So let’s just begin there. In autumn when that first chill creeps in and I just know we are getting ever closer to the bleakness of winter and severe loss of hope for ever being warm enough and…and…
Oh yes, I meant to lead to a conversation about homesickness. It strikes this deep Southern gal who transplanted to the northeast every autumn. First there’s a series of intense hankerings for distinctive foods. No…no…that hipster restaurant downtown does NOT make it like my grandmother did, so don’t bother directing me there. It will never be right.
Please, put the Jiffy mix away.
And don’t get me started with BBQ and potato salad and shrimp pockets and red rice and hush puppies and sweet potato casserole and…and…
Even on trips down South, I catch myself disappointed that some foods don’t fulfill my memory. Sometimes it also just isn’t enough to cure that chronic homesickness.
Of course, “home” is about more than food. It’s about people, experiences, sounds, smells, and hygge (if I must be hip for a sec). But it’s also about interrelations–“my home” is dependent on my memory of a certain state of being. And so “my home” may differ from “my sister’s home,” for instance. At the same time, “my home” is also a sort of snapshot of people, places and things that unfortunately (or, fortunately–depending) change. If you are constantly “home” then you change alongside or in response to the flux. However, if you leave, it can be harder to retrieve that “home.” It becomes more myth than reality.
This is the inspiration for this quilt.
Autumn is wistful. The season always brings on these thoughts.
But then also…
Every so often for the past few years, I’ve had some quick online exchanges with a Southern friend (who also moved northward) about just this. And then this past autumn, on social media, they posted a quick prose poem on the theme. It resonated with me immediately and (after a few minor edits, adding a few of my own “wants” to the list) I knew it had to be a quilt. My friend was on-board. And the adventure began.
Halfway into the making, my friend announced her new pronouns and her new name.
Her name is Autumn. And she is wistful.
Autumn is Wistful.
And now the quilt has ever more layers of meaning.
Quick details: The quilt is made in the Alabama Chanin style, with modifications. There are four layers with the top being a jersey knit cotton fabric, hand stitched to do raw edge reverse applique. The reverse applique exposes a classic Laura Ashley floral sheet.
This gadget is a “tapestry threader” and comes in handy when trying to shove thick perle cotton into the eye of the needle. [No, a bigger needle was not the fix for this situation.]
This was the first time I saw the whole finished quilt in the light of day. Grainy due to lack of sun, but I love the perspective.
The quilt is 61×69″ and took me just over a week to complete back in autumn.
Have a nice week.