 I was out of work, out of money, and out of my mind. Out of my mind in the sense that I was dealing with anxiety and depression, and I couldn’t get my head around much of anything. I wasn’t sewing, wasn’t doing much of anything but sitting in a recliner and reading. I think I read about 50 books in 3 weeks. It wasn’t good. One day I decided it was time to change, so I gave myself a task, something that required attention to detail and focus, but had no real consequences if I failed. I decided to design and sew a complex quilt block. Using EQ6, I came up with a block that I named Anxiety.
It opened me up to the possibilities of quilting as therapy, and I pushed on to design the quilt above. It is a modified log cabin, with different widths for the cream and the pink strips. I added a half-rectangle triangle on the ends of the strips, popped the block into a quilt using EQ6, then started rotating blocks using the Serendipity tool. When this arrangement appeared, I thought I might be onto something. I printed it out and carried it around with me for a while. A week or so later I was at a local quilt shop (I was helping with her website and writing patterns for her to pick up a little extra money), and showed her the illustration. She liked it enough to offer me the fabric if I would write up a pattern! She gave me the fabric to make the sample quilt, and then she kept the sample until all of the kits that she made for it were sold.
I used a new line that had just arrived in her store – In the Pink II from Buggy Barn for Henry Glass. The fabric reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream, hence the name. I finished the blocks in just over two weeks, and finished the entire quilt in less than a month. (That’s possibly a record for me, since I am a terrible procrastinator.)
There were a few issues here and there (thread choices, anyone?), but looking back, I realize that this quilt is full of firsts for me. It’s my first original design, my first pieced back, my first pattern, my first quilt on public display (and it was on display in the vendor booth at a large quilt show, the Wisconsin Quilt Expo), my first experiment with free motion leaves, the first completed quilt I posted on this blog and the first quilt pattern I listed on Etsy.
I love this quilt. It isn’t huge – 63″ square – but it’s big enough to throw over a lap. Best of all, it’s MINE – mine from the conception to the reality.

Check out this post, she has images of some creative variations of this block.  Thanks Sandi!

linking at amylouwho

15 comments:

SheilaC said...

That is am amazing quilt, AND an amazing story, Thank you for sharing it Sandi!

It just proves again, that everything happens for a reason....

all that happened to you before this quilt was meant to be so that you would be in the :right: place to create Anxiety and then Neopolitan

SheilaC

Marken Hadda said...

Hi,Dear
I came from quilt story ... your blog is great! I'll add you to my ... oh what a quilt story. It's beautiful. That's what I love about ...................................
Quilting Kits

KennaCaroline said...

Such a sweet story. I think it is beautiful!

Rylee said...

Beautiful quilt. I am glad it helped you cope.

Megan said...

Very creative pattern! And what a good way to start your own healing process.

Donnamo said...

I love your Neopolitan Quilt!
You are definitely on your way as a quilt designer.

Sometimes God closes a door (your past career) and opens a sliding glass door (quilt designer)!

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Beautiful story and beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing. Happy Sewing! :o)

Rita E said...

Such a gorgeous quilt and great story!

Kate said...

Way to bust out of the doldrums!! You have an amazing talent and I can't wait to see more of your work. :) This post really made my day!

Miri said...

Wonderful quilt! Wonderful pattern and a wonderful story!

I'm showing a log cabin quilt today too.

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

Thanks for sharing such a great quilt and story. Wonderful!

Karen said...

Just awesome. Love the curve that appears on the quilt top.

Dayna said...

What an incredible story! Neopolitan is so appropriate, too. I'm sorry about the anxiety part, but what an inspiration that depression was transformed into inspiration! I'm sure that many, many people could benefit from this example.

Carla said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It's amazing how the simplicity of piecing fabrics together can be so theraputic. At least I know it is for me. Congrats on creating just a beautiful quilt/pattern and all that came with it.

psphyllissews said...

Great story and great work. I can't think of any better cure for what ails anyone than getting busy on a project.