Saturday, August 28, 2010

Modern Quilt for an Old Friend

An old friend of mine got married this summer. Not that that's unusually big news, but this friend has had quite the journey.  We've been friends a long time - high school, college roommates. Years later we even ended up getting married within weeks of each other, had our first babies within months of each other - and then things changed drastically for her.  Her first husband was diagnosed with severe mental health issues.  She was pregnant with her second baby and no longer in a safe situation. Tragedy of the cruelest kind. 

As I get older and find out about more people I knew in my adolescence who have grown into serious mental health issues, it breaks my heart. Because there's so much stigma, and so many helpless feelings there. I have another friend who's husband has cancer.  While equally tragic, it's socially normal to rally around someone battling something like cancer, but how to help someone who is battling their own brain turning them into a different person is daunting. It's not like you can just bring them a casserole and hope they get better. Mental health issues are not for sissies, I tell you.
Anyway, after years of being a single mom, putting herself through graduate school, and supporting her girls  all alone, my friend married the greatest guy this summer. If anyone deserved a big dose of happiness, it's her.  And so, to celebrate a new family, I wanted to give them a quilt. 
The inspiration for this quilt came from a picture of a throw-pillow I saw in a magazine. (Don't you find that sometimes you find quilt inspiration everywhere?)  Everything came from the stash, including the back and binding. I love that feeling. My only regret is the binding. I don't love it, but it was too late by the time I finished to change it. These pictures were hastily taken 10 minutes before I had to leave for the wedding. (Such is the life of our crazy summer.)
I'm thinking about publishing a pattern for this quilt.  But I'm still looking for the perfect name.  If you have a great suggestion, let me know. If I pick yours, you can have the pattern for free!

Pattern now available on sidebar! ---->

I'm linking with Today's Creative Blog!

And AmyLouWho!


111 comments:

madebymum said...

The brown really pops in this quilt . It looks like pouring melted chocolate for a square jug into another into another, Maybe you could call the pattern Chocolate sauce.

Des said...

linked.
kinda goes with it being a wedding quilt too. :)

DeeRoo said...

Oh kiddo....you have such a wonderful spirit...your friend has gone through a lot..so glad she has found her companion.

The quilt is beautiful...no fretting that binding...I love it.

How about calling it Always Connected?

Leslie said...

i don't have a perfect name for it but i would be so excited if you made a pattern for it...i have been staring at it wondering how on earth you made it.

Heather said...

YOU are so sweet!! when i read the story and looked at the quilt... i only thought of { building blocks }... it's tough to rebuild one's life and you gotta do it one block at a time! Congrats to your friend!

Luv 2 Kreate said...

I am happy that your friend is finally happy and has found a wonderful husband to love her.

The quilt is beautiful! Taking into account the whole story I was thinking "Sticks & Stones" I know how cruel people can be when you are going through something they don't understand, even if they are not trying to be. I am sure it wasn't easy for her!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

I love the story and the quilt is amazing Amy! Please make a pattern!
I would call it "Links - Past & Future".

Laurie, the girls and Scott said...

Bricks on sticks?

I love this one. Good work! I love the story behind it and I'm thrilled that your friend is in a new happy marriage.

Garilyn said...

Love the quilt.
I was thinking "Connect the blocks" or "Connect the links."

Beth said...

dang - i love it - and what a story, huh? we just never know, do we? i can't stop looking at the quilt - it reminds of ying/yang b/c one is the opposite of the other - that of course, reminds me of seinfeld and the black and white cookie. i like some of the other suggestions, though... something about the way life works - blocks...

Emily {Creative Chicks} said...

Right away when I saw it I thought it was this quilt. http://aquiltisnice.blogspot.com/2010/05/summer-blocks.html
Very similar...

Congrats to your friend. Everyone deserves to be happy and be loved!

Me? A Mom? said...

Beautiful. It reminds me a bit of Cluck Cluck Sew's Chain Reaction pattern: http://www.cluckclucksew.com/2010/03/chain-reaction-quilt-pattern.html

I like the width of your borders. So great. And what a touching story to go along with it.

miriam said...

"Squares of Time" The beautiful brown quilt reminds me about the sands of time and how life changes just like the sand on the beach hence the name "Squares of Time.
Miriam

Kelly said...

I love the quilt! How about "Friendly Connection" or simply "Connections" ? What a wonderful gift!

Jennifer said...

I love it! The brown sashing really stands out. I like simple names like "Connections". What a sweet friend you are!

Jennifer :)

Cindy said...

