Tyler’s Quilt: Indomitable Spirit

Warning – this post has lots of pictures!

I have a quilt finish to show off today! This is the quilt I recently made for my second-youngest nephew, Tyler.


A quilt is never finished until it has had its official photo shoot, and this quilt had two photography sessions! First, we took it on a beautiful nature walk to Margaret Falls. This was the perfect place to photograph this quilt.


Look at how the shapes in the landscape compliment the shapes in the quilt. It makes my little quilt-photographers heart sing!


The second photo shoot was just up the road. I really wanted to have the quilt photographed with horses (don’t ask me why, I really have no idea. Well…maybe because my nephew lives in Montana. And you know, Montana…horses…)


Sadly, the horses weren’t as interested in the quilt as I thought they should be. Actually, they were afraid of it. Big piece of fabric – boo, scary!


Happily, two girls came riding by and consented to help.
064So I did get a shot of the quilt with a horse after all.


And of course who could resist this shot? Love, love, love the long view down the valley.


Every quilt has a story. Including this quilt. Keep reading, here it comes.


Tyler turned 18 last week and is graduating from high school this year.


While I am happy that I finished the quilt in time for his birthday and graduation, I actually was inspired to make him this quilt because I wanted to honour his accomplishments in in Taekwondo.


This young man has two black belts and is working on his third. I am so proud because I know how much focus and dedication and practice that goes into mastering a craft at any age.


Each of the coloured blocks represents one of the belts he had to master. The quilt is backed with simple white cotton to represent the outfit the practitioner wears.


I chose the wonky cross-hatch block for this quilt because the shapes of the lines reminded me of the shapes drawn in the air and the shapes that the body makes when doing martial arts.


…and also because it’s just a fun and funky pattern that is uber-suitable for a young man of 18.


I named the quilt Indomitable Spirit, which is one of the tenets in the Taekwondo code. I don’t think I could have chosen a better name.


Indomitable Spirit measures 50 x 74 inches and is hand quilted. I quilted it free-hand, without a frame and without marking. The first time I’ve ever done either.


My stitches are what I prefer to call “organic,” (meaning they’re uneven, being the first time I tried quilting that way). I like to try something new whenever I can, and I wanted to try free hand quilting. So it was a bit of a learning curve for me. Appropriate, too, since this quilt honours accomplishment, which requires taking a first step and giving it your best.


Nothing you accomplish in life comes without practice, right? Like a black belt. Like learning to hand quilt free-style.


Congratulations, Tyler – your spirit is truly indomitable.


Live long and prosper!



  1. I am reading through the your quilt stories and just posted a comment about the web showing what a small world it is. And then I see Margaret Falls and “The Bastion”! Oh my goodness, my dad lives so close, you probably know him! I’m up there every summer, if not several times a year. You live in the most beautiful part of Bc, if not all of Canada! Quilt on, my friend! Love all your quilts.

  2. A beautiful quilt, and I love how the shapes mimic the lines ones body takes in martial arts. Putting the amount of thought, care and love into a quilt is what gives it a soul. And this one looks to have plenty of soul. Well done!

  3. FIrst of all…I love your mom’s comment. So cute!! Secondly, what a wonderful story and photo shoot!!! WIsh I could go hiking wit you there! A beautiful gift Nita!

  4. That is really great, Nita! Love your quilt for your nephew. When my son went away to college he took a quilt I made him made up from souvenier Tshirts fronts he and his brother had worn out. This is a valued one because it was the last vacation they took with their Dad before he died. It is so old now and ragged because I made it so one could throw it in the wash, Like all my quilts. I did not hand stitch it because of that.

    I am sure your nephew will love this so much!! 🙂

  5. Congratulations on a most magnificent quilt. I don’t know which I love the most, the quilt or the most amazing settings you chose to photograph it in. I think you have earned yourself a black belt without any doubt whatsoever. Well done.

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