February is for LOVE and BUTTERFLIES....
Last year while I was working on the finishing touches of SPRING SHIMMER projects, I was asked by Quilty Box, a subscription quilt kit company, to design a quilt for their February 2021 box. They fell in love with my Spring Shimmer line (previous post), especially the butterfly print. Delighted, I selected 15 fabrics and had a Union Square block idea in mind with added sashing to highlight the main print in the center and use a variety of values and prints for the HST. I love how it turned out. Simple. Joyful. Bright. I call it Butterfly Box. It's perfect baby size or lap quilt. Plus I have a story to share about women's resilience, challenges overcome, sisterhood and family which is represented by the mariposa mosaic mural behind my quilt in photo. I hope you enjoy my thoughts and wanderings, local as they may be. You know how much I love butterflies- the symbol of hope, rebirth and human capacity to soar! I am pretty sure you love them too, and we all have our own reasons.
It was a quiet winter day in Northern California, I was searching for some Napa city art to take a photo of my new quilt. Known for their outdoor murals, I meandered around empty streets weaving through downtown with my car windows slightly cracked to let the cool breeze in when I caught sight of this butterfly filled mosaic wall- a perfect backdrop to Butterfly Box. I pulled over and jumped out of the car beholding this surprising and perfect find.
With no photography partner, I was challenged to take this photo so I stood for a long time admiring the magnificent glass mosaics, appreciating the creative wall. Then, lucky for me, a woman walked by, who happened to be the head of the Cope Family Center (the building on which the mosaic is mounted) and kindly offered to take my photo. When I asked about the story behind the mural, I was amazed to hear such a powerful message. Serendipity had struck. I have paraphrased the story below so you too can learn about this moving art which was born from the hearts of NIMBUS ARTS and Mariposa(Spanish for butterfly): a young Latina women's school program. (they also have a young man's program: Bridging Brothers which are both a part of the Napa Valley Office of Education.)
I also show the various inspiration and steps to making this quilt and what I think about when designing this quilt. You can order this kit from Quilty Box and make your very own version. Either subscription month to month or just the one time, February Designer Box for around $48 I believe. I also have FQ bundles in the shop of the entire collections shipping now.
About the Mosaic: Located at Cope Family Center in Napa, Nimbus Arts partnered with Mariposa, a program offered to Latina girls in high school and middle school that promotes female empowerment and encourages girls to set goals to live a life without drugs or abuse. The latina girls learned to make glass mosaic butterflies from Nimbus artists, then went to local schools and taught others how to make the butterflies, which would be used to create a kaleidoscope of positivity and inspiration as a public mural.
The three women in the mural represent a mother wearing a traditional Mexican dress, a teenager representing the Mariposa girls, and a younger girl chasing a butterfly that leads to a sea of butterflies filling the sky. The dark tiles at the bottom you see broken hearts, buried dreams and alcohol bottles all symbolizing the difficulties Mariposa girls have risen above. The butterflies represent the girls breaking free from life’s negative influences.
Spring Shimmer has so many meanings and it feels right to elevate our quilt making to have thoughts about rising up, evolving, beauty and living a colorful life. I hope you make some spring quilts this year and enjoy the process. You can find the kit from Quilty Box or go to my shop to see more Spring Shimmer precuts. I have already donated to the Mariposa program and will continue to use a percent of profits from this line to help even more. My final addition here is a song my sister Les Sampou wrote and performs Hanging by a Thread. Check it out. All of us go through difficult times and it's important we help each other out to be seen and loved. Until next time....
Keep creating, it does the head, heart and hands good.
Stories from the Studio
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