|Finished Quilt was photographed out in the back yard!|
This has been a good season in my creative life. I usually don't have time to make quilts just for the heck of it. My quilts usually have to leave home, in a Fed Ex box, on their way to a show, a client, or magazine. NOT THIS TIME!
My cousin Mary is more like a fourth sister. She and I couldn't have grown up in more diverse settings--she lived in San Diego, played at the beach, lived in what all of us non-Californians considered Heaven on Earth. After all, Cheryl Tiegs was often shown on a Southern California beach--or Malibu. All the cool people, like the Beach Boys, sang all about "California Girls", and Paul Revere and the Raiders were from Southern California!
On the other hand, I lived on a ranch in the middle of the San Luis Valley, near Antonito, Colorado. The nearest beach was the Great Sand Dunes, north of Alamosa--and there was a little creek there. No ocean. We did have some amazing swimming pools, though. "Splashland" was near Alamosa, and up in Hooper was another amazing pool (open even in the dead of winter). The water in both pools are as warm as a bathtub, and the water came bursting out of Mother Earth, hot enough that it had to be cooled before you could swim in it! But Cheryl Tiegs hadn't been to either one.
So, now, fifty years later, Mary and I both live in Southern Utah. We both love painting, and have taken classes at Dixie State University--together! She has never owned a quilt that I made. I set about remedying that, a couple of years ago. I started making the top, and finished it quickly. To inspire me, I had some wonderful pieces of fabric from a nature line from Marcus Fabrics. I received a little collection of Moda 2 1/2" squares in one of their nature lines, and the two were married in what became the quilt top.
Actually, I even mixed a square of fabric from Jenifer Sampou's collection. It's all about the colors and textures.
So, the quilt top waited, and waited.....and waited. Suddenly, just after Christmas, a few weeks ago, I decided that Mary needed to have her quilt for her birthday. That only gave me a few days to finish, so my daughter donated some Moda fabric for the back, and I assembled the quilt, and began the process of quilting. This one was really custom quilted. I began with some pale green Aurifil thread, making some grasses at the bottom of the quilt, then used some gray thread to make pebbles, moved upward and added some pale aqua thread for the scalloped water, and ended with some off-white clam shells for clouds in the sky.
Pale gray thread finished the outside border in concentric rows of straight stitching, to frame the quilt. The backing was the color of the water--a subdued turquoise with some wonderful little designs interspersed throughout. Some pale green grass-design fabric became the binding (hand stitched to the back of the quilt), and it was done! I missed Mary's birthday. It was yesterday. Today, the quilt was finished, photographed, and delivered to Mary. She loved it. Said she had always wanted to ask me to make a quilt, but had somehow hesitated. When you know someone that well, you respond to the request, even if it isn't uttered.