It truly has been a terrible summer here in Australia. The enormous scale of our devastating bushfires is hard to get your head around; and the grief and anger throughout the nation is palpable. The emergency of our changing climate aside, I can’t help but notice that with Brexit, impeachment hearings, and news broadcasts full of injustice and inequality, that the division between cultures and within nations has never been greater.
I’ve made donations to bushfire relief from both my personal and business accounts and will do so again in the future; I have also written to my Prime Minister and local member of parliament. And yet it still doesn’t feel enough and my hands have been seeking the solace of doing something more tangible.
If you’ve ever kept a journal you probably know how just getting the words out and onto the page can help you crystallise your thoughts about big issues.
This is where The Proverbial Quilt comes in. It provides the perfect framework to speak my mind through our craft of quilting. The Proverbial Quilt lets you get the words out and at the same time quilt-out your grief, your anger, your worries. Just as importantly you could take the opportunity to work on a phrase that inspires you, records a moment in time, or send a message of love and gratitude.
Here’s Denyse’s Election Quilt version of The Proverbial Quilt from October 2016 to get you thinking. Four years on and the message still resonates.
When we make a quilt, we stitch so much of ourselves into it. We express our creativity in every decision along the way: from the initial inspiration; through to the last stitch in the binding. It takes much more time and commitment to make a quilt than, for example sign a petition (though that can still be a great way to support a cause!), so when you use your craft to say something, it's obvious you really mean it. Thomas Knauer explores this idea further in his latest book Why We Quilt:
'Because quilts are large, long-lasting objects, their very material presence lends a certain gravitas…..' (Thomas Knauer, Why We Quilt, 2019.)
As long as you can spell it out, we want to see it quilted out! So, if YOU'VE got something to say and you already know you want in, you can sign up here.
About the Proverbial Quilt
The Proverbial Quilt is a pattern by Denyse Schmidt with instructions for four sizes, baby through to king. The design is rooted in the tradition of early ‘talking’ quilts, yet is graphic and modern.
The Proverbial Quilt is available as a digital pattern and can be purchased for immediate download from DSQuilts or add one to your cart next time you are shopping for quilty stuff at Sewtopia, or from me at The Next Stitch here
During the quilt-along we will be focusing on improvisational piecing techniques to make the letters, however the pattern includes pattern pieces for all 26 letters of the alphabet for the folk who prefer to make templates for the letters as instructed in the pattern and they are easily customised for hand piecing or foundation paper piecing.
How will the quilt-along work?
The Proverbial Quilt-along starts Saturday 28 March and we will send out weekly emails for 6 weeks full of inspiration, tips and encouragement.
There is no cost to join, but you will need to purchase a copy of The Proverbial Quilt pattern. Printed copies are no longer available, but you can purchase a digital copy for immediate download from Denyse, Sewtopia or The Next Stitch via the links above.
Just like the #freewheelingsinglegirlsal19 most of the quilt-along activities will take place on Instagram and we will be using this hashtag:
Remember to add #theproverbialquiltalong when posting about your project so that everyone can see your progress. It is a fabulous way to connect with other quilters and get the most of out the sew-along experience.
Each week we will be sharing design ideas, tutorials, tips and tricks as well as some special offers. Best of all it is absolutely free!
Make sure you register so that you get all of the weekly updates delivered straight to your inbox.
The Proverbial Quilt-along Facebook group
We anticipate that for many makers this will be an emotional project and Instagram may feel too public a forum for sharing your progress. If that sounds like you, we encourage you to join the optional sew-along Facebook group. It is a private group, moderated by Denyse, Amy and myself and provides a more intimate space to ask questions and share ideas.
The group is only open to people who have registered for the sew-along and the link to request to be added to the group is here.
The Proverbial Quilt-along Schedule
Week 1 is about gathering your supplies. Make sure you have registered for the weekly emails and purchased your copy of The Proverbial Quilt pattern from DSQuilts.
Start thinking about your quilt design in terms of fabric and palette, but most importantly think about what you want to say.
The goal this week is to post a picture of your fabric pull on Instagram and tell us a little about yourself and your project.
This week we will start to make letters, so by now you will need to have settled on your phrase.
The goal this week is make at least a dozen letters.
Keep making more of those letters. Aim for at least another twenty or better yet finish all that you need, and begin making words
The goal this week is to construct the words you need for at least two rows, or better yet sew those rows together.
Join more letters and words together.
The goal is to post a picture of another three rows.
We know that life has a habit of getting in the way, so week 5 is catch up week. Keep working on your letters, words and rows as needed and post a picture of your progress. We will be here, clasping our pompoms, ready to cheer you on.
This last week is all about finishing any outstanding text and then sewing everything together with your background. The goal this week is to post a picture of your completed Proverbial Quilt top, no later than Saturday 9 May 2020 to be in the running for a prize.
You said prizes?
Yes there will be prizes! We have some fun ideas (and awesome goods) to sprinkle plenty of quilty glitter on our sew-along community. More about our fabulous prizes and generous sponsors is coming soon. Watch this space!
Brilliant! We can’t wait to sew with you.