In Winter term of this year, we were assigned a final project to make something creative. We were allowed to use any outlet, and the only requirement was that it had to demonstrate at least one tenet of Naturopathic Philosophy.
I was thrilled.
While I certainly consider medicine to be, in part, a creative field, it doesn't necessarily lend itself to hours playing with fabric, yarn, glue, and scissors (well, if you don't count scalpels). Finally, the time had come to merge my two loves of art and science!
It took a while to figure out what I wanted to create. I spent the better part of the term tossing around ideas until I settled on making the one thing I haven't had the courage to pursue: a quilt! Immediately, my heart started racing and my head spinning with color combinations and layouts for my design. I was 100% committed even with the other 25 million assignments, exams, papers, and projects going on.
I chose to make a quilt showcasing the Naturopathic principles and how each is an important component of our medicine as a whole. If you're not familiar, they're a list of six values that set the basic framework for how naturopathic physicians practice. It is the foundation of our medicine and everything upon which we stand.
Since we also talked a lot about cultural competency that term, I wanted to create something indicative of my heritage. I'd heard a few things about freedom quilts over the years, and I knew it would be the perfect avenue to bring my creative project full circle. The idea is that slaves used quilts as literal, albeit clandestine, maps to freedom. According to my research, there is little to support that these quilts actually existed. From my understanding, it seems like they were more like scraps of fabric used to denote a safe house along the Underground Railroad. I mean, when you think about it, where would the slaves get the resources to make quilts when they were barely given enough fabric to clothe their bodies? Regardless, the idea of making my own freedom quilt, as a nod to my past but also a map for my future, intrigued me.
I'm so in love with the way it came out! The binding is a little... um... rough, but it's my very first quilt and one that makes me so proud. Not only of how far I've come but also of the woman I am becoming.