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Hot Cast - Perfectionist Goddess Quilt Story, Podcast #79

Hot Cast was a unique goddess quilt I made after starting Sinkhole, but before I set that dark quilt on fire. Similar to Emergence, this was a quilt that needed a bit of time put away before I could pull her out and enjoy the finished effect of the quilt.

I’ve shared the story of Hot Cast and the lessons she taught me in Episode #74 of the Hello My Quilting Friends podcast:

Hot Cast Quilt Design

The design process for Hot Cast was really fun. I pulled out several books on signs and symbols and my favorite was a book on the history and symbolism of the Free Masons. I decided to use several iconic symbols from the Masons including the black and white checkerboard floor, stair steps, blazing sunshine, columns, and archway.

The design of the goddess was greatly inspired by my work casting bronze sculptures. I worked at a foundry in 11th and 12th grade and learned the lost wax casting process. Typically when casting a statue of a woman, we would cut off her arms, legs, and head to cast those pieces separately so the metal would flow easily through the entire torso.

Leah Day Goddess quilt Hot Cast

I loved this idea and it’s also the inspiration for the name – Hot Cast – though I did decide to leave her head on to make the quilt more pretty.

Constructing the Quilt

For Hot Cast, I returned to the method I’d used to construct Release Your Light. I hand appliqued the goddess’s body and hair onto a white background, then used paint to add the color to the stairs, columns, and background.

Here is the quilt before painting:

Leah Day Goddess series

My favorite part of this painting process was painting the vein lines that run through the goddess’s body from her heart. That was a mixture of gold, bronze, and crimson Jacquard Lumiere Textile paints and it turned out 100% perfect.

Leah Day Goddess series

My least favorite part of the painting process was the columns where I made a mistake in the paint and then quickly found this type of paint doesn’t blend or layer well.

I agonized over fixing this mistake and it definitely colored my love of the quilt towards the end. I ultimately had to put the quilt away for a few months before I could pull it out and appreciate the finished effect.

Like most of my goddess quilts, the back is almost prettier than the front:

Leah Day Goddess series


Overcoming the Need for Perfection

One of the biggest lessons from Hot Cast was about perfection and how dangerous the pursuit can be. In a lot of ways I was wanting this quilt to prove something to myself. I was hoping by working hard and slaving away at the quilt, I would somehow earn my own respect and love.

But then when mistakes happened and the quilt wasn’t perfect, what do you think happened? Instead of being a journey of positive growth, this quilt became another thing I could berate myself with. See? Look how imperfect you are! You can’t even make a quilt right!

Yes, I found ways to cover up my painting mistake, but I also damaged myself with my own unreachable expectations and willingness to nitpick over every single detail.

We can be our own worst enemies. We can choose to look at every flaw and obsess about every missed stitch.

Or we can choose a different path. I choose to be grateful now. I’m so lucky to be able to make this quilt and have these experiences and design this interesting quilt. I’m so thankful I was able to stitch my way out of that dark time and to stop seeking perfection in things that cannot ever be perfect.

It wasn’t perfect and yes, a lot of this insight came many years after finishing Hot Cast.

Every quilt is a journey and this was just another lesson I needed to learn in this process.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


Thank you Sherry! I really appreciate it!

Leah Day,

Leah, you are one amazing woman! I don’t know how you find time to do all you do! You are an amazing artist and such an inspiration! Thank you- thank you for being you!!!

Sherry Wildenstein,

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