Monday, April 22, 2013


Paths like this always get my attention and beckon to me to follow.
Most of my life has seemed to me to be this kind of path.  Some parts of it were known to me and very predictable; while other parts of it were obscure and I did not know where it would lead until I reached it.  Of course, there are still parts I have yet to see.

I have taken many side trips off my life journey path and one of those was when I chose to start quilting.  I did not grow up with quilters being very evident to me.  Until recently I was totally unaware that my grandmother was a quilter.  I just received one of her quilts from my cousin a few months ago.  It is a treasure for me, of course.

One of the turns in my path was to be invited to join other guild members of mine on a retreat to St. Mary's Retreat in Sewanne, TN.  It was a retreat to work on a Mystery Quilt Project led by Donna Vogel and Judy Pitts.  I was a brand new quilter at the time and lacked confidence in quilting so I knew I would have to rely completely on my leader.  At the end of the three days I did have a completed top.

It is very subdued in color.  I chose the focus fabric and added the other fabrics just the way the leader had said to do it.  I think it came out okay for my first time.  This weekend retreat turned out to be a real epiphany for me and launched me into wanting to learn everything I possibly could about quilting.

For many years I had been leading Workshops for women on leadership, spirituality, and confidence building.  The more I thought about this quilt the more I knew I could use this pattern as a visual to get my message across in my Workshops.  I wanted to "make a quilt" on a design board to illustrate the points I was teaching in the Workshop.

So, I started working on a plan.  I decided to use colors as a basis for the topic.  This would determine the palette of fabrics I chose.

The square at the top is my focus fabric and it represents all the parts of my life:  my family, my faith, my dreams, my goals and future experiences I will have.  It contains a mixture of colors and designs.  My life and that of others are a mixture of colors and designs.

This focus fabric has a dark background.  Something to give strength and depth to the pattern of clear, crisp autumn colors.  This fabric is the backbone of the quilt palette.

The black symbolizes truth seeking and knowledge.  Truth and knowledge serve to emphasize the vibrancy of the other colors of our lives.

The second fabric chosen is the gold for harmony.  A small tight pattern -- it binds together our many parts.  Harmony is critical to our true happiness.

Brown fabric represents neutrality.  It gives us grounding -- a firm foundation.  A part of our lives must always be grounded for security and safety.

Purple signifies royalty, but it is also symbolic of power and spirituality.  Each of us must treat ourselves with respect.  Give ourselves worth.  That is the  royal treatment of power and spirituality.

Pink stands for love and happiness -- it shows the power of a small amount of love in the whole of our lives.  In the completed quilt you will see how powerful this small strip becomes.

I chose green -- balance, calming, healing, prosperity -- which gives the eye a rest from all that it sees.  We must keep balance in order to be calm and experience prosperity and healing in our lives.

Red represents strength, health, vigor --  these are three elements that are needed to under gird a busy, meaningful life.

The first step was to cut strips from these fabrics in varying widths of my choice and then to sew them into a strata.

From the strata we would make some large blocks which would then be cut into triangles.  Our lives are made up of a strata of responsibilities and obligations and people all sewn together into the block of who we are.  On a regular basis those strata blocks of our lives are cut up into triangles and rearranged -- our children grow up and leave; our jobs change; our interests diversify; we experience the loss of loved ones;  and each time we are cut apart like this we become a little bit stronger and wiser.  However, we are still made up of those original pieces of fabrics.
These triangles will now be re-arranged to make new blocks. 

Each time our life blocks are cut up and rearranged we have to "square them up" in order for everything to fit together the way it needs to to complete the project.  "Squaring up" in life may mean we have to "sliver" off the rough edges and add a little touch of finesse and kindness to the way we act, respond and react.

After the new blocks are formed, several are joined together to give the larger block that will create the components of the pattern to the finished quilt.

In this quilt pattern, two distinct blocks are created.  They are now ready to be assembled into the final quilt top.

We still have the same original pieces we started with but they have been cut apart and re-sewn several times.  Our lives are just like this.  We have the same parts of ourselves we started with but life has made many cuts and re-sews to create the person we have become.  Just as you can see in the quilt, there are some strong parts that stand out and there are other parts that play a secondary role in the background.  We have our strengths and talents.  Some are stronger than others.  Notice how that small strip of pink (the strip representing love) draws your eye into the block.  Being loved is powerful.

This quilt is from a pattern written by Mary Ellen Hopkins called, "Hidden Wells".

Just like the path that has an infinity point that we cannot see, this quilt has hidden wells of interest that you might not see at first glance.

I used up the fabrics to make the back.

And my label includes the phrase, "Made with love not perfection".

 I have enjoyed sharing a little from my Life Diary so you might see a little bit more of who I am.




  1. This is a wonderful teaching tool....both for quilting and for life. Thank you so much for posting this right here and now on this particular day. It is perfectly timed. You are indeed a blessing :o)

    1. I am glad this was meaningful for you, BJ. I love to share things I have learned along the way.

  2. Simple, but profound. This is a great lesson in life. And who knew my hobby/therapy had such meaning?!?!?! Thanks.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly! Glad you enjoyed the piece.

  3. Your inspirations are contagious! Thank you for sharing them.

  4. Sandi I did not see this before but I have to say in knowing you and to all those of you who do not know Sandi this is truly a piece of her,this is truly who she is. A person of great strength and knowledge....a person who is grounded and constantly seeking new experiences and has a need to learn all that she can to better herself and the people around her...a person who is filled with a light that projects happiness and love and when you are around her you can just feel her power as a woman. I am truly blessed to call her my friend as many of us are.....Sandi this is a beautiful quilt just as you are a beautiful person inside and out!

    1. Sharon, I am glad this was meaningful for you. Thank you for your kind words. Friendships are yet another way our lives are cut apart and re- sewn to make us stronger and to give new meaning to our journey. I cherish my friendship with you.