Krista received her Far Flung Bee Blocks, so now I can write about them. Like a pregnancy, I figure it’s not my news to tell, so I like to let them do the Woo-hoo! thing and then I’ll follow up. Since I’ve only done In-Real-Life Swaps, it’s probably all wrong, like when I sent in my Polaroids. . . Whoops, did it all wrong.
She wanted a wonky house. And trees, if you please.
But I thought about how she recently got engaged, and so I drew from a quilt I’d made a couple of years ago (one block is up in my blog header), and made her a block that featured a heart made of two houses. Aw. I’m of the mind you should always celebrate love. Especially “goofy love,” as Krista refers to it. (I remember those days with great fondness.)
This is Number 68 on my 100 Quilts List. A version of this quilt was on the cover of a quilt magazine some time ago, and I had searched my hard drive for the downloaded file, but couldn’t find it. I started drafting it again, then tried the internet. No luck. Finally it was in the last place I looked. (Sorry for the wobbly lower edge — for the photo, I had it on a quilt rack extended yea-high and the wind interfered.)
Here’s my PDF of the block that has all four blocks–click to download: heart_houses
They show it for paper piecing, but no way was I going to do that. The blocks on my quilt are about 12″ on the short side because I wanted JUMBO houses in among my pine trees. I took it to the local copy shop and blew up the PDF and taped the pattern pieces together. I just cut them out and use the pieces as a pattern, sometimes just measuring then cutting.
I made the long blocks for the border sort of randomly, first making the tree tops, then gauging how long those trunks needed to be to fit.
I backed it with some Mary Lou Weidman fabric.
That was the year I was in charge of a camp for young women ages 12-18, which was held up in the pines in the San Bernardino forest near Big Bear Lake. It’s a LOT of work, and I was working with a camp director who I found out later was brilliant in working with recalcitrant teenagers, but not so brilliant in doing the grunt work that has to be done to get a camp organized. Her team was also untested, but were very strong-willed about what should and shouldn’t be done. I had been to a similar camp when I was a girl, had gone back as an adult counselor for several years, so I came at it from a different angle. Needless to say, that was a challenging spring as we tried to quash all our personality quirks in order to get the camp planned.
And on top of all that, it was my only my third semester teaching at a community college, and they’d given me a new level of class to figure out, and I felt like I was nearly underwater all the time just on that issue.
So, what else to quilters do? They make a quilt. I called this Hearts in the Pines. I finished the top and with only a few weeks to go, the semester ending, I called my quilter and she did stitch-in-the-ditch to stabilize the quilt. I stitched the binding on, but didn’t have time to sew it down. I took it to camp and in the few free minutes I had in between kitchen crises (oh, didn’t I tell you that two of the cooks backed out at the last minute and so I was in the kitchen too?), visiting with the girls, my husband (who I’d recruited to join me) and my angel daughter who drove in from Arizona with a friend to help her mom, I finished stitching around the quilt to get that binding on. And much later, I finished the quilting around all the houses and trees.
I always like how quilts have a story behind them. Whether it’s just one of those quick quilts that you throw together for a baby shower, or one that represents a time in your life, the story — I believe — makes the quilt. Just like Krista will hopefully remember the summer she was engaged, when she looks at the quilt she made from a few wonky heart blocks.