Love your quilt, and the story that inspired you to make it. Mental illness is all to often hidden because people are ashamed. However it is no different than any other illness one faces. You are a great friend, and obviously very understanding. Not sure for a name but when I look at your quilt I see windows. Maybe something along the lines of "windows to your soul".

Amy said...

Gorgeous quilt. Sad story with a great happy ending. I've got the perfect name for your quilt. The Modern Honeycomb. I hope you like-y because I would love that pattern. It reminds me a lot of a honeycomb pattern, but with the more modern touch of squares subbing in for the traditional hexagons. In LOVE! =)

Malmbergs said...

Aren't friendships the best? They give you so many experiences in which to enrich your life.

How about calling it....
"The Square Root of Life"

Barb

Blue Is Bleu said...

This is soooo lovely Amy! Such a wonderful gift. It takes a strong person to go through what your friend's gone through, and to come out of it finding happiness is just amazing.

Hmm what to name it... How about "Path To Happiness" since it seems like your friend's taken quite a journey to where she is now.

Kelsey Rose said...

Hmm. For some reason this quilt reminds me of boxcars in a railroad. Maybe "Modern Boxcar"?

Or if u want it to be more tied to the concept of a wedding quilt, maybe "Eternally Linked"?

MomBrose said...

It's so beautiful! It kind of reminds me of those time lines in history books that have a line and then a block of "explanation" above it. So, I would call it Time Line. :)

ktquilts said...

Great quilt!! I didn't read the other posts, so this one may be taken..."Missing Link". Since not all of the squares have borders!

Great quilt!

Sherri said...

Gorgeous quilt...and a happy beginning to the story too!

Debbie Cook said...

Great quilt! I would name it in honor of your friend and what you already wrote: Big Dose of Happiness and then include the backstory with the pattern.

Rhonda said...

I didn't read the whole story but my 1st thought was "links of love". The squares seem to link together. :)

Rhonda said...

Now that I've read the rest of the post "links of love" is so fitting (in my humble opinion) :)

Kacey said...

i'm thinking "interlocked" or "chain linked" or something like that...

Trisha said...

I think Des had the right idea with Linked.

Beautiful quilt, Amy. What a wonderful gift. I love that pattern.

Leila said...

I love this pattern. I like how the dark brown is the focal point yet the light brown mirrors the same pattern. I think Yin and Yang Squared would be a good name. Two basic blocks working together in different color combinations to make something greater than either could be separately.

I suffer from depression and hit rock bottom soon after our first daughter was born. Thankfully I was able to realize (after a long while) that I needed help and got it but it has been a long hard journey. Not for the faint in heart - bless my husband. Mental health issues often show up in the early 20's. The stresses of school, missions, marriage and being out on ones own don't help the trend either. I hope we can all keep an eye out on our young adult friends and family and not be afraid to speak out and talk to them if we think there is an issue.

Jessica said...

your quilt is really amazing (equally impressed that it came all from the stash too), I think i saw that inspirational magazine photo too because something like this has been floating around my "i'll make it when i have time" pile too. It would be great if you wrote up a pattern. Maybe you could call it "stash chain" or something..
I agree with your assessment that mental illness has a stigma that causes people to avoid it in conversation, even when the family members affected need open support more than anything. I don't know any family that is free of this type of trouble, but a whole lot of them pretend it isn't there..
I'm glad your friend was able to safely move on.

NorahS said...

That is a beautiful quilt. I like the binding and I'm sure she loves it! I think a pattern would be great. I would call it something with the word "connect" or "connections". I see some previous posters had the same thought.

Duff said...

I think we're all thinking alike! I came up with connections and time after time (can anyone say that without thinking of Cyndi Lauper?) How about Time Traveler, or Stone's Throw/Skipping Stones (the way that when you throw a stone it skips across the water) I like the idea of nature because the quilt has such an organic feel to it. Whatever you name it, I'm ready to buy the pattern! ♥

Sew Create It - Jane said...

What a stunning quilt...well done! I love the optical illusion created with the solid frames and it would be a great quilt to use up some charm squares!

Sheena said...

Beautiful job! Love the colours, love the backing, love the pattern!
How about "Love Squared"?

Di~ said...

Connections. Lovely quilt.

sweety said...

Really touching story and wonderfull quilt! I would call it: The path to happiness.

Maureen F. said...

That quilt is awesome - what a story and you are so correct about how people react/rally around different diseases.

Since it looks like building blocks - how about building a new beginning

Kinda looks like a ladder so - "ladder of happiness: or ladder of love - play on labor of love

Or Ups and downs but now happy
Or Happy begins now.

