This quilt, called Storm grew from rulers and a blank canvas. My mood was also stormy, as I set myself up for a challenging hand sewing project and all the detail I decided to add.
My ruler challenge created a stunning masterpiece that I did not expect to come from my hands at all. I did not plan the story or the character, it just flowed from my hands to the quilt. I guided my Infinity, and she stitched the design. We were working in harmony – connected somehow.
I used hand-dyed, 100% cotton that I dyed myself using golden yellow and brown. The process resulted in this weird mustard marble finish. Yes, I never get the same results twice, and that’s just fine with me. It leaves me as surprised as anyone else.
I used variegated thread from Fill-tec called Khaki in the Affinity range.
I kicked the quilting off with a circle design in the middle, looking like a flower, but it disappeared with the micro quilting that I did over those, resulting in a cog-like finish.
It became clear that this was going to be something special, requiring a special finish. Of course, at the end, I was pretty much calling myself names for taking on so many new techniques on what was a stunning quilt, but alas, it has such a beautiful result, I bound to do it again. The beads used in the beaded piping is available from Lavender Quilting Farm, I do think that Bethanne Nemesh’s course is on my shopping list.
Somehow the designs came together to create the name and the story for this quilt. The current global storm around a tiny bug has thrown everyone off-kilter. Initially, at the start of the pandemic, there were many stories about this virus. The images that the media used on news broadcasts scared me the most. The images looked all warm and fuzzy. The pictures were inviting and made me want to hug it, like a teddy bear. I found this completely bizarre. It was in total contradiction to what we were later told to do: Keep your distance from each other and wear protective masks.
It started small
Covid-19 will forever change everyone. The circle shapes, filled with designs represent individuals, businesses, countries, and even nature, that flow through the storm in the middle of the quilt and come out on the other side as hexagons, also with filler designs.
Our businesses, schools, and individuals are adapting to all the changes that are a result of economic impact as well as the personal impact from direct contact with Covid-19.
Nature took advantage of the lack of pollution during the lockdowns set in place around the world. Game rangers in South Africa reported that wildlife was changing their behavior. Satellite pictures of the globe showed the changes in pollution – there wasn’t much pollution at all.
Rules of governance
The checkerboard is the game of rules and regulations that governments implemented in an attempt to make us safe. The rules were abused for political and economic gain. From preventing the sale of tobacco and alcohol, removing our right to choose what we consume, as well as the rampant corruption in the allocation of funds for protective equipment for our health care workers. It’s all a game to those in power. We have not experienced anything like this before: SARS, Ebola, and many other outbreaks of disease did nothing to prepare anyone for the possibility of something like Covid-19. Would they have done anything differently?
We can see the police everywhere. The new rules and regulations restrict our movements. Roadblocks are put in place to keep civilians in check, and a permit is required to fetch children on holiday in other provinces. We are at war but we can’t see the enemy. We are all keeping a close eye on the storm, and on each other. We are spying on each other and can’t wait for an opportunity to report any wrongdoing to the authorities. In all the watching and looking we miss the horrible abuse of power, where officials are looking for any opportunity to gain their own advantage, be it financial or political power.
It’s not over yet
It looks as though a butterfly may be appearing, but it’s not fully developed and it can’t fly away. Somewhere good will come from all of this, it just needs time to grow and become beautiful.
The shape of the quilt is also intentional, as we are not in normal times. The waviness, as well as the irregularity, is on purpose (by the time I’d reached the point of trimming this quilt I had realized what I was creating).
The quilt designs appear balanced, but if you take a closer look you will notice that the four corners don’t look alike. Not only the edges, but also the designs on the corners are not all completely identical.
I love nature, and it is generally present in most of my projects. In this quilt, it is in the feathers and nature-themed motifs, like leaves, that are all over the quilt. As if in the midst of all the devastation we cannot forget that nature still rules us all.
A playlist of videos making this quilt is also available.