While packing up to move, I discovered 20 unfinished projects in my sewing room. Setting myself a goal of one year, I am working to see how many of these 20 Projects I can complete.
I really don't think I have the words to tell you how very happy and, yes, relieved I am to be finished with this project! This project sat unfinished for almost four years, longer than any of my 20 unfinished projects.
This quilt got its start over four years ago after I received the August 2009 Pottery Barn Catalog in the mail. I love Pottery Barn catalogs, but I REALLY loved this particular catalog from Pottery Barn. The cover featured piles of gorgeous quilts and pillow shams, and I loved browsing through the pages and pages of quilted eye candy!
I was especially drawn to their rendition of a "Trip Around the World" quilt. Beautiful colors set in a geometric pattern bordered by a thick width of crisp white fabric on all sides, and bound with a scant line of color. Oh, I loved it! But I didn't want to buy it. I had previously decided that I wanted an autumn-colored quilt to snuggle under on the sofa while watching a movie. This would be my autumn quilt.
One problem: I didn't have a pattern, and I'm a very by-the-pattern kind of a girl. So the project sat in my mind for a long time. (2 years?) I started collecting autumn prints when they would go on clearance after Thanksgiving. I started drawing and sketching and working the math. I decided to cut squares instead of rectangles. Then, I held my breath, crossed my fingers, and took off! I finished the quilt top, and there it sat. For almost 2 more years.
Autumn was in full swing here in Colorado when I got ready to pull this project back out. Golds! Yellows! Greens! Bright! Gorgeous everywhere! My quilt top? Reds! Oranges! Browns! Rusts! Little bits of gold! Uh, oh. This doesn't look like autumn to me anymore. "But it did then," I reminded myself. You see, the colors I choose for this quilt reminded me of the breathtakingly beautiful colors I saw on the trees on my honeymoon in New England one October over fourteen years ago. Amazing. This quilt was designed from my beautiful memories, as there were virtually no autumn colors to be seen by this Texas girl near the Gulf Coast. It's funny to me how quickly one can adjust her perspective to her surroundings. I guess I'm going to have to make a Colorado autumn quilt in golds and yellows and greens with little bits of orange one of these years.
I chose a brighter gold fabric for the backing and the binding to help lighten up the darker and heavier colors on the front. I copied the straight line quilting on the white border (love that!) and decided on a simple and geometric cross-hatching for the quilts little squares. I am really very happy with how it all finally came together. I was a little unsure for a bit there.
My goal was to finish it before this Thankgiving. I was in such a hurry to finish that I forgot to label it, but I'll go back with a permanent quilt pen, if nothing else. It's kind of a happy accident to me, however, because I only just decided what to name it. I have mentioned before how quickly autumn disappears here. I was so surprised when I realized we would have a White Thanksgiving every year! (And I found it very ironic that I should be quilting an autumn quilt with white snow stuck on the branches of the trees outside my sewing room windows.) Then a Facebook post from my dad reminded me of the song "Over the River and Through the Woods". I was so puzzled to learn as a child that this was actually a song about Thanksgiving. Snow at Thanksgiving??? Not where I live!
I found the lyrics in a Wikipedia article, and now I finally understand. It was originally a Thanksgiving poem published in 1844, meant to honor the author's childhood memories of visiting grandparents this time of year. The words where changed, set to music, and made into the Christmas song we know today.
When I look at my quilt, I see a Happy Thanksgiving in the hundreds of little squares of color comprised of the ticker tape and confetti of a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the television, a fire in the fireplace, the table set with pumpkins and berries, and plates with favorite holiday foods. I see drifts and piles of snow surrounding a warm and cozy cabin. I see the tracks from a horse-drawn sleigh carving (quilting) lines up and down the sides in the the deep, clean, white paths of snow.
"Over the River and Through the Woods"