Patching holes, stitching up seams, gluing things back together—sewing often mirrors events in our lives. To create a joyous, productive life we are called upon to bring disparate elements such as family, work, art, and self-care together, much as we bring fabrics and thread together to make a quilt. Sometimes, the fabric of our lives tears—and then we are called upon to mend it. Darned patches and repaired gaps define and enrich our experiences.
We asked our readers to celebrate the marks and memories on the quilt of their souls with a piece of art! With a trend toward slow stitching, we were excited to offer a hand-stitching Reader Challenge based on the theme, “Mended.” Our readers responded thoughtfully and eloquently with gorgeous quilts, many using vintage fabrics. Hand sewn quilts showcase gaps in memory, love, and the tenor of the world—and how they can be brought together again and mended. We are pleased to present these original quilts, which appeared in the March/April 2019 issue. We hope you enjoy this selection of our readers’ work.
“Mending Grandma’s Patchwork Quilt”
Martha Jones-Carter • Richmond, Virginia
“I created this art quilt in memory of watching my grandma and my mother sewing and how they taught me at an early age how to mend my own clothes. The appliqué lady represents me mending my grandma’s patchwork quilt as it lay over my lap. I used embroidery thread and the punch needle technique to create the hair, vintage fabric for the dress, and cut-up scraps from old quilts to create the background. You can see the original hand-quilting stitches along with my hand stitching, which melds the piece together. Grandma’s quilt is represented by pieces of a late 1800’s quilt arranged to appear as a quilt hanging off the edge of the background. My grandmother is gone now and my mother is 92 years old. The time my mother and I share together now making quilts means so much to me, but the quilts we have created will always show and tell memories of our family love.”
“Mending Fences: One Quilt at a Time”
M. Rommie McLane • Ferndale, Washington
“We all have our differences, our various points of view, our political beliefs … sometimes we need to consider offering gestures of peace and comfort to all of our family, our neighbors, our country, and the earth. I think all quilters know this.”
“Make Do and Mend It All”
Jamie S. Willis • Mattoon, Illinois
“This is a tribute to my mother—who could mend anything—and did. Six children could wear out everything!”
I love seeing the Reader Challenge quilts, and was especially fascinated with this challenge’s focus on hand sewing. If you like hand sewn quilts, art quilts, or really cool art quilts, subscribe to Quilting Arts Magazine and never miss a Reader Challenge gallery! Interested in entering your work to be featured in Quilting Arts? Be sure to check out our current Reader Challenge.