Can't wait for the pattern !!! what an awesome gift

Jodie B-C said...

Beautiful color combinations!
How about "New Chapter"?

Cheryl said...

the quilt is beautiful! thank you for sharing the story. You are so very right about how hard it is to help someone through dealing with mental illness issues. So, I just give it to God and pray.

I have a name for the quilt for you...well a couple..
"Life's journey" or Journey to the other side."

oh and I love the binding...nice pop of color.

brodiefiles said...

There are already so many great names! Perhaps "happiness Squared" since they are squares, "happiness Cubed", or Links of love.

Kim Walus said...

You will probably make her cry when she see's this gorgeous quilt you made her. Wow!! I love the inpiration that led to designing and making this wonderful version. Love it!

Quiet Quilter said...

I suggest "Life A La Mode". It makes me think of chocolate with all kinds of topping, so to interpolate,,,life with all kinds of good juicy experiences.

Jen O said...

What about calling it "Plinko"? It reminds me of that game on The Price is Right where the person stands at the top of the board and drops the plinko chip and watches it bounce on the pegs before it lands on the big money at the bottom! Love this look, and I can picture it in colors for my son's bed.

james and bess said...

beautiful quilt!!! it reminds me of paths, so maybe "choose your own path" or "make your own way"? :)

bess :)

Marcia said...

This reminds me of the candy called "Cow Tails" or, a "Chain Link Fence" . This looks intricate.

upstateLisa said...

great quilt!

Nik said...

How about "Rejuvenate" or "Revitalize" because it seems that's what your friend has done with her life.

In nursing school we called mental illness the "no casserole" sickness, because no one brings you a casserole when you have mental illness.

ladybugquilting said...

I love your Quilt!
My choice for a name is 'Trellis' as it looks like a beautiful Wall Garden.
Actually I like that for a name also.......
You could use either Trellis or Wall Garden

paulette said...

Connecting Paths..
Or
Forever Connected

Love the quilt and I'm sure your friend will treasure it forever!
Take care!
Paulette

Patty said...

Beautiful quilt beautiful story. Wishing your friend many happy and blissful Years together.
"Around the Block"

Sarah Craig said...

"Chained Melody" (Can you tell I just watched Ghost this afternoon?)

Kendra said...

LOVE this quilt....what about
"Hip To Be Square" quilt

Sunshine said...

I've seen a similar quilt called Charm Bracelet, but this one is almost a double charm bracelet. It reminds me of those bead curtains you can buy for doors and windows, and it also looks a bit psychedellic because the eyes can shift focus from dark to light, so "Bead Curtain Mirage" would be a supercool name!

Judy said...

It's such a lovely quilt and a wonderful story. How about "Inside Out"

Cecily said...

Maybe "Friendship Chain" because of the story it has behind it and it looks like interlocking links. Just found your blog and your quilts are beautiful!

Becki and Jeff said...

M&Ms... because the quilt is so colorful ( like the candy) with different shades of chocolate. I love it and may your friend have all the happiness in heaven gives her!

star said...

How about "from here to square"? Very pretty quilt.

Gremma said...

How about aMAZEing Grace. Mental illness is kind of like a maze, some people find their way out, others don't. But it is by His grace that we can receive comfort. Hugs to your friend.

Monica said...

"German Chocolate Cake" is what it reminds me of! Great quilt! Thanks for sharing it.

anne said...

Wow love your quilt and the colours. Thank you for sharing and a massive amount of good luck to your friend. I thought of these names for the quilt...

1. Blessings
2. New Beginings
3. 2nd Chance

Papgena Made It said...

For me, I like the binding, it's blue!! :)

I think the quilt is beautiful, I look to it and think in life's crossroads: you know, life is a road with crossroads, and you go and make choices (so in away you turn right or left) and sometimes when you look back you can see the pattern, why you are where you are.

You're also right in mental diseases reaction: it's not easy fo the patiente and to the surrounder people, much have to do yet. All the happiness in the world to your family.

Anonymous said...

I married into a family that has multi-generations of mental history. Not only is mental illness hard on the person suffering from it but also on the families and friends. And you're right about the social stigma attached to mental illness and the reluctance for people to talk about it.

As for the quilt...I love the pattern and design! The name 'stepping stones' comes to mind. Kind of like life. We must step on each stone to learn something about ourselves, our strength, faith, etc. And each stone makes a path that leads us to happiness. Such as a wonderful husband for your friend!

Kim Nielsen

ohiostar5 said...

