Meet my new quilt. Conceived on August 29th, 2007 and born on January 9, 2009. Thank you Tonya! With your patience and guidance I have a quilt that says "ME"! My one and only, with all my delights and thoughts and quirks and fumblings and frustrations and (I'll say it proudly) talents! Fabrics from decades ago have found their way into this quilt as well as fabrics from nearby friends and blogging friends who have passed on parts of their treasures.
During the quilt's creation Lemi has gone to her forever home and Chip and Toi have joined our family. Velvet, Cleo and Patora have learned to accept family changes and Choco has learned to accept cats. Leiya has graduated from high school, Takumi has transferred to a new college. And Tetsu and I have continued to build a home of love and dreams. It has been a very good year and a half!
So what was my quilt theme? Tonya instructed us to focus on what we love. I played with wonky words and without much thinking HOME seemed to develop in my mind. Leiya was homesick at the time and I was trying to get her to realize that HOME wasn't a place and a building, it was a state of the heart; and therefore you could always be HOME when you had the people and things that you loved in your heart.
And so, what did I love? What did we love as a family? I didn't really expect this to become an animal quilt but as you know animals play a big part in my life and they are always on my heart. Even when Lemi passed on I could feel that she since she was still in my heart, she was still at HOME.
Just because my kids are far away, they are still HOME in our hearts, with Tetsu and me and all our furry friends!
I started making animal blocks but these aren't specific animals. Just dogs and cats in general. Tonya had suggested names of our family members (and animal members) but I decided I didn't want to limit this to just our "now" members. There have been past cats and dogs that I have loved, and probably others will wander in and out of our lives. For the same reason I didn't add people names either because I expect that someday there will be a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law that will then be part of our HOME.
I know some of these dogs look more like goats and the cats have silly faces but my animals aren't anything special either (except to me)! That one cat is trying to be a maneki neko, a Japanese welcoming cat, but I didn't realize until it was too late that maneki neko don't have tails. This is Tanya's welcoming neko!
The words were great fun to make. I made them very scrappy which is a bit hard to read but it will make people stop and think and wonder what I am trying to say. For obvious reasons I chose some of the phrases to express my thoughts. I have always loved this idea of homes being built of love.
And how could one have a HOME quilt without this phrase.
This one might leave some people questioning what I was thinking. It is a Bible verse but not normally used with the idea of home and family. Still I thought it expressed that we are all together when we love each other no matter our physical distances.
This is another Bible verse and for me, this is a fundamental in building a HOME. The Lord is with us and He has brought us all together in a circle of love.
Tonya threw out the challenge to see if I might be able to make words in Japanese and though I thought that a crazy idea I was so pleased with myself when I managed to make the Chinese characters for dog and cat! I am so happy they are in there! And of course the whole quilt got overrun with houses and hearts in accordance with the theme.
I have yet to make a label (now don't let me get away with not making one!) and I'll put the names of our of "now" family on that and the milestone dates I mentioned yesterday when making this quilt.
THANK YOU TONYA! I want to work with you again but my next quilt I'll aim to make a bit smaller!