“Great wine requires a mad man to grow the vine, a wise man to watch over it, a lucid poet to make it, and a lover to drink it.” – Salvador Dali
When I was in high school (many moons ago!) our family hosted a French student for the school year. I didn’t know much about the world beyond Iowa at that time and this was an incredible opportunity for my family to widen our horizons. Jocy had lived many places in France, but her heart always remained in the regions of Beaujolais where her family had deep roots. As we became young women, and our families grew, and we were both deeply involved in family and careers, we lost touch. Many attempts were made to reconnect, without much success, until I opened up Facebook about a year and a half ago and had a “friend request” from my long lost friend. What an incredible surprise! Correspondence ensued and I just returned from spending 10 days in France with Jocy experiencing the part of France that she loves most. Fall is an absolutely beautiful time to visit Lyon and the Beaujolais wine region of France. Of course, I’m a quilter and I spent days and days pondering what I could take to France that wouldn’t take up all of my luggage. I found a wonderful fabric print of a world map and overlaid the map with a traditional celtic design. Along the edges, I added four designs in seminole strip piecing to represent America. The piece is hand appliqued and hand quilted. It measure approximately 28 x 46 inches.
These show the seminole pieced border in more detail.
One of the most beautiful places that we visited was the medieval village of Pérouges. Pérouges is a commune in the Ain department in eastern France. It is a medieval walled town that is perched on a small hill that overlooks the plain of the Ain River. The town was was inhabited by craftsmen; mainly farmers and linen weavers. It was probably founded by a Gallic colony. In 1167, the Seigneur d’Anthon famously shut the commune’s walls against the troops of the Archbishop of Lyon, and as early as 1236 the inhabitants earned communal freedom. In 1601 the town officially became French. Until the end of the 18th century, the textile industry in Pérouges boomed. (wikipedia)
The visit to France and the renewal of an old friendship was beautiful!
Many years ago in ancient Ireland lived a King and ruler of sea called Lir. He had a beautiful wife, called Eva, who gave him four children – eldest son Aodh, a daughter called Fionnula and twin boys, Fiachra and Conn. When children were young, their mother Eva died. Lir and children were very sad, and King wanted a new mother for his young sons and daughter, so he married Eva’s sister Aoife who, it was said, possessed magical powers.
Aoife loved children and Lir at first, but soon she became very jealous of time that King spent with Aodh, Fionnula, Fiachra and Conn. She wanted to have all of his attention for herself. One day, she took children to swim in a lake while sun was hot in sky. When they got there and children took to water, Aoife used her powers to cast a spell over children, which would turn them all into beautiful swans. http://irelandofthewelcomes.com/the-children-of-lir/
This quilt represent the story of the “Children of Lir”. The fabric in the center of the quilt is hand dyed. The orange and yellow fabric in the border represents the burning jealousy of the step mother.
The knotwork represent the children that were turned into swans.
The illusion of the step mother is painted on the fabric with Paint Stik.
The quilt is machine and hand quilted and is approximately 56in x56 in.
“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” Henry Van Dyke
This is developed from a pattern by Laura Heine, who has a lovely collection of patterns that she has developed. If you love animal patterns, be sure of check out her website at fiberworks-heine.com. This particular pattern is called “Bird in Hand”. The background is a selection of indigo and tan batiks. The birds are offset in bright Kaffe Fasset fabrics highlighted with contrasting and complimentary batiks. The birds are hand appliqued onto the blocks.
The birds and flowers are then enhanced with fancy machine stitches.
The quilt in 70×70
The quilt does not have a traditional binding, but has a knife edge with facing to the back.
The quilt was then hand quilted to finish.
“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
― William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets
I’m feeling the changing of the seasons in my bones. The nights are cooler, the heat less intense, people are settling into routines again, leaves are starting to change on the side of the mountains.
I’m starting to think about new projects. This is one that is just completed.
Machine applique, hand quilted
Completed – summer 2014
The square is “Lillian’s Favorite” by Clara Stone published in Practical Needlework, ca. 1906
Whether our relationship is strained or easy, hostile or amiable, we need our mother if only in memory …to conjugate our history, validate our femaleness and guide our way.
~ Victoria Secunda
The last few years of my mother’s life were difficult – not what you want to remember as a daughter. I turned into the bad guy – making the hard decisions that she couldn’t make like moving out of her home, moving into a care facility, having a knee replacement and telling her that her youngest daughter had died. I didn’t enjoy being the “bad guy”. I was actually out shopping at a quilt shop the morning that she died. I had purchased this applique pattern “Morning Glory: A celebration in Applique” by Lori Smith. I’ve just completed it about 8 months after her death and just a couple of weeks before her committal service. The applique square were not set in the same way as the pattern suggested. I used a William Morris border print to create the square within the square. Each square has a batik that complements the design.The squares are outlined with black and a light lavendar sashing.
The squares are hand appliqued.
The sashing is quilted with a light lavendar thread.
The size of a quilting is varied in the inside border and the outside border
The quilt is approximately 62×62. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted.
May your relationship and memories of your mother be sweet!
“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education
While I have been churning out quilt tops for charity, I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on my “Flower Garden” a design/pattern by Kim McLean.
I had difficulty finding a place to photograph the whole thing – this almost worked! It is 96×96 and fits nicely on my queen size bed. This was a real challenge for me because it was using a very different palette than I’m used to using and very bright colors. The fabrics are Kaffe Fassett’s with some hand dyed batiks and some purchased batiks.
I actually had my doubts about it as I was making it. I took it to a retreat with a group of friends and they gave me encouragement to keep on.
What really pulled it all together in the end was the 1″square borders around each block.
It is all hand quilted and for each square I chose a slightly different pattern to use.
I was not crazy about the border that was designed with the pattern, so I modified it abit.
I liked the effect of some open space on the border. In that open space, I used the flower, leaf and vine designs and hand quilted those motifs into the border.
I know this is much longer than my usual post, but I hope that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed bringing it to completion!
Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
I recently purchased a new book, “Painted Applique: A New Approach” by Linda M Poole, published by AQS. I had also purchased some Derwent Inktense pencils after seeing what some people are doing with surface design on fabric. Linda has a great section with clear directions on how to use the pencils. These designs are from her book and the squares are from her book also.
This is a small piece, approximately 20 x 42″. The background fabric is commercially manufactured batik. The birds and dragonfly are painted on plain fabric and appliqued to the squares. I really appreciated Linda’s clear directions and her patterns are fun too! I will definitely add these tools to my arsenal!
Finished Mar 2014, hand and machine appliqued, hand quilted