International Quilt Festival, quilt, Quilt Fest, quilting

Quilt Festival Quilts Part 1

The quilt below and it’s description might be triggering for some as it is about suicide.

There are a couple of quilts from Quilt Festival that I’m sharing on their own, this one is one of them. I give you the trigger warning as this is a tough quilt to look at and suspect this was a hard quilt to make. Some quilters make quilts to step away from life for a little while setting their problems aside. Some quilters offer political and moral opinions in their quilt making. Some quilters, like Marilyn Farquhar, take heartache to their quilt making, and share this heartache with us. Some would say to “raise awareness” or to “make an effort for friends and family to know if they are struggling to reach out and we’ll get you the help that you need” or “if you need a friend call me.” Through watching a local woman grieve her son after he completed suicide this seems much more complicated than “call me when you’re in trouble,” “raising awareness” and “Here’s guilt ridden grief for public view.”

The words on the quilt are difficult to read and I suspect difficult to put on a quilt, and then show it in public for so many people to see and comment on.

Toni Smith, Quiltoni, shared an image of His Call for Help on one of her social media channels, my response:

Some quilts move me in their beauty, in the craftsmanship. Some quilts, because of my own personal preferences of color, shape, texture I notice but not in an “I must pay attention” – this has nothing to do with the maker.
Some quilts demand attention that I am happy to give.
This is a quilt that stopped me cold, drew me in, asked me to pay attention to gaze into it and acknowledge that sometimes, in ways that are exquisitely painful, life is hard and confusing and brutal and damn it all there is nothing, Absolutely Nothing, I can do. It is difficult at best to acknowledge that I can’t fix something, seeing it said like this though, in my own craft, using words that at times might easily slip through my own parched lips. That sometimes even sitting in deep compassion with someone may have no lasting effect, not because I haven’t tried, no, not that, but because this person has free will and makes a choice based on a believed lie.
This quilt asked me to see, to honor both Marilyn and her brother Barry. This quilt asked me to look at the rest of the exhibit deeply, with respect. This quilt asked me to acknowledge the aching loneliness of a human heart and mind and the family who must now live in a state of bereftment, adrift in the loss of one they love, forever wondering what did they miss, knowing Who they miss.
This quilt asked me to get closer, and so I did.

His Call for Help – Marilyn Farquhar

I apologize for the shadow over the description the light was right overhead and I couldn’t quite avoid the shadowing.

We all have, in some way, learned to mask our feelings, hiding what’s truly going on with us because being cheerful is expected and being happy should be the norm, even in the midst of some shit storm going on in our lives that we are not able to share because happy and cheerful. Vulnerability is viewed as weakness and sadness is unacceptable.

While I’d like to leave this with some really good paragraph summing all of this up in sweet words of encouragement, I don’t have any with this quilt and with the subject of suicide. Marilyn you have my prayers and condolences, Barry you have my prayers as well.


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