Happy Wednesday everyone.
I was out for my walk awhile back and came across this cute little “library box” planted firmly in someone’s frontyard. It was jammed full of books and I couldn’t help but go over and take a peek. Just like a regular lending library, it seems one could easily “borrow” a book, read it and return it. Unlike a regular library, though, one needn’t sign out the book but would operate on the honour system and dutifully return the book when they were finished reading it. So simple!
I decided to ring the homes’ doorbell, something I ordinarily would NEVER do! An adorable lady by the name of Fern answered the door. I asked her if she would mind if I returned to take some photos on her front lawn with my quilts, her library box and her bench. She immediately gave me the green light and told me that she had planted the box to commemorate her late husband’s long and distinguished career in education. By coincidence she was also a quilter…but pointed out to me that she “did all her quilting by hand”. While I was at her front door, a neighbour came by for their daily walk and off they went. They were both such lovely women with sweet and positive dispositions.
I did return to Fern’s front lawn with some of my quilts and my granddaughter in tow. The quilt in this photo I call My Zen Garden which was previously featured in 2012’s Best Fat Quarter Quilts magazine by Quilter’s Newsletter.
Fern was home at the time and popped out to take her own photos of both Harlow and me sitting on her bench.
One of these days soon, I will ask Fern to let me photograph her quilts.
My Zen Garden, like most of my quilts, is imperfect. In retrospect, looking at it now there are several things I would change in the structure, colour and make-up of the quilt. But one thing I would not change is the feeling I get when I look at it. It genuinely makes me feel happy. It is a simple, unsophisticated and very child-like quilt. A large part of the charm comes from the fabrics – Riley Blake’s collection called Happy Sunny Skies. The collection is amazingly bright, beautiful and so, so appealing. Since My Zen Garden is meant to be a child’s snuggle quilt, it’s backed with pink flannel.
My inspiration for this quilt came from an actual “zen” garden built across the street from my parents’ house in West Hillhurst. The gardener of the property had sectioned off a small dirt patch in the front yard and divided the space into smaller squares with 2×4’s. In each little section, perennials had been planted ones that did not spread or flower, but just grew close to the ground. It was super simple but I loved it! So I fashioned this project idea after that little garden; the quilt is sectioned off into blocks, but it has flowers and trees and hearts for love. Puff cakes fill two of the blocks….a flower applique with a yo-yo, a small, circular piece of coordinating fabric and a button sewn on top. Nothing could be more simple, fun and creative to make!
My Zen Garden in Invermere, B.C.by the fountain at the public beach.
My Zen Garden in magnificient Waterton, Alberta
The notion of quilting with perfection has always haunted me. I’ve decided to let the whole thought go. Sometimes things work out in the way you hoped and sometimes they do not. Although I’m a quilt designer with lots and lots of patterns published in the quilting world, I must admit that I do not like writing patterns. Instead, I love the creative process – coming up with an idea, drawing it out and stitching until it resembles what was in my brain. Going back and writing the pattern is a stress-inducing activity for me! However, having said that I would happily post my pattern for My Zen Garden is you would like it….just let me know.
Next Wednesday – Charla MacPhee’s beautiful quilts.