When I was in the testing and filming phase of Dream, Learn, Quilt!, I made a quilt with very specific goal in mind. I wanted to test out the concepts from the class- make sure everything was well-covered and understandable, with visual, video, downloads, etc- plus it gave me the perfect excuse to make another quilt!
Often my students will bring or show photos of very special fabrics from family, their past, or that they have collected. They want to use it because they love and treasure it. But when we look at it, we realize that it might be not entirely useable as it is. Could be an odd size, or possibly a little damaged, or maybe they have only saved part of whatever it once was. Whatever the reason, it still takes a little convincing them to even cut it at all. Its hard, I totally get it. And they really don’t understand when I suggest extreme measures. Like what I did to a piece of pheasant cross stitch I found while thrifting a few years ago.
I brought it home, completely enamored with it, to clean it (that’s the way it looked after cleaning, above) and possibly frame it. However I soon realized there was not enough extra fabric bordering the design on the left side to allow the needlework to be centered properly in a frame the way I’d hoped.
So it sat on a shelf. Contrary to everything I tell my students (USE that fabric, don’t hoard it!).
But for some reason, while I was filming my class, I decided to cut it up. I know with experience that the absolute best way to help students find the courage to cut into something like this (or something even more special) is to show them a beautiful result. Sometimes example after example.
And hopefully before long they are saying YES! I get it!
So that’s how Pheasant came to be.
The needlework piece was cut and pieced into friendship star blocks. Traditional and modern, fused into a new quilt. Some blocks show lots of stitching, some show none at all. But now its in a quilt, completely finished, with its own story now added to, and able to be enjoyed.
I think that the stately bird in the original piece would have like that, don’t you?
And where would this new, traditionally modern, quilt live? Maybe the person was gifted the quilt from their mom, who thought they should add more color in their life (wink wink… I might know that mom). I imagine she may not even know the full story of the needlework squares, but she knows they are old/antique, and she knows they are special. She runs her fingers over the texture of the needlework and feels loved. She might live far from family and feels connected to them with this quilt. It represents a lot of happiness to her.
(See the whole assortment of quilt collages here- #myquiltcouldlivehere)
Interested in knowing more about Dream, Learn, Quilt! ? Find all the info here.