So…how about a new finished quilt?
A few weeks ago, I got all caught up in my thoughts about log cabin quilts over here and started wondering if I could capture places that are important to me using the form. And so this is the next in the series.
This project actually started back in Houston in October 2013. I was there for Quilt Festival, felt almost 100% creeped out by the whole thing, and needed a way to escape. I hadn’t packed any diversionary projects for the quick trip and the situation was weird when I wasn’t with my posse. So I turned commando in the marketplace, gathering supplies for hand-sewing. Scrap pack of many colors of handdyed fabrics, thread, needles, scissors…that’s all ya need. It was surprisingly a puzzle to find those things at a quilter’s convention.
But there you have it. I built out a log cabin using no rulers, no rotary cutters…just scissors and stitching by hand. Things wobbled and I embraced the wiggle. It was primal. And it shut the world out for a little while.
You can see some of the stitches here and I worried a little about it. But this is an experiment— a learning experience. Meh. It was great to hunker down and keep going.
The process and the product remind me of my father’s ancestral home…in a ramshackle dirt-and-wood shack on a peanut farm in the mountains of Alabama. Since we visited mainly on the winter holidays, my memories are chilly. Chilly and orange. The red clay of the region is striking to those unaccustomed to living with a sheen of orange dust on them. And when it’s muddy? It can be either super fun or a nightmare. Just depends on what you’re wearing.
This golden handdyed fabric that frames the block is an antiqued/60s version of the orange. Improvisational handquilting in a pseudo-Kantha style is an attempt to mimic the tractor tracks on the farm. Crop circles and planting furrows. Can you see it?
The contrast in post-washing quilting textures between this and my regular simple machine work it stark. Much like the contrast in lives lived and known.
The quilt isn’t square. It isn’t meant to be.
I’ll stop there.
Materials: handdyed solids
Techniques: improvisationally hand-pieced, no rulers or rotary cutters; improvisationally handquilted; hand-bound
Finished size: about 25" square
Started : November 3, 2013
Finished: July 9, 2014