Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ojibwe Hot Mess Quilt


I finally found a moment to finish this quilt; what with all the jetting around and mountains of dirty laundry and blueberries to be picked, it’s been a bit hectic around these parts.  But here she is!


I saw this photo and my little heart skipped a beat.  The original quilt is called “Chippewa Nine Patch”, designed by Laurie Simpson and Polly Minick, two sisters from my home state of Michigan (you Michiganders will note that “chippewa” is really “ojibwe” but I forgive these things) and I just fell super hard for all those little motley nine patches, and the flowery chintz alternate patches.


I don’t like to use a quilt pattern (sorry, pattern people) because I feel I can mostly just look at the picture and figure it out.  What do you think your old great-granny did, anyway?  Besides which, I have a couple of math whizzes in the house, and so my sixteen-year old son happily reviewed me on the Pythagorean Theorem (he likes to prove he’s smarter than I am, and so he is.  What are you gonna do?) Armed thusly, I figured out the hypotenuses of all the different triangles.  Oh geometry, you confound me!  And I don’t even want to tell you what happened at the edges—let us just say I have experienced the consequences of ignoring the conventional wisdom about the right and wrong time to cut things on the bias.  It ruffled like a tutu.

Then, mid-stride, there was the first Bernina Breakdown of 2011 (more will follow, I’m sure) and I thought to maybe wait on the quilting until Tom the Repair Guy could get her fixed, but I am an impatient little magpie who can’t leave a thing like this unfinished.   The sturdy little Kenmore rose to the occasion and, walking foot in place, got the job done. 


It just did not want to photograph well.  I tried all my tricks, and so did Picasa, to no avail.  It’s kind of an impressionist mess, isn’t it?  A busy, flowerdy, tone-on-tone yard-sale of fabrics, a big, noisy, hot mess of a quilt.  Which, of course, means I love it.