When I saw the first picture of your quilt I thought "Stop Light."

{april two eighty} said...

i just recently found your blog, and i love it!!
this quilt is gorgeous, thankyou for sharing the story behind & the inspiration for it. i'm sure it will be well loved.

Erin said...

A beautiful quilt, with a beautiful story (with a happy ending). I cried when I read it because it resonated with me - when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we had so much support from friends and family and complete strangers. However, when he was battling depression a year later it was very isolating and we both felt like we couldn't go to people as we had a year earlier. Our story does have a happy ending in that he is in remission from both the cancer and the depression!

Anyway - I think a name for this beauty would be "Love's Links" - you and your friend have been linked together for a long time, and as we grow and evolve, we just add links to our own chain...

jlk said...

I think of windows when I see this, so I would call it "Open Windows." It reminds me of the phrase from the Sound of Music: When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

Mary said...

How beautiful... What about "interconnected" or "chains of a link".... Something to honor your friend and the friendship...

Katrina said...

Love this quilt!

What about friendship at every turn?

Vanessa said...

I wish I could come up with some clever quilt name to get this pattern for free! Such a great quilt and sweet story behind it.

John'aLee said...

I am so happy for your friend. And I love the way you wrote about 'mental illness'. It couldn't have been said better!
I was a single mom raising 4 kids all on my own for many years, and started my own interior design business...which eventually led me into the quilting industry. So when I say 'kudos' to your friend...it goes out with admiration.
Beauty of a quilt you made her. I'm sure it will touch her heart.

Chelley said...

I'd love to have this pattern. How about Modern Love?

live a colorful life said...

I like the already-suggesed names of Linked and aMAZEing Grace.

Baeutiful quilt. I wish your friend a wonderful marriage.

Sooz said...

How about "Linked."?

I just got turned on to your blog from Amy at Amy's Creative Side. I like your style. Hope to share more with you as we all go forward! Best. Susan

Heather said...

That is an awesome quilt!! The name that pops into my head is: Rubics Cube Quilt!
I'm sure she loved it, as do I!

Theresa said...

I love the chocolate in this quilt and I love the story. How about Staying Connected?

Catherine said...

Thank you for sharing the very personal story behind your gorgeous quilt. I love all the quilt-names that have been suggested. Here's a couple more - Goodbye Hello or Rhythm of Life - to honour your friend's past and to embrace her future. Catherine

Kasi said...

I am no good at coming up with names, but I will DEFINITELY be buying this pattern!

neubiewaters said...

It looks like pictures frames to me, so I would probably just call it the picture frame pattern. Maybe since you made it for your friend & her first husband had such bad mental illness, you could give a portion to an org. that benefits those with mental illness or research of the diseases?

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

The quilt is lovely. Really beautiful. I just look at newly married couples and think ..."I know something you don't know"...almost like I'm afraid for them. You know?

brandie said...

My suggestions is "Connections". It is the connections that we have with others that are so important. All the best to your friend.

TaraB said...

How about "Boxed In"?

I'm sure that is how your friend felt during her life and now she is flying free....

Lael said...

Ok- my idea "Beyond Bonds", because freindship is so much more. It's listening and standing by when friends don't rely on you; it's accepting and letting each other make her own decisions at times!

SewSara said...

i really loved this post, the quilt, and what you said about mental illnesses. thanks for sharing.
the quilt is stunning!
love your blog :)
please keep it up!

Hollie said...

Love the quilt! It's fabulous! And I am so glad your friend has found some happiness.

Alisa said...

Very nice quilt! It's a beautiful gift.

Summer :) said...

I work as an art therapist with the mentally ill. I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes it is very hard to deal, & I get to go home at night. I can't imagine what it would be like to live with it myself... it brings a completely different level of compassion to the plate. One that many are not familiar with because of fear. Which is too bad, there is so much to learn from everyone on this earth. Everyone has some impact and connection to another... no escaping that.

I would call it: It's All Connected. Or All Connected.

May this marriage be Blessed! :)

Jackie said...

This story of your friend is very moving to say the least. I totally agree with you about the whole mental health thing. In my life, I have know several individuals who battle with this type of thing on a daily basis. Tough to say the least. I hope that your find has truly found her pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I know she sure found that in you!

a little bit biased said...

Great pattern! Love the colors! You should definitely print up the pattern.

Kristi said...

Here from Get Your Craft On. So true about society not accepting mental disorders as a real serious issue. You should like a very compassionate friend and your friend is lucky to have you. Beautiful quilt!! I love the pattern.

~ The Speckled Dog

Alice R. said...

