Monday, August 18, 2014

Story Quilt

Sometimes I have to make quite a mess to get the creative juices flowing.  Phoebe the cat wanted to be right in the middle of it all.  She is usually more help than not, except for when she wants to get right on top of projects to see if she really likes them. She thinks all little blankets must be for her, right?  Not this one, Phoebe.  So first I cut a pile of little squares, each centered on a picture.

I played around with various arrangements of the pictures I'd  cut out, and then I photographed them to use as a map for putting them together.

This is truly a scrap quilt, other people's scraps. I  bought the fabrics at a store that supports the local senior center by selling donated craft items.  You never know what or how much  you'll find. There were several times I wished I had just one more little piece of  this or that color or pattern but scraps force one to improvise.

One click makes these photos bigger then the back button returns you to the text.

Perhaps there is another name for this type of patchwork, but I call this a story quilt.  I hope the pictures of trees and whales and teddy bears, villages, churches, lighthouses and ducks, strawberries and polka dots inspire the imagination of the two little guys at the home where this quilt now flops around.  See the yellow squares that each depict a raccoon on either side of the watery blue?

I know that real raccoons aren't pink.  The same week in June that I  was stitching these fabric pictures together I met some real baby raccoons who were born in a box in a crawl space under my brother's house.  We were cleaning and packing for his upcoming move  when one of the boxes wiggled a bit... Hello! 

Patchwork top ready for the next step...that's when I slow down.
I think it might help me to dive into the messy process more often if I  keep a little log of the things I make.  I like the idea part of the process a lot.  I have fun pushing the elements into different patterns and then at a certain part of the actual construction I start to lose it.  It is a good thing babies are small and  that they aren't likely to complain that their blanket mixes pretend pinkish raccoons with giant strawberries and whales leaping in the waves.  

All freshened up and ready to mail...

I might have taken a better picture of it but I was just so happy it was now filled with 100 % cotton and machine quilted, stitched in the ditched style.  It was ready to go so I popped it in the mail.

My favorite picture of this quilt is actually the one I got back with a certain young fellow making use of it.

So that's the story of the little bears who one day visited the ocean but there's no need to stick to it.. we can make up a new one for nap time tomorrow.

Did you ever see that old 1948 movie "The Naked City"?  It ended with the line,  "There are eight million stories in the naked city, this has been one of them."  I suspect my little story quilt won't have quite that generative effect, but I do hope it will inspire some fun and wonder and maybe help me remember how much I enjoy ( most aspects of ) a sewing project.


Pom Pom said...

Hi Jeannette! I really like your story quilt and I wish I could cuddle with Phoebe. She's lovely!
Raccoons are such critters. Now that we don't have a dog and don't have dog food in a tub on the patio, we don't see raccoons. They're cute, but I don't miss them.

John said...

It is a joyful evening when I can see your crafts and imagine the warm California days that afford an opportunity to create. Thank you so much for sharing.

joanne said...

I love this idea. Just imagine all the stories that will be told and then this beautiful quilt will carry those stories forever and add more and more to them. Such a great idea.

Leslie aka the wayside wanderer said...

I love your story quilt and it turned out so sweet. What a beautiful use for scraps and I am sure the little recipient was wrapped in love.
Raccoons. I don't remember if I mentioned that a raccoon ate our bacon on our recent camp out. My husband LOVES his bacon so he was not pleased when a raccoon was found with his hind quarters up in the air as he dug through our cooler. The good news is that we did not die of a raccoon disease and that there was a nearby store prepared to handle such emergencies.

Jeannette said...

That is funny...Leslie... should we give the raccoon story credit to the quilt, the bacon, your husband or you...the story blogging story teller?

Sara said...

Just saying thank you for your comment on my blog and I, too, have recently been reminded I know how to sew . . . though it's been so long since I actually did! I can see clothing in my mind's eye, and fabrics too, that I would love to wear, but they don't seem to exist. Maybe it's time to start designing what I like and wear that even though the rest of the world has other ideas about it! Anyway, thank you, and I have added your blog to my blog roll because I can see that you have plenty of things to say that I would like to read.

Neal said...

Your posts are always enjoyable Jeannette. Cheers. Neal