Do you have a new year’s resolution yet? I’ve been thinking about what mine could be for the past few days.
Some of my family members have a Facebook group devoted to physical challenges, mostly related to food and exercise. It’s a great way to check-in and support each other. We’ve done several 30 day challenges. One was to cut out sweets for a month, another was to walk 10,000 steps a day, and we had veggies daily. Last month I tried to drink 80oz a day. I didn’t make goal most days but definitely was more hydrated.
Monthly goals are great for me because they help me stay consistent without getting completely overwhelmed by the thought of doing this for an entire year. 365 days is a big number!
The creative introvert who wants to be physically stronger in me is thinking of categorizing goals.
Creative goal: try something new every month. This can be learning to knit hats, designing a quilt, making a new page in my art journal, trying a new recipe, or a myriad of other things.
Social goal: something. I don’t know what I want this to look like yet. Touch base with each member of my immediate family? Make new friends? Invite people over? Initiate conversations? Join a quilt guild when I move? Teach classes?
Health goal: continue with monthly challenges. Get stronger. Stronger than what? How strong? Concrete numbers are good with goals because you’ll know when they’re attained. With my water challenge, drink more water is vague but drink 80oz is trackable.
Ta-da! Here they are, the long awaited photographs of “Estey’s Quilt.” Isn’t it cool? This is both my latest finish and the first of the portrait quilts I’ve made.
It started with a quilt show where I saw some beautiful applique quilts of a tiger’s face. Those quilts had been made from a pattern. My friend knew the perfect book when I mentioned that I’d like to learn how to make quilts like that, but from my own photographs, and to draft my own pattern. Here’s the link to that book on Amazon. It’s Faces and Places by Charlotte Warr Anderson. http://www.amazon.com/Faces-Places-Print-Demand-Edition/dp/1571200002/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1347682166&sr=8-3&keywords=charlotte+warr+anderson. She teaches how to use the shapes and shadows from actual photographs in quilts. Her method is reverse applique by hand. So that’s what I did for this first one. It is also hand quilted entirely by hand… which is why it took so long to make.
I found that I enjoyed this project so much that I wanted to make more… so I experimented with fusible webbing and machine quilting to streamline the process.
So there you have it, the whats and hows. But what are really special to me about this quilt are the whys. See, Estey is my little sister. We’ve pretty much had an up-and-down relationship from day one… when I threw a tantrum that “my baby” wasn’t named Jesus. (She was due around Christmastime, and I was nearly four years old.) Recently I’ve been putting a lot of effort into remembering the good times, and appreciating the woman she is today. That’s what I was focusing on with every hand stitch. The photograph this quilt is based on was taken when she was a toddler, struggling to get out of the stroller at Grandma’s house.
My baby sister is now married and expecting a child of her own. I feel like I’m not articulating this well right now, but I feel even more connected with and happy for her because of the time I put into this project. Plus it’ll be a great happy-expectations gift when I get it in the mail.