Life and Fire Pregnant Goddess Quilt

Life and Fire Goddess Quilt

I designed this quilt in the Winter of 2007 when I was nine months pregnant with my son James. I was having trouble sleeping, but one night I managed to dream and I saw this image.

I can remember feeling the strength of this woman's power, her fiery red hair. Her body is full of life - the swirl is an ancient symbol for creation.

This quilt was created using Ann Holmes' No Sew Till You Quilt It french fusible applique technique. This is a very simple technique that allows you to piece very intricate quilts with curved seams without stitching at all until you're ready to baste and machine quilt. Life and Fire is the largest quilt I've made using this technique.

When I first finished this quilt I was extremely disappointed. I quilted Stippling very densely in the body of the goddess caused the fabric to pull together tightly. This was not balanced with the open wavy lines I quilted in the background of the pregnant goddess figure.

This caused the quilt to hang badly with a noticeable wave across the bottom edge. The quilting process taught me an important lesson about quilting. In order to hang well, the overall quilting design must be balanced.

You cannot quilt a large center section densely and the outer sections very loose and expect the quilt to hang straight on the wall. While subtle changes of in quilting scale (the distance between your lines of quilting) will be okay, quilting the center of a quilt on a 1/4-inch scale and the background on a 4-inch scale is not.

While initially disappointed, this quilt marked a huge learning experience and a significant time in my life. Now many years later, I can see this quilt hang on the wall and not feel ashamed of the way it hangs. Instead I see all the lessons I've learned since my son was born. It's nice to appreciate where I was in 2007 and how far I've come.

Skill is an ever building, ever growing body of knowledge. Personally I don't believe in innate talent, but the power of learning and honing skills over years of study and experience. The more you create, the more you know, and the better you will get.

One day I will make another version of this Life and Fire pregnant goddess quilt. In my dream I saw this figure on a hill, under a tree. I omitted those details in 2007 because frankly I didn't have the skill to create that quilt, and I wanted to focus completely on the goddess figure.

The wonderful thing about quilting is you can always make another quilt and I'm sure I will create another Life and Fire goddess quilt in the future.

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