Terry is a dear family friend, a mentor in womanhood, who continues to inspire me with her intentional and artistic endeavors. This post has been long in coming, so I'll just give you what she sent me:
A luna moth quilt!
For a long time (decades) I have wanted to make pictures out of fabric. Until three years ago, I had no idea there was such a medium as "art quilts." I began taking a class here and there to gain some basic skills and learn what others were doing. When I found a 4-day workshop on making pieced art quilts, and I knew this was how I wanted to work. The luna moth is the first art quilt I made with these new skills, following the instructions of my talented teacher, Sheri Alcorn.
It is based on a photograph, but the design, piecing, and quilting are all my own work—from selecting fabrics to adding original appliqued "eyes" and antennae. How can I describe the fulfillment I experienced as I worked with hundreds of tiny pieces to create what had been latent in me for so long? I enjoyed the process of abstracting the photo, cutting and piecing original patterns to fit my design, adjusting color choices as the moth began to take shape on my sewing machine. The pieced design was finished in four intense days of class time, but the finishing (adding a back, quilting, binding, and applique) took me several months more. Each step was a little scary: What if I did something that "ruined" my work? Would I still like my quilt if my novice skills did not match my aspirations? The outcome has been a delight to me and to my family for years now, and I have made two more quilts since then.
The most valuable lessons I learned from making this first quilt are these: It's never too late to learn something new. (I'm 50-something!) Taking a class does not negate creativity; it empowers it. Learning by doing is the only way to master a skill, so just do it!