Handmade Quilt Art – A Sisterhood Connected By Thread

Every Tuesday, the teams from Quilting Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors, and Stitch magazines gather in the common area of our office space for show and tell. Each week, we ooh and aah over projects big and smallfrom handmade quilts to encaustic experiments to toss pillow covers.

handmade quilt by mary walter
Handmade quilt by Mary Walter, 50" x 50".

Last week, Stitch technical editor Mary Walter brought in her latest quilt. Mary is a longtime quilt artist who also dyes her own fabric. The colors and design of this handmade quilt intrigued me. But I have to say that what really caught my eye was the hand quilting.

Mary explained her design, and why she used hand stitching, this way:

"This quilt was inspired by traditional Welsh Quilts. The leaf motif, the wool batting, and the heavier stitching thread are common Welsh elements used in their quilts. I loved the patina of the Welsh quilts and their unique quilting designs that seemed to be 'drawn' and then stitched.

"The freedom of this kind of stitching captures the intuitive joy of putting thread to fabric and letting the design evolve. I used commercial cotton and African fabrics, my stitch-resist dyed leaf fabric, wool batting, and size 8 perle cotton thread to portray the essence of the Welsh quilts that appeal to me."

hand quilted leaf motif by mary walter
Leaf and hand quilting detail.

Mary's hand quilting is not only beautiful, but it traces the thread back to the generations of our sisters (and some brothers) who taught each other how to quilt by hand. And, even though our weekly show and tell sessions at the office are brief, they echo the connection that all artistsparticularly fiber artistsshare.

Last summer I wrote about another kind of sharing among women: the support we give each other when one in our family or circle of friends is diagnosed with breast cancer. My sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, best friend, and many others in my near-and-dear circle have all battled breast cancer. And at some point, haven't we all wished we could do something about it?

This week, there is. To recognize National Breast Cancer Awareness month, I'm pleased to let you know that this week (through 11:59 PM MST on 10/5/12), 30% of all Quilting Daily Shop proceeds go to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

I hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to shop our wonderful array of products and help support the fight against breast cancer at the same time.

P.S. Help spread the word! We are providing free Facebook cover and Twitter header art for you to download and use. Get the art and the details here.

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