Stitch Quilt - Julie Brown Neu

Stitch Quilt

For this week’s #StoryBehindtheArt post, I am sharing the inspiration for my “Stitch” quilt, which was exhibited at World Quilt New England in 2019. I promise that it’s not the inspiration you are expecting.

Though this quilt can be viewed as just a fun, graphic modern quilt, it technically belongs in my Protest Series. The inspiration for this quilt came from a Blossom Magazine article about the Speak Your Silence organization. Speak Your Silence is an organization whose mission is “To inspire people to prevent sexual abuse and assault by sharing their voice for those affected.”  It was founded in 2012 by a young man who had been abused by a family friend when he was six, but who had carried the burden of that terrible secret for 20 years before telling his family.  The orange zigzag is used by the organization to symbolize one’s voice frequency. When I created the quilt, they sold a stitch kit that people could use to stitch a zigzag onto a piece of clothing as an indicator that they were an advocate for those affected. 

I was so moved by the founder’s story and by the importance of ending the sexual abuse of children now forever that I created The Stitch writ large in the quilt. I avoided being preyed upon as a child, but as a mother and as a human, the idea that such a thing would ever happen to a single child breaks my heart and turns my stomach. That the most innocent of victims are shamed into a lifetime of silence just makes it worse.

The quilt is now available for purchase in my Shop. A portion of the proceeds will absolutely go to Speak Your Silence.

detail of quilt with orange zigzag on white background
“Stitch,” detail.

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