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parts of a dream

No, you are not time traveling. I am writing things I should have written a while back. Like sooooo 2014. However, Before we get to 2014 we must travel a little further back, 2013 to be more exact. Phew, it seems like yesterday and a million years ago.

As I have mentioned before, 2013 was a pivotal year for me. It was the year I decided that quilt making was my thing and I would like to make quilts for the rest of my life. In October of that year I visited the world famous Houston International Quilt Festival. I was there, standing in front of those mesmerizing quilts. My friend Claudia was there too. We were in awe of the amount of skill and patience that is put into those works of art. She also got to experience the craziness that is to go to the Houston quilt festival. On a Friday, no less. And it was there, that day, I told myself, God willing I will have a quilt in this show next year. I came home and made myself a promise. I told myself some way some how I was going to do it. Yes, I am guilty of setting lofty goals for myself and more often than not, falling short. But there’s the journey thing, journey, journey, not destination. So, even thought there is a lot of failure, there is a lot of learning too. I have come to accept that.

Jump to 2014. I joined the Modern Quilt Guild. Not too long after I joined, came a call for entries for the modern quilt showcase at, where? The Houston International Quilt Festival. I printed that call and put it by my sewing table. And from that moment on I started working on my entry. At that point my quilts had been just objects of my affection. Something I made here and there. Some I kept, some I gave away, some I sold.

Amazonia ©nathaliebearden

Thing is, the moment I decided to make a quilt for that modern showcase entry, the devils in my head began to party. NOT GOOD ENOUGH, NOT TALENTED ENOUGH, NOT MODERN ENOUGH. Blah, blah, blah. Oh yes, they talked their non-sense all of the way through the process. I tuned them out, but ’em things speak pretty loud, do you know?! I worked past their lies and past my bedtime. In the end, I made a quilt and named it Amazonia. And best of all, Amazonia is the first quilt in my ongoing collection of quilts inspired by my upbringing in Brazil. Much more on that soon.

I submitted the entry the modern showcase call and forgot about it. At the time I was pregnant, expecting that sweet baby in the post before this one. I went on being pregnant and tired. Then, a few days before giving birth to our third daughter, the email came, “Congratulations! Your quilt Amazonia will be featured in the special exhibit Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2014.” You mean, MY QUILT? For reals? Yep. for reals. This time my sweet friend Annelies trekked to Houston with me. It was her first time at the show. And I am glad I got to share this moment with her. Well friends, there it was. A dream that came to reality.

¬©nathaliebearden.comStaying true to character, I work on multiple things at the same time. Major ADD here. During the same time I was working on Amazonia (and being super pregnant), I came across another opportunity to have a second quilt at the same show. This time a juried exhibition put together by American Made Brand. It was called Farm to Fabric. This exhibit celebrated American Made Brand’s mission to grow and produce a cotton fabric line completely in the United States. I was very stoked about the idea and I ordered some of their solids for this challenge. Here’s is the quilt I made for the exhibit. It is called Bird’s Eye View. This quilt was inspired by row crops when viewed from above.


Two of my quilt at the same show. Who would have ever thought.


It is hard to sum up the feeling of seeing my quilts hanging at the show. In a way, it felt like I had had two more babies. Ok, I have two words, PRETTY AWESOME. That’s how it felt. And also, rewarded. Because no matter how hard we dream, how hard we plan, if we don’t act, stuff doesn’t get done. Period. And if we don’t act on our dreams, the world misses out on our awesomeness, I mean, art. My dream is vast and wide, and these are just little pieces of it. Every stitch, every quilt, a little more of the journey, a little more progress on the dream.

These two quilts and two more were also accepted at QuiltCon 2015. Wow, that alone was a feat. Not sure what the final count was, but I’ve heard over 1200 quilts entered and something like 300 accepted. This will be the biggest Modern Quilt Show in the world. I simply can’t wait to get to Austin in two weeks. So ready to meet amazing people, eat great food, and celebrate all things modern quilts. Stay Tuned. Lots of photos to come.

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