Starting back in January with some musings over passed-along weaving samples, today I celebrate the finish of a fiber object unlike anything I have done before.
Margaret Howard wove her samples on a small loom that she kept at the family’s summer house in northwestern Wisconsin. When I first saw them, I felt that these pieces could be compiled into a cohesive fiber object. As I began working with them, my mind traveled to the little cottage on the edge of the lake with the big stone fireplace. What might it have been like for Margaret, to do this work, at that place?
Before long, my own experience while visiting that same cottage began to overlay the story of Margaret in my imagination.
The resulting quilt is a consolidation of her history, my experience and skills, fabric from assorted cast-off shirts, fabric from my mother’s stash, and prompts from the 2022 Stay-at-home round robin quilt challenge.
The little cottage is represented by the center block.
It holds the heart of the Shell Lake story.
Each corner block on the quilt represents some aspect of the experience a trip to the lake house may bring. Let’s go there now.
To reach the cottage, one travels through a piney wood along paths lined with ferns.
Crossing an ancient and overgrown tennis court, the visitor encounters the path to the lake. Turn right and follow the dazzling rays of sunshine to get there.
As the day turns to dusk, all camp visitors are again drawn to the lakeshore, where the sun is saluted before it disappears over the horizon. Sunsets at the lake are relaxed, and sometimes, if you are lucky, meditative.
When the air becomes chilly, a fire will warm the body. While fires on the beach are jolly, often the stone fireplace is brought to life, usually in the cool morning hours.
Here is a final look, showing the fabric chosen as the backing.
This little flower print has no special association with the Shell Lake story. I simply thought that the colors just looked nice.
I truly enjoyed making this quilt, and am a little sorry that the work is done.
And so ends the tale of a weaver, a fiber artist, and the quilt that grew from their intersection. Where will this object end up? I am not sure, but at some point soon, it will be released into the world. Fifty years from now, perhaps another artist will have something to add to its story,