In Our Own Words Quilt Block

In Our Own Words Quilt Block

Last week, in coordination and celebration of International Women’s Day, Kim from Leland Ave Studios put out a call for quilt blocks for what she is calling the “In Our Own Words Quilt“. In Kim’s words:

In celebration of how *AMAZING* we are as women, I am asking for YOUR HELP in creating a quilt that acknowledges and honors ourselves and the equality we deserve. I’m calling it the In Our Own Words Quilt.

I am looking to collect blocks from as many women as possible with a hand-stitched word of empowerment that describes YOU as a woman. My word is RESILIENT. What will yours be?

Details: blocks should be 3.5” x 6.5” with a word stitched in black on a white fabric background. 

I thought about this for a long time. Sticking point number one: the word Kim selected, RESILIENT, was hand stitched and I was a bit daunted (I was kind of sure I could do it but then again, what it if looked like crud?). Sticking point number two: a word of empowerment that describes ME as a woman (emphasis mine to show my hangups).

As a woman, I don’t feel especially empowered. Don’t get me wrong, I am a privileged white woman, and I know it. But empowered? And as a woman? How else would I be? I have a lot of internal turmoil tied up in knots around my gender and how it has influenced events in my personal history, and this really was a difficult prompt.

But I sat with it, and on Friday night after several long days of standing at my longarm and quilting, I looked up hand embroidery stitching. As soon as I looked it over, not only did I know that I could do it, but I knew what my word would be. My husband happened to walk up as I was reading the definition for the word I selected, and he said, “that sounds like my wife,” which sealed the deal.

In Our Own Words Quilt Block

In Our Own Words Quilt Block

Definition of conscientious (courtesy of

1meticulouscareful   conscientious listener
2governed by or conforming to the dictates of conscience scrupulous   conscientious public servant
Definition of Conscientious (courtesy of

1. governed by conscience; controlled by or done according to one’s inner sense of what is right; principled:
She’s a conscientious judge, who does not let personal prejudices influence her decisions.

2. careful and painstaking; particular; meticulous; scrupulous:
conscientious application to the work at hand.

In Our Own Words Quilt Block

In Our Own Words Quilt Block

The lettering is my standard “Vonnie Font #1” (as my husband calls it) block print, and I hand stitched the letters using Aurifil 12wt black thread. I started with an oversized piece of white background fabric, and I had practiced how large I wanted the lettering to be on paper prior to lightly writing in pencil on the fabric to use as the line to follow with the thread. As you can see above, the block was a bit rumpled looking after I was done, but a quick press with a warm iron smoothed everything out. And for total honesty: I used a lint roller for several passes on both the front and back of the block, too.

In Our Own Words Quilt Block

In Our Own Words Quilt Block

The block fits perfectly inside a sandwich sized ziploc bag, and it will be in the mail to Kim today. You have plenty of time to consider and add your own block to Kim’s project. You can find more details on how to contribute from Kim:

In Our Own Words Quilt Instagram Post
In Our Own Words Quilt Blog Post

And in case you are curious, the background blue fabric is Kona Cotton Ocean (my favorite color).

15 thoughts on “In Our Own Words Quilt Block

  1. Jess says:

    This is a great word for you! I’m privileged to know you personally so I can attest as well. 🙂 Thanks for the ironing tip – I’ll do that when mine is done. Just a few letters to go.

  2. I agree this is a great word for you, Yvonne. I’ll have to give this some thought. I don’t think in words like this, so this is a stretch for me. Stubborn comes to mind, but not sure that’s very complimentary. Haha.

  3. kaholly says:

    This certainly would cause one to pause and deeply consider the best word. I’m with you on using the word ’empowered’ in the context of being a woman. And as a young senior, I’m feeling less empowered as I fall through every crack created by new rules and regulations being passed by our government every time I turn around. Moral of the story? Don’t grow old! It’s hard. The word you chose is perfect, and your embroidery looks super. Well done!

  4. lelandavestudios says:

    Thank you, Yvonne. Not only for taking the time to make a block, but for all of the thoughtful consideration that you put into it. I think your word is perfect, and I love that you even hand-stitched it! I admire you for your going outside of your comfort zone to confront this project head-on, and for sharing your process with us all. Thank you!

  5. kittywilkin says:

    Thank you for bringing my attention to this! I think your word is perfectly suited to your personality, and also empowering. I’m struggling to land on an appropriate, yet empowering word. Hopefully it will come to me soon.. maybe I should wait until later in the week, since Mondays are tough to begin with. “Master juggler” seems most appropriate at the moment, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Soo… off to ponder, and tackle all of the other mountains of daily life. <3 May your week be smooth.

  6. Facetfully says:

    I have seen these popping up and follow Kim’s blog. I will be putting this on my short to-do list! Thanks for the reminder, Yvonne! Love your word…hmmm, thinking of mine.

  7. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello Yvonne; You have certainly shown me how taking time and doing in depth searching will usually lead to the answer. Plus, you have always shown your strength (at least that is what I see through your words and posts ) at being able to step outside of your comfort zone and create. I believe that is why I admire you so much as a Modern Quilter.

  8. This blog post shows that you are conscientious. The fact that you stressed about choosing a word and that you don’t consider yourself empowered and consider yourself a privileged white woman just shows how conscientious you are.

  9. Great word and project. Your hand stitching is beautiful.

  10. Sylvia says:

    This definitely fits what I know of you! And “Vonnie Font #1” is just adorable. Aww! 🙂

  11. smilesfromkate says:

    It’s a good word Yvonne, and you certainly live up to the comprehensive interpretation. Good embroidery.

  12. Kaja says:

    It seems like all the time you spent think about this was well-spent: you have chosen an interesting and thought-provoking word. I like a lot that it’s not a predictable choice and that it genuinely seems to fit your personality. It looks good too. 🙂

  13. Helen says:

    That does sum you up very well ! I think my word would probably be “talkative” according to most. When younger , bubbly , might have been used . I can cope with either as long as it’s not “boring “

  14. Danice G says:

    Wonderful word you chose. I chose the word “resolute”, and mailed the block to Kim today. Thank you for telling us all about the event.

  15. That is a great word, Yvonne, and one I can relate to.
    I think my husband would choose conscientious for me too, unless he were being cheeky. In which case, it would be something less flattering. 🙂

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)