This is a memory quilt I made for my brother-in-law Ryan as a remembrance of his Dad who passed away in early September. Hide (pronounced ‘hee-day’) loved fishing, and it was a hobby that he and Ryan shared. Each Spring, they would travel from Southern California to the eastern Sierra Nevada to participate in the opening of fishing season on the last Saturday in April.
Hide was a Japanese American citizen. In June of 1942 at the age of 16, he was incarcerated in the Manzanar War Relocation Center, a remote, military-style camp located in California’s Owens Valley, in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra. At night, Hide would sneak out of the guarded encampment to fish in the pristine mountain lakes, rivers and streams just outside the camp’s boundaries. Being interned, he didn’t have access to a fishing pole and reel. He had to make due with a stick and string with hand-made lures and hooks. In late 1944, Hide left Manzanar to join the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an Army unit comprised of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland United States.
Hide’s love of fishing in the pristine lakes, rivers and streams of the Eastern Sierra called him back to the Owens Valley each year. From the late 1940’s, Hide never missed an Opening Day. Ryan joined his Dad on these yearly trips, and he himself has not missed an Opening Day with his Dad for the past 42 years.
I chose to do this as a medallion quilt. The center fish design was from a tee-shirt, while most of the remaining fabrics were from three of Hide’s casual dress shirts. The fish in the four corners of the fourth border were from his pillowcase. I purchased the cream, dark blue and grey fabric to provide contrast to all the printed fabrics, and I also purchased the fishing lure fabric (in beige) to complement the fishing lure fabric taken from one of the shirts. In my final border, I wound these two fishing lure fabrics to represent Hide and Ryan: it is meant to be symbolic of how a parent and child’s life travel along separate paths, but always intersect, staying connected throughout life’s journey.
Donation block for Go Teal it on the Mountain
Back in September, Kate over at TallTalesfromChiconia was looking for contributors to her upcoming Ovarian Cancer Australia auction quilt. While I have not participated in a single-block donation project before, the timing of her request came at a significant time for me: a close family member had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and I wanted to participate as a tribute to her and her battle.
Kate’s plan was that every block feature some sort of mountain idea, and that the color palette be the Ovarian Cancer colors of teal and cream. As an avid backpacker, I have hiked many miles, mostly in California’s Sierra Nevada. The image of mountains in either the early morning or late evening is breath-taking. I love how the foreground hills have deeper color and the farther, distant mountains are taller, more rugged and their color is more muted, almost blending away into the sky. This is what I wanted my block (shown above) to mimic: how a mountain range looks in the fading light of day. As with all my quilt projects, I used fabric that was a piece from the past. In this block, the fabric used at the bottom was from my Granny. To help achieve differentiation between these two mountains, I used the front side of the fabric for the mountain on the left, and the back of the same fabric for the one to the right.
Kate received blocks from all over the world, and she then did the final layout, joining and quilting to achieve an amazingly beautiful quilt! I hope you take a moment to check out the finished quilt on her blog (click here). My block is the second block in the second row.
This quanket is a Prairie Flower block pattern. Jenny over at the Missouri Star Quilt Company has a great tutorial on YouTube if you are interested in giving this design a try.
It’s always such fun to see how fabric choice and placement can drastically affect the look of a design. Jenny’s quilt has a very modern vibe to it, and you certainly get the sense that they are flowers. However, I quickly found that this pattern can create a strong X design when using the same fabric for each block, which I only noticed as I started getting my finished blocks onto my design wall. And since I was using strong colors in my colorway, it seemed to make the X’s stand out quite a bit, which I felt detracted from the “flower” aspect. Instead of going back to square one, literally, I decided to stick with the fabrics I had chosen, but to alter the fabric placement in every other block to help break the X’s.
The fabric I pulled from my stash to represent a piece of the past is the floral that is in the border and flowers, which I inherited from Edith. I suspect she had planned to make a dress with it, as there were, and still are, several yards of this fabric in my stash! I then pulled in yellow, red and blue to complement the colors in the floral.
This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a child in foster care in December 2018.