Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Family, Extended



I made this star quilt of denim to send to Green Grass, South Dakota for a funeral. My Lakota family lost a beloved sister / mother / aunt / grandma in the last week of December. They will give this quilt away to a guest at the funeral, as I was given a star quilt when I attended the funeral for Morris.


I had the pleasure of Brittney's company during the all-nighter it took to complete the quilt. A pair of her jeans, as well as several of mine and my husband's, are part of the quilt. She even helped tie some of the knots holding it together.


I hope it arrives in time for Thursday's funeral. If not, I know that the intentions of comfort that quilts carry will be felt by whoever receives it.


(The theme of roses comes from the deceased's name, Rosemary. I was told that Rosemary loved "small delicate roses". So, for the quilt's backing, I used this fabric that my mother had recently retrieved from the next-door neighbor's house and sent to me. Nettie Emig passed away in the late 70s, but some 12 yards of this high-quality cotton was still in storage. Growing up, I remember Mrs. Emig and her son as a constant presence on the other side of the shrubs, tending their generous flower beds or mowing their immaculate lawn. Once a year, they shared their love of flowers with the kindergarten class at the local elementary, but I got to visit anytime--peony season, iris season, and of course, rose season. I am grateful for the Emigs' neighborliness, for their extending the invitation to walk with them in paradise.)

10 comments:

  1. So touching a story, great quilt and I love reading your blog!!

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    1. Thanks, Carli! I stressed a bit about whether using "weathered" fabric (the denim might be disrespectful. I meditated on it and woke up Sunday morning at 2 am with a vision of the completed quilt with white background and roses. I love it when the unconscious solves my problems for me

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  2. What a lovely idea - I have never heard of this before. I am sure that the recipient will treasure it as a memory of Rosemary.

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  3. Wopila! I remember you writing about it. Whoever recieves this beauty will be very grateful. I collected jeans from family & coworkers last year to make a rag type duvet for an old down comforter of my mothers. It will not be a beautiful as this! I love the vintage backing. Did you use embroidery thread to tie it? Is the quilt bound?

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  4. Are the big roses in the 4 corners applique?

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  5. I'm sorry for their loss. =( Is this the woman we talked about before Christmas? D's sis?

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  6. Zenia, it was not bound in this picture. Good eye! I had my husband hold it up before he went to work, after my all-nighter. Then I hand-sewed the binding listening to morning radio, got it to the PO by noon ... The roses in the four corners were machine-appliqued, just like B's name on the Franken-quilt... I fuse some interfacing to the fabric to make it stiffer and less likely to unravel, then zig zag stitch the edges. As for the knots, I made them with some cotton warp thread that weavers use to make rag rugs. Embroidery thread has lots of smaller strands; I just like this look and feel better. I'm sure your jeans duvet cover will be great. I enjoyed working with the material a lot more than I thought I would.

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  7. Yes, they had the service today, wake yesterday. D took a pic of the casket and posted it yesterday, with several OTHER star quilts hung up, looking a lot better than mine! (Mine didn't arrive by mail 'til today.) I want to post it on my blog but need to get permission. She stayed up all night for the wake. That is their way. There was a big crowd at the wake.

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    1. Looking forward to seeing that pic! =)

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  8. I do kind of like how the serrated rose leaves look slightly reminiscent of feathers...

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