Friday, February 6, 2015

Design Floor Friday - Sacred Threads

Thanks for coming back for another edition of Design Floor Friday!

No further progress has been made on my Grand Illusion Mystery quilt so I packed away the various parts of my GIMQ.  Those parts will reside in my "Bag of Mystery" until I am able to make a decision concerning the border application.  Today you will see a NEW project on the design floor.

What now, Joyful?

Recently, an Art Bee friend sent me an email out-of-the-blue:

"I always thought that the small wall hanging you did about the journey with your son would be a great entry for Sacred Threads.  The deadline is March and I am not sure if yours was big enough so you may have to do it over.  I think you should really think about entering.  What you say is just as important as the quilt itself."

That email touched me more than M could ever know.  I appreciate her opinion of my work and the encouragement that she provided to reach outside my comfort zone to even CONSIDER producing another piece of work in order to qualify for this show.  (Not something that I would normally do!)

Here are the particulars for the Show:

The call for entries:

The deadline for the main exhibit (Joy, Inspiration, Spirituality, Healing, Grief, Peace & Brotherhood) is March 9, 2015.

Excerpt from the Sacred Threads website:


This biennial exhibition was established to provide a venue for quilters of all faiths who see their work as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their spiritual journey. The first exhibit was held in 2001 and the exhibit is held in June of odd numbered years. Our next exhibit is in 2015 and will be held July 10-26, 2015 at Floris Methodist Church, in Herndon, VA (outside Washington DC).


Sacred Threads is open only to quilters within the United States and Canada. Only quilts or quilted hangings will be considered. A quilt is a fabric sandwich comprised of three layers: a top, a back and filling which are held together with quilting or tying threads. Integration of non-fabric items is acceptable; however, 3D pieces, altered books and items mounted on stretcher bars or framed cannot be accommodated.
Quilts submitted should explore themes of joy, spirituality, peace/brotherhood, inspiration, grief, or healing.  Quilts must be an original design or an original execution of a traditional pattern.
Quilt should have a minimum perimeter of 80"and maximum of 288"(sum of all sides). (If your quilt is close to these dimensions but does not quite meet the requirements, you may still enter your work.) Each quilt must have a 4" horizontal hanging sleeve and an identifying label on the back of the quilt. Quilts exhibited at previous Sacred Threads exhibits are not eligible.
Quilts requiring special support frames or entered with dowels or which contain fragile or breakable embellishments will not be accepted for the show. We reserve the right to refuse quilts which are controversial or felt to be inappropriate to the theme of the exhibition.
Sacred Threads will make a list available to our visitors of quilts that are for sale. We will provide any interested parties with your sale price and contact information. We do not require a commission but appreciate a tax-deductible donation.

Entry Process

The jurying process will be done from digital images only. Entrants will submit two images per entry (one overall view and one detail view).  All images must be of publication quality. Poor images will most likely disqualify your piece from jurying.
Each entry must also include an artist's statement of no more than 100 words describing the story or the inspiration behind the quilt.The number of works included in the exhibit will depend on the number of entries submitted and the space available.


I wonder if I can find my 100 words about my entry within in the confines of this post?

The original piece was made for an Art Bee challenge.  The title of the challenge, the prompt - if you will, was The Essence of Me.  As it turned out, my quilt turned out to be about what my family was going through during that time... not really about ME at all.  Have a look at the original quilt which I called Spinning Out of Control:

I was so involved in my son's battle for his life and his recovery from the necessary treatments that making a quilt was the furthest thing from my mind!  I came to the last possible moment and created a "quickie quilt."  It had the components of a quilt... top, batting, and backing.  It was stitched through all three layers and that's about where the quilt-like qualities ended.

You see, I put my challenge entry together on the morning that the quilts were due!!!  They don't call me the Queen of the Last Minute for nothing.  :P

I started the quilt with a couple of things that are distinctly ME... a piece of denim (I wear jeans all the time) and some lime green (my favorite color) fabric.  From there I added all of the words that filled my head and others that filled my heart.  These were written in permanent marker, surrounding a drawing of a tornado in an attempt to get across the turmoil I felt.  "Getting it all out" really seemed to lighten the load that I had been carrying around.


HGB (hemoglobin)
PLT (platelets)
aplastic anemia
bone marrow transplant
college apps
family support

With the top complete, I grabbed a scrap piece of batting (scrappy, another key to what makes me, me) and shoved that between the top and backing.  The size wasn't quite right.  It was a little large for the piece.  Instead of trimming it, I chose to leave it hanging out the top and bottom of the little quilt.  I frayed the edges and let that exemplify the way that my nerves were frayed by all of the uncertainty about my son's health.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  :o))

After receiving M's email and considering her suggestion, I decided to give it a shot!  It's a tight time frame and I have other projects that I should be working on.  However, I think that making a (better/more artistic/expanded) quilt that specifically addresses what my son went through will be helpful.  I'm getting excited about having a quilt that depicts the strength of our family, the healing power of modern medicine, and the peace that comes from what FlyLady would call a God Breeze.

Here's where I'm headed with the new piece:

Three different design options are shown in the photo above (along with an expanded word list.)

After looking at the designs, the photo BELOW show the most likely choice:

This design would incorporate my son's Beads of Courage (adding a more artistic appearance to the new quilt.)

For more on the Beads of Courage program, go to to see how the program is encouraging to patients and caregivers alike.  While the beads may not mean much to a teen-aged boy, I looked forward to each bead award during my son's hospital stay.  It was tangible evidence to each test, procedure, and recovery milestone.


Regarding the quilt, if there's time, I might add a post here and there as I progress.  Otherwise, I'll let you know IF the quilt gets completed in time.  I will also report in if/when I hear from the show organizers concerning my entry (again, providing I finish it!)

Until next time...
Do something meaningful!!!


  1. This post is so touching. What a testimony to what you and your son went through. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out. Hugs

  2. Thanks! It has been quite the journey.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out, too. Thinking about the design, I've wondered if I'll have enough beads to complete the quilt. It may come down to finding a creative solution for spreading the beads over the piece to make a cohesive whole.

  3. Awesome project...celebrate your journey as you move forward in your quilting life!

  4. What an amazing and inspiring idea.

    I can't wait to see how it develops!

  5. A wonderful story of life and a quilt and their intersecting journeys. Looking forward to seeing it all progress.


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