Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pumpkin Pie: A Modern Maples Quilt

All quilts have stories. I think my favorite ones are those that involve other people. When I make a quilt for someone, I think about that person every step of the way - from the fabric colors, to the design, to the layout (symmetry or asymmetry?), to the quilting (will they probably use it to cuddle with, or hang it on a wall?).


This fall, I decided to make a quilt for my mom's birthday gift. Mind you, I've already made two other quilts for her, but this was different. Recently, when my husband and I moved, we took almost all of the quilts. At the season changed, Mom openly lamented that she no longer had a fall themed quilt to display (Pumpkin Spice Latte, which will always, always, always be mine). And fall quilts are special.


Then, it became clear that my parents were really selling the house I grew up in and moving far away down south (the house sold in three days). My mom's birthday was coming up, so wouldn't it be great if she could take a little bit of New Jersey with her, to display when fall comes around again next year?



So, making this particular quilt was full of mom thoughts and house thoughts. It was about memories of moving in 19 years ago on Halloween. I was in elementary school. I'll never forget the first night I slept in my new room; the moon was so bright and we had no blinds or curtains up yet, so I just lay there watching and thinking.

I thought about all the quilt photoshoots over 7 years at my parents' house (in fact, that's the place I learned how to quilt. At that dining room table, which just sold).


This quilt is about 17 or so Thanksgivings that my mom hosted in our house, with my dad's whole side of the family, and it's about the pumpkin pie she makes for my Grandpa every year (ironically, I ran the sugar over to her house this year for that pie!). Hence the name of the quilt.


It's bittersweet. I'm happy for my parents and their new phase in life, but I'm also sad that I won't be able to visit so easily. I realize lots of people live far away from their parents, and I've been lucky to have close proximity for so long, but change is strange.

I completely surprised my mom with this quilt on her birthday. It was so worth the rush to get that reaction. And then I took this last picture on Thanksgiving, in their almost-empty family room.


Quilt Stats:
  • Modern Maple Quilt with improvisational elements, bits of negative space, and gradation in background and leaf color 
  • Made entirely by me from October to November 2017 
  • Quilted on my domestic machine with Aurifil 4060 (Silver Moon variegated gray 40 weight) and Aurifil 2605 (Gray 50 weight) - woodgrain motif
  • I also blogged about the process here ("Marrying Modern and Traditional")

    Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday, Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF

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    13 comments:

    1. What a lovely story to accompany the lovely quilt

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    2. oh this is really lovely - the quilt AND 'the story!'

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    3. Oh wow, Jess, what a story. This will certainly be something your mom cherishes forever. Much love to you all through the changes!

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    4. All of the feelings! I absolutely love this quilt and love the story about making it even more. The quilting on this is just fabulous. Hopefully you guys will have lots of fun weekend trips to see each other to make new memories in their new home! :D

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    5. Lovely story! Change is always hard, but there will be good things to come too, I'm sure. You'll just have to make them more quilts and visit and take pictures in their new yard. Or join us wild ones taking pictures at state parks, and random places on the side of the road. :D

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    6. What a special quilt. It is so beautiful, colorful and filled with meaning. I love that photo of you and your mom under the quilt. I moved from California to New York for college and never went back. I've lived away from my parents ever since, through marriage, the birth of 5 kids and all. I love that you appreciate living in close proximity from your parents and those memories will always be with you. This next phase will be an adjustment and one that I know well. Those times when you do get together with your parents will be ever more special now!!

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    7. Oh, Jess, it's perfect. The colors, the gradation, the theme. And you know your mom will be missing you too, and will be holding you close by hugging that quilt when she is down South. Thank you for sharing such tender times with us.

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    8. This quilt is GORGEOUS! the colors, the design, the mood it sets - all so perfect. i can tell you put a lot of love into it and made your mom (and the viewers here) so happy.

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    9. Jess- You are a loving, generous daughter, and the quilt you made for your Mother is extra special, and so beautiful! It will hold many happy memories for both of you! Relax now, and know that you've done a wonderful thing! Happy Holidays! : )

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    10. What a special quilt! It is a beautiful design and will look awesome fall after fall in your parents' new house. How far south did they move? My parents moved from New Jersey down to Delaware about 4 years ago.

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    11. Good post, love this sharing so much, thank you!

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    12. Excellent article! As always, the articles you publish give me inspiration and help me to incorporate you techniques.

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