The yoga studio where I practice can be a bit chilly in the spring and fall. During Savasana (you know, corpse pose: lying completely still, focusing on your breath), I have trouble focusing on anything but cold fingers and toes. Clearly, I needed a yoga quilt.
What Does a Yoga Quilt Look Like?
Let Love Shine
In addition to making me stretchie-bendy and strong, yoga offers some life lessons. Something I work on is the flow of positive energy. I just think about walking into a room full of happy, excited people. That energy pours right into me, and I feel the buzz from it.
What sort of energy am I sharing? I try to lead with love and positivity. I try. I’m a work in progress.
My quilt had featured a heart, the design and the quilting needed to represent the outward flow of energy, and I needed an organic, spontaneous process. OK, but how to start?
After cruising Pinterest for a bit, I stumbled upon a tutorial for making Pieces of My Heart, by Wendy Williams of Red Thread Studio. Bingo! I was off and running.
The fabrics for the top are all batiks and hand-dyed, with some of the hand-dyed being my own. The pieces are all very small at the start, so I got to choose a lot of fun fabrics.
The quilt is made in two parts; each starting with half of a very small heart. As successive strips of fabric are added and trimmed, every so often, a rotary cutter is used to trim and refine the heart shape.
The two halves were constantly lined up, fabrics were auditioned, and more strips were added. At this point, one of the challenges of this technique became very obvious.
Williams gives a warning about this in the tutorial: trimming the strips leaves bias edges. Sewing seams along the bias involves a lot of loosey-goosey, flexie-stretchie bits (sounds right for yoga, right?). Moving the growing pieces also took care, as I didn’t want to stretch them out of shape.
I started this quilt on October 1, 2017. By November 10, all of it’s bits and pieces were packed up and loaded into the car for our drive to British Columbia.
Let Love Shine goes on a road trip!
My sewing machine wasn’t set up again until our house sit in Comox, on Vancouver Island. While I often consult Karen during my design process (it’s good to have a second set of eyes, she’s good with colour, and she can make decisions in a heartbeat), this project had a second consultant.
Miss Tala seemed to approve, every step of the way.
Things were moving along very well until I needed one final fabric. I was in search of the perfect black-purple batik, and poor Karen learned that a person can search a lot of quilt shops before finding that one perfect match.
During this stall, inspiration for another quilt hit my squirrely brain, so my *ahem* focus shifted. Then, all production came to a screeching halt, while we travelled Thailand for a month.
Eventually, back home, I got the two halves finished, sewn together, squared, and sandwiched (layered with the flannel backing and cotton batting). The squaring off and sandwiching happened with a lot of help. What would I do without my quilting groups?
At 129 x 193 cm (51 x 76″), this is the biggest project I’ve quilted on my domestic machine. Lesson learned: ignore the advice to roll the quilt to fit it through the throat space of my machine. That roll of fabric and batting became very stiff and hard to move.
My quilting stitches were uneven to say the least, and I ripped out several lines of extremely small stitches. Not fun.
Simply smooshing the material allowed it to puddle and move freely. Much easier. Far fewer bad words.
I managed to get the binding attached the day before setting up our quilt show this past weekend. Even so, Last Minute Leah employed some quilt show smoke and mirrors.
The back is a total mess, as I still have to tie off and bury my threads!
Good thing it wasn’t a juried show.
On display at the Ponemah Thera-Piecers’ Quilt Show
Let Love Shine
October 1, 2017 – Any Minute Now, 2018