It’s become clear to us that the Girt By Sea quilt isn’t just another quilt pattern. As people post photos of their fabric choices on Instagram (#girtbyseaquilt) and explain why they’ve chosen that particular palette, we realise that a lot of people are sewing a story into their Girt.
Here Sue Clarke tells us the beautiful story behind her Girt quilt.
I needed another project like, well you know – you’ve been there.
I resisted the temptation to join in the Girt By Sea sew along for a while but then I read something on the Modern Makers Retreat blog that really resonated with me and from that moment I was in. Let me set the scene by sharing a little history…
The person I most admire and the person l am most proud of in this world is my mum. She went through some very difficult times and when my dad walked out he left her with three small children and a mortgage on the house they had just purchased. At the time she was a stay at home mum but instead of crumbling she found a job, worked her tail off, put herself through night school and eventually qualified as a hospital administrator and auditor. Through sheer hard work she managed to keep the house and raise three children with little assistance from my father. Life wasn’t always a box of chocolates, but my sisters and I never went without. She was an incredible woman, never judgmental and always supportive of the decisions my sisters and l made (whether they were good or bad). She showed us by example how to be strong, resilient women.
Now, how is this all relevant to the Girt By Sea sew along? Well sadly mum passed away early on in my quilting journey so I never had the opportunity to make a quilt for her. In all honesty, it hasn’t really been something l have dwelled on but when I read this post something changed. I can’t say why but my mum popped into my head as I read the words “there’s no place like home”. Girt means to surround, and at that moment I felt my mum’s presence surrounding me and I knew that I had to make this quilt for her.
With the decision made it was time to settle on what colour scheme to use. Normally I would revert to my favourite scrappy ‘throw everything but the kitchen sink in’ kind of style but I wanted this quilt to be different, it had to be done in mum colours. She loved autumn tones of browns, mustards and burnt oranges – all colours I rarely use so it took me some time to settle on a colour palette. I wanted to honour the autumn tones mum loved but needed to add a little punch.
As much as l love the vibrancy of this palette I must admit that I am also terrified by it. It is so far out of my comfort zone but I think that is quite fitting. My mum is proof personified that you can work through adversary and succeed. Knowing she is on this journey with me, guiding me, I am embracing the challenge and excited to finally be making a quilt for her.
I’m still working on a name for this quilt but I am sure it will have the word “Angel” in there somewhere.
Does your Girt have a story to tell? Drop us a line and let us know what Girt means to you.
It seems to us that Girt has a life of her own: she’s taken many of us on an unexpected journey. It’s never too late to join in the sew-along: click here to buy the pattern. Where will Girt take you?