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Tattoo quilt: LOVE

April 22, 2017

LoveHeart1HSL“Sometimes it takes courage to love and be kind to someone different to you, not in your “tribe”, “other” than what you were taught is “normal” or “right”. The reality is human beings feel safer with those “like” them because we feel like it validates who we are. We need to own this to understand hate. But we also need to learn that we are actually stronger, not weaker, when we embrace that which is “other”, because as a group it provides us with diversified strengths. Validating who you are by surrounding yourself by others like you is a false sense of security. Allowing others to be strong around you builds everyone up as a group, which is way more powerful. So today my friends I challenge you to go out there and BE BRAVE, BE BOLD, reach out and BE KIND to someone that’s NOT in your tribe. ️ ”

This thought was from my Instagram post for this #LOVEHEARTtattoopattern. It was the spark that got me going on my Tattoo Quilt series.

Years ago I was invited to join Cynthia Frenette’s Fab Bee. On Cynthia’s month she asked us all to make blocks for a quilt for her husband, Norm, using her doodle fabric with greens and blacks. I had never met Norm but I’d seen a few pics of him and he had a bit of a biker look going on with some tats, but despite that he struck me as a rather gentle guy. I used this “tough softie” idea as the inspiration for my block. Now it may be odd making a heart for a chap you don’t know, but when I get making I like to follow the winds of intuition, and that’s where they was blowing. I mostly improv’ed the block. Here’s what it ended up looking like:


I thought it had potential and that I should tweak it to make a LOVE version, but it went into my sadly overflowing WIP folder and gathered dust for years. Fast forward to 2017! My new years’ resolution this year was to design a new pattern for my Etsy shop every month. I started with this one and after some fine-tuning I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I love these fabrics against the Essex Linen background. I called it “Love Heart Tattoo Pattern” and it’s available in my Etsy shop here.


I made the block into a pillow for our orange sofa, using an Ikea FJÄDRAR inner cushion.


FYI for the pillow I used my favourite flanged border and hidden zipper techniques that I have in this ILLUSION pillow pattern (also in my Etsy shop.)

Yes, I have a bit of a thing for Essex Linen! It is to my stash as eggs, bread and milk are to my grocery list. But hey, I’m open to alternatives too. Here’s a second version of the block I made using some text fabric and Kaffe Fassett shot cottons. I graduated the wings on this one for a bit of an ombré effect.


As soon as I’d made these two blocks I realized that I was onto something. Worldwide there is so much insanity going on, it’s truly heart breaking. We seem to be losing touch with what being good kind human beings is about. And I think whatever side of the fence you’re sitting on, we’re all quite emotionally charged about our view points. I think we need to process these feelings. So I decided that I need to make a series of these “emotion” tattoo quilt blocks. This being the first. I’m a bit behind blogging about them as I’m close to launching the fourth. Bear with me in the next short while as I’ll post each one individually. With each block / emotion I have found a source of symbolic meaning and inspiration.

This pattern seems to have hit a note with quite a few quilters. There are some real beauties out there that have been made so far. You can see them on Instagram with the hashtag: #lovehearttattoopattern You can also see some of the other blocks I’ll be posting with the hashtag: #tattooquilt If you make one please tag the pics so we can all see yours too.

I’ll finish off with this one by my lovely friend Lugi:


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