The Early Morning Swim is a wall quilt based on a picture I snapped of my daughter early one morning. It was just after sunrise and my daughter was standing at the edge of the pool looking toward the other side. She was recovering from a serious shoulder injury. In one week, she would be competing at this pool as a USA swimmer. This was not her team practice, this was just my daughter swimming extra laps and practicing by herself in a pool 40 miles from her own team. As I snapped the inspiration picture, I was so impressed by my daughter’s dedication to swimming.
The picture of my daughter mentally thinking out her race, is no different than any competitive swimmer. They are dedicated athletes. As a quilter, I wanted to capture that moment in time.
I used a rough applique method by sewing on bonded pieces onto a base background. Then quilted the scene in swirls for the sky, waves for the water, paisley for the trees and bushes and outlined my daughter. I added a border around the scene to mimic a frame of a painting. I chose a pale yellow and blue to highlight the blues of the water.
I entered this quilt into our local county fair and won 1st place for its category. The first place of this quilt pales in comparison to the first place of this young lady in my heart! The courage she faced returning to the sport she loves. The pain, she endured during these early morning swims, was without a doubt, heart wrenching to watch. Yet, she grimaced and continued to work on her abilities as a swimmer. She gained more than a good swim race, she gained the confidence to handle adversity. The quilt is a reflection of that dedication of a lone swimmer facing challenges. When you watch the Olympics, please know that each swimmer has a similar story of dedication, hardship, and love of swimming.
Have a wonderful day!