Bear in the Woods

61662991_10216915826342470_8164940993875935232_nBack in the dark ages, shortly after man first walked on the moon, when high school girls were still sent to the bathroom to wash their faces if they came to school wearing makeup, I met my friend Roseanne. We shared a love of fun and adventure, but especially a joy in the ridiculous, that has lasted for almost fifty years. We were camping the night that Nixon left office, taking a hammer into our tent when the guys in the next tent offered us a toke; there was no legal marijuana in those days. We drove a new, standard transmission, car 1500 miles home from the Montreal Olympics when neither of us could drive stick. One policeman eventually waved us through a red light somewhere in New England after we had stalled trying to start on the previous six greens, but with one of us on handbrake, and the other on clutch, we managed. Later, we had children much the same ages and our families went camping for many summers; activities involved beaches and fireworks and jellyfish and tents and campfires and all manner of fun. Now our children are grown, but we still enjoy the great outdoors, and she and her husband have just finished renovating their cabin (cottage) in the woods. It is beautiful. It needed a quilt.

61367338_10216915825862458_104664135345635328_nLorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts had a quilt along a few years ago for Mod Bear Paw that I admired but didn’t join. Given that we had seen bears while camping, I thought it was the pattern for the cabin. Because I used multiple colours instead of the suggested two, I was able to add bear paws under the bear’s belly that were not in the original. I simplified the borders, giving me a place to quilt reminders of past exploits, and good wishes for the future.

61631395_10216915825582451_6759875054676213760_nI had planned to put lots of quilting in the bear paw blocks, but found that after I had stippled all the navy background, the bright batiks popped up beautifully, so I left them undone. The bear himself was fun to stitch. I found myself googling images of bears to see which way their fur grew. When the quilt was trimmed, I added a scrappy, gold, binding and delivered it, with my good wishes, to Roseanne for her recent, significant, birthday.

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Linking up to Dionne at Clever Chameleon and Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.

The Rebel

56994092_10216755980666428_831837540628561920_nLibs Elliott came to town, gave a talk and held a Rebel quilt workshop. More than a year later, my Rebel quilt has finally come under control. Well, almost.

59648083_10216755981026437_5141279271553073152_nNow, I have to tell you the Rebel caused me some angst, as rebels are wont to do. I was in a “sew my stash” period, which always adds to the challenge of fabric selection, particularly when you decide to use no solids except for the background. To make matters worse, I was exploring a palette outside my usual choices, inspired by the cover of Vintage Quilt Revival. I know, it isn’t really the same. Inspiration is fluid if you’re sewing your stash.

What did happen is that I second guessed my colours every step of the way. When fellow guild members brought their lovely, more monochromatic, solid Rebels to show and tell, I wondered even more if I had made a mistake. With the long arm out of commission, I could postpone the inevitable unsatisfactory finish until, finally, the machine seemed to be behaving and I needed to finish the quilt to gift it.

I added borders to contain the rebellion. No. I added borders so I wouldn’t lose my points when the quilt was bound. Besides, I wanted to explore a little free motion combined with straight line quilting. Each background section got a curvy motif and each coloured one got straight lines.

59392788_10216757787031586_6567174170050822144_nFinally, she was ready for her photo shoot. I really wanted some graffiti in the picture, as a tribute to Libs and her tattoos. You know how there seems to be graffiti everywhere? Not where I live, there isn’t,  and certainly not with a nice rail or fence on which to attach a quilt. One spot tempted me, but there were multiple police cars around and I really wasn’t sure I’d be welcome, so I headed home, via a quilt store. I pulled into the industrial centre parking lot to get thread and saw my backdrop. 60012351_10216755980266418_7470787657941909504_nThrilled with my success, I arrived home, but I felt a little sad for the beautiful quilt, so I took her to the pond for a moment on the bench. And yes, after all the agonizing, I find her beautiful.

She’s off to live happily ever after with some newlyweds. May they live happily ever after, too.

Linking up to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.