So here’s the thing about this quilt; I’m fully aware that the overall design and name relate in no way. And I’ve been struggling to explain how this quilt got the name “Celtic Warrior.” The simple answer is: timing. Timing of when I designed and made it and what was on my mind.
Full disclosure; there’s a lot of real-life, non-quilty talk coming. If that’s not you’re thing and you just want the pattern, I won’t be offended if you just click the link below and get to quilting! I also want to be sensitive to anyone who has trouble reading, thinking, or talking about car accidents, because some days that’s me. If that’s you, maybe just head back to your sewing machine. Again, I get it.
For all of you still reading, I’ve been conflicted with how to introduce this particular pattern. The stories behind most of my patterns and their names are fairly upbeat (or neutral at the worst). Some designs are the result of a happy accident; others because they simply look nice. The names usually connect to the look of that quilt. Celtic Warrior is a little different.
The design came about as an answer to the question, “What can I do with this layercake I’ve been hoarding?” I’m a fan of Half Square Triangles so I set out with that design element in mind, started playing around with different ideas, and ended up with what you see today. But for quite a while this design was nameless. Nothing came to mind like it did for the others. And I think that is because my mind was preoccupied at the time with something else completely.
Five years ago, I was in a serious car accident.
August 17, 2014 is a day that changed my life.
On the way home from a family vacation in Florida, my grandpa and I hydroplaned on the highway and ended up in the median strip.
The following minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and now even years were hard.
I was stretched to my breaking point, and then stretched further. But I did not break.
I broke over 20 bones and went through multiple surgeries. I had to learn to walk again. I had to watch my grandpa pass away as a result of the accident. I had to watch my parents struggle to deal with all of this in addition to the fact that their house had flooded from top-to-bottom the week before we went even on vacation. (Something that we have since learned to laugh about as the “cherry on top.”) I watched college friends go on a European trip that year and grow closer to each other and graduation, while I sat in a wheelchair trying to “get back to normal.”
There was a lot of bad that happened as a result of that day. But I’m someone who strives to find the good in every situation. For a long time it was hard, if not impossible to find the good in this one. But I kept trying. I still do everyday. And while there were some really bad “Bads,” there have also been a lot of really good “Goods.”
My parents, sister and I are so much closer than we ever were. Truthfully, I’m a much kinder person now. I’m confident in who I am as a person and even better, I’m so very comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. I’m stronger than I once would’ve given myself credit. And I learned at a young age what most people take a lifetime to learn: the little things don’t deserve a drop of stress because, in the end, they just don’t matter—and more things than you realize are little.
I learned to laugh a little louder. To hug a little longer. To love a little harder.
What happened wasn’t good, but I have found the good in it. It did not happen for a reason, but I have found reason in it.
I learned to be a Celtic Warrior.
But why a Celtic Warrior you ask? Well, my grandpa was Irish and damn proud of it! He loved St. Paddy’s Day and would even let us paint his nails for the occasion. He had a kilt that he wore to all special occasions with a "matching" tuxedo t-shirt! He had the best belly laugh around. He was the ringleader of our family’s annual Easter Beer Hunt – yep, you read that right! He lived his life fully, yet humbly. He was my Grandpa McMahon, who taught me that the Irish love, fight, drink, and love again. And he gave me the strength to be a warrior.
So this one’s for me. And this one’s for him. And this quilt is for all of us who just need to be reminded that we’re already strong enough to get through it.
I know that’s not the explanation any of you were expecting, but it didn’t feel right to put this pattern out there without explaining why it’s so special to me. So thank you for reading. And I hope you find strength in this quilt, like I did.