This quilt is about many things for me....the place I love best in the natural world, the cottage itself that houses so much of my family's history, my desire to push the envelope of what my crazy quilting can be.....but it is also about my brother, Freddie.
This picture of me and Freddie is from fifty years ago, taken several months before he died.
He drowned at Michillinda....
When a child dies, the cataclysms that result can go on and on in a family for decades. My family had its fair share of collateral devastation. Certainly my parents never recovered from this tragedy; their marriage ended two years later.
But many years have passed and the pain is gone now. Fortunately above all else, my sister was born before our parents divorced...
And the waves still lap the shore there, the sun still lights up the water and the woods, and we still find great joy on that porch, where such horrible news was delivered in July of 1958....that's part of the incredible blessing of a place like Michillinda. It absorbs all the drama of our little lives, it's unchanging beauty and rhythms give us a sense of perspective, and we have a polestar to refer to when all else is in flux....
So I had to write Freddie's name in the sand on the beach....
I can't tell you how wonderful it has felt for me to do this. Now the quilt is saying what it is meant to say in its entirety.
But as always with this quilt, there are technical problems!
When there are large sections of cloth and lots of embroidery, it is hard to keep everything flat...maybe I need a large quilting frame and could embroider the top as a whole on that, next time.
Anyway, some extra beading went onto the water section and it is now a bit puckery.
If you click on this, it will get bigger so you can see it better.
The grasses around Freddie's name aren't done yet. I've learned on this quilt that when I make a big change like this, I have to live with it for awhile before proceeding to refine it.
It will evolve, though...
I am hoping that when this is all done, when I re-interface the back I can pull it taught as I am fusing. That helps sometimes.
Thanks for all your kind comments on my last post....I've so appreciated the chance to share this long-haul project with you.
We're almost done!