Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"But Mom, Nature is for Hippies"

We had a lovely afternoon at Patrick's Point State Park over the weekend. It's probably one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it's about 20 minutes from my house. We all sat in the sun and ate lunch and I took a short walk down to the beach.

Lovely plants are in bloom right now, and walking on the path, I could hear the sea lions barking from the rocks below.

We didn't stay long, because, as my 15 year old son Alex observed, "Mom, nature is for hippies." I feel I accomplished something in getting us all in the car for an outing, regardless of how short.

I snapped a picture of one of our picnic blankets. I made these blocks back when I was in high school.

I was fascinated with handwork, but didn't know anyone who quilted. This fabric was given to me by an uncle whose business was next door to a clothing factory. Someone had given him the scraps. I hand pieced these blocks, not knowing at all what I was doing. Since I couldn't figure out how to put them together, I just kept them for many many years. In the early 90s I zigzagged them together, still not quite sure what I was doing, but feeling brave nonetheless.

I layered the quilt with batting and muslin, turned the muslin edges to the front and machine quilted the whole thing without a walking foot. The quilt promptly faded so it became our picnic blanket. It wasn't until 2000 that I started to buy books and real quilting supplies, thus fulfilling my longstanding fascination with quilting. I have two other similarly made quilts--one a scrap quilt, and one a crazy quilt. I'll have to dig those out and document the pre-history of my quilting career.


Rian said...

Barbara, what a beautiful place! Thanks for the close-ups of the plants, and the intimate look at your early work--and the description of your process--it's heartwarming to know it is still serving as a picnic blanket in your life.

I thought all the young people were into saving the planet these days. What a surprise. Well, that's teenagers for you. We surprised our parents, too.

Debra Spincic said...

Nature is for Hippies? What a Hoot!

Kay said...

Stop! All you California people--it's just TOO beautiful out there. Enough coastlines, already! What are we MidWesterners to do? Post cornfields? And, yes, I know those are lovely too, but still... Yes, I'm jealous, and I admit it.

Allison said...

These shots are going to make my husband so terribly nostalgic (he went to college where Barbara teaches)...I can't wait to show him!

Deb H said...

Your quilt is much nicer than my first quilt. Mine was also zig-zag quilted, until I tired of fighting with a big fat quilt on a little sewing machine. I also hand tied parts. It's quite a piece of work. Won an Abominal Menton in the World's Worst Quit Contest!
The scenery looks warm & lovely.

Debra Spincic said...

That is actually pretty good for a first quilt!

Jane Ann said...

Kids! When my younger DD was 14 I suggested she learn to play golf so she could play with me, and she advised me, "Golf is a nerd sport." Obviously a different answer than Tiger gave Earl.