Oooooh, I really love this quilt! PLEASE print the pattern. For a name: how about "Grecian Link" if you want sophisticated or "In and Out" if you don't. It would be an honor to name such a lovely thing!

Joyce Stecyk said...

Love the story. I would call it "finding the way out" because it made me think of all those puzzles where you "start here" and then go through all these funny little trails and backtracks, trying to find the way to the end, where you get out. Sounds like that was sort of her story, too.
My family deals with lots of depression and alcoholism, so I know about mental health issues. A day at a time.
Joyce

Jesica said...

this is beautiful.

i think you should name it "a-maze-ing" because it looks like a maze sort of :)

Nancy said...

very touching story, very beautiful quilt. Amazing how the human mind/body & soul affect so many lives through the years. I immediately thought of the stories your friend will be able to tell her grandchildren some day. How even in the most difficult situations she pressed on & has been blessed. To me she has a real 'legacy' to share with her family. Good work, good story, good friend.

tumbleweedsandtwisters said...

The quilt is beautiful! I'm thinking "All squared up" would be a good name, but it also reminds me of hop scotch too!

Anonymous said...

I'd name the pattern "Friendshiop chain" BTW- I adore this!!

Melissa Houston

pinksuedeshoe said...

I've been thinking about this since your post came up in my reader a whole week ago. And my best suggestion is "chocolate squares" which has nothing to do with friendship, or finding one another, or love, or new hope and marriage. Of course it may or may not have everything to do with my current craving of those little Dove squares...

p.s.phyllis sews said...

Beautiful job and it fits so well to go to a beautiful friend who has another chance at married happiness.

KQuiltyBee said...

This is so cool--whatever you name it, I'd love the pattern for my teenage son. It seems very grown up and manly (without being bad for a women). nice!

Michelle said...

Gorgeous! I would totally make one of these!!

Karen said...

What a gorgeous quilt! Thanks for sharing the background story. It really enriches the quilt. Very glad that your friend has found such contentment.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

A fantastic quilt and I can appreciate your story behind it. I have seen too many dealing with PTSD through their life experiences in the military or other events and even though it's common knowledge it happens, passint the stigma point is very difficult. I am glad your friend has found happiness with a new partner.

And that makes me think the title should reflect that... "There's no blocking happiness"

I think the fabrics seem happy in and of themselves.

Michelle said...

P. from The Way I Sew It blogged about this wonderful quilt. She wasn't wrong, it's fantastic!

You're right, mental illness is twice tragic--once for the illness itself, and once for society's lack of understanding.

Congrats to your friend with her new marriage.

Pamela said...

I love this quilt Amy....a great name...lets see. Since your friend just got married maybe "Chain me up! I'm in Love". The squares to me look like chinks in a chain. I love it!!!

Haylee said...

This quilt is so beautiful. I love the pattern.

quiltergirl said...

I LOVE this quilt! The story that goes with it makes me call this pattern . . . "Life is like a box of chocolates" because ya just never know what your going to get! And the pattern looks like a box of very fancy decorated chocolates.

SandyQuilts said...

I didn't read all the replies so don't know if this has been suggestion. I'd name the quilt after your friend + happiness. So say her name is Sandy

Sandy' Happiness

Christy said...

I absolutely love this quilt - it's just gorgeous! How about "Around the Block"?

Becky said...

Beautiful quilt, touching story. For a name, how about "The bonds that bind us". Too heavy maybe? Just seems to fit all around with the story past and present, and the pattern.

"Mental illness" runs in our family too, and I agree that it's a horrible taboo stigmatizing experience for all involved. So much is being learned though. I prefer to call it more of a "neurological disorder". I'm SOOO happy for your friend, and hope that the wedding was wonderful!!

Babs said...

I'm way late posting on this post but I was attracted by the beatiful quilt and touched by the story behind it. I also have mental illness in my family. It's not severe, but nonetheless, unsettling.

The blocks remind me of a road wrapping around each colored/focus block. Maybe "No Roadblocks" would be an appropriate tribute to your friend. It sounds like she had many "roadblocks" in her life that she didn't let get in her way. Glad that she's now in a good place - and lucky to have a friend like you!

Fran Johnstonbaugh said...

This pattern reminds me or resembles a skyscraper with elevators going up and down. You can get whimsical and put people in some of the blocks/squares.

Fran Johnstonbaugh
sewbaroque@cox.net

paulie1 said...

How about "FRIENDSIP'S PATH" ?? GREAT quilt!!!!! Happy for you and ur friend!!!!