I quilt because it's cheaper than therapy!

2016 felt like it was a tough year around the world. The rise in hate, what looks like political chaos in places we previously thought were stable, the loss of so many innocent lives in Syria, and the deaths of many of our childhood heros has made it difficult to see the brighter side of life. I reminded myself that I am extremely lucky, and that my 2016 was professionally and personally a cracker, but no woman is an island, and some things hit me hard. The biggest sadness was the loss of a huge inspiration in my childhood!

Princess Leia may have been a gun toting girl in a sci-fi movie with mad hair and no bra, but to me she was a revelation. I was born at the beginning of the 70s, so the release of the first movie "A New Hope" passed me by at the time, but by the time the later movies came out with the "Empire Strikes back2 in 1980 and "Return of the Jedi" in 1983 I was old enough to understand the games we played in the school yard had a new bad ass girl in town. As a girl with brothers, early games with boys involved me needing to be rescued, and sitting quietly awaiting my freedom, or screaming/simpering for some knight/prince/cowboy to spring into view and save the day. After Leia, this was no longer the case. The princess didn't need saving - in fact, she saved the boys! Who can forget " Someone has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, fly boy" when Luke attempts a poorly planned rescue. No meek and mild, whimpering 'girl' there. She was the first bad ass chick who showed me that girls didn't need to wait to be saved, we could save ourselves quite well thank you! Since that first revelation, I have been a huge fan of Star Wars, and Princess Leia/Carrie Fisher, and so I was deeply concerned when I heard that she had suffered a heart attack on board a flight. I had just started listening to her audio book "The Princess Diarist", and if it were possible, I was even more in love with this woman than before. The woman was more than the princess - she dealt with so much in her life but remained brave, outspoken and positive throughout it all. So I kept my fingers firmly crossed. Surely a year that had already taken so many inspiring people couldn't take this feisty, strong woman too - we needed her 'hope' more than ever. But it did! And I cried! Like a baby!

So that day I did what I always do to deal with pain, I got my sewing out. This was a quilt that I started making for myself a couple of years ago because I was doing a TV show on Star Wars Day (May 4th) for Create and Craft US. I had finished the top, and showed it on air, but not got round to quilting it. So I started on the day we lost Carrie Fisher. I decided that I wanted to do more than stitch in the ditch, because I was quilting this for someone special. I was quilting it for Princess Leia, for Carrie Fisher, for the girl I was when I first discovered that girls could be strong, tough and brave, that they could be the hero, the general, the powerhouse, and that we could do anything we wanted to do! I wanted this to feel special.

So I put "A New Hope" on the DVD and I quilted, late into the night and through the next day. I used a melon template to mark the quilting lines and I used the knee lift on my machine to help manoeuvre the walking foot around the curves. It felt good. I was doing something practical and I think that helps sooth the soul. The death of Carrie's mother Debbie Reynolds the next day pinched my heart again as I finished this quilt.
Quilting with a melon shape

Now the Binding is on, and the quilt is finally completed. There is no secret that today is Star Wras day around the world, so this post seems perfect timing! (#HappyStarWarsDay)

Turned 9 patch Star Wars quilt
Here it is, and I feel sad, proud, and hopeful when I look at it. Star Wars may be a movie, and life isn't like the movies, but it is a tale of a small group of individuals changing the universe through Hope, Love and Bravery. This is a message we need more of, and she is still a shining light talking to that little girl in Shepton Mallet, who would learn she could be a bad ass too!

So next time anyone disrespects me, I'll stick out my chin and say "why you stuck-up half-witted scruffy-looking nerf-herder" . RIP Carrie Fisher - your legacy lives on!


  1. Carrie was certainly worth the extra effort! Your quilt looks great but they always do! Keep being badass! LOL x

  2. Fabulous post Sarah... And a fabulous quilt too! What a great way to celebrate bad ass girls everywhere!

  3. what a great tribute quilt Sarah the disappearing ninepatch is one of my favourites. At the moment I have a broken walking foot local shop says it cannot be mended but I live in hope it can as a new one is £99 so flimsy pile is growing rapidly.The bu=it that has come off I can see was only glued on but worry I will glue it in the wrong place will take it to the ICHF show on next week in Harrogate and see what they say there will you be there?

  4. I enjoyed reading this blog, seeing as you are younger than my sons, Star Wars passed me by, but have seen plenty of notices over the years, To read about Debbie Reynolds (my era) and Carrie was so sad, keep up the good work. haven't seen much of the craft shows recently, not been on F/B so missed out on the heads up. xx


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