Honor is a word I use a lot. We honor each other’s needs, honor their suffering, and honor the extra work they do. We honor their journey – that journey is what makes you YOU!
This quilt was made to honor my own needs during covid. On the left is the Illinois quilt block (my current home), and on the right is the Ohio Star quilt block (my hometown). We are separate. Covid keeps us apart. Our respect for each other’s safety keeps us apart. Our love keeps us apart.
At the same time, so many in my life are not able to see the risk they put me in by their behaviors. They don’t understand me. They don’t honor my boundaries.
The past year has challenged many aspects of my life that are often kept to myself. Health needs are now public. My life has been spent carefully avoiding exposure to certain chemical allergies, which are now being widely used for sanitization against covid. Suddenly it’s impossible to be safe in public. At the same time, in a way, many people now understand how I must remain constantly aware. They are, for the first time, experiencing this heightened awareness that I live.
Others refuse these boundaries. They lie about the precautions they are taking (or aren’t taking), and willfully put others at risk. Relationships have been broken out of this lack of respect.
The quilting reads: Please keep me safe. Wear a mask. Respect my boundaries. I am not my pre-covid self. I am scared. I am suffering. You should care. Please keep me safe.
About the Artist
I am a quilter, teacher, and pattern maker located in the Chicagoland area. I learned to sew in my childhood, and began quilting shortly after my daughter was born. The repetitive movements and practices of quilt making stood in contrast to all the parenting tasks I disliked. Every day I had to cook meals, do dishes, and clean. No matter how well I did these tasks, I would have to do them again the next day. Quilting stays done. When I sew a seam, it never has to be sewn again!
Quilt pattern design and improvisational quilting are my favorite. I love falling into the flow of an improvisational piece, making decisions as I go, and using instinct and repetition to create my pieces. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I also love working on pattern writing, creating a pattern that others can use to create the quilt. My patterns have been published in various international and national magazines, and my quilts have been juried into several quilting competitions. My greatest joy in my art is teaching others. Quilting is my creative outlet and I can only hope that others will find such an outlet.
© Emily Lang