Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wild Horses

Some things you just cannot plan for.
Quilting takes time, and a lot of planning, from choosing the fabric, to the design, and the colors, complimentary and primary. The "feel" of the quilt is often hard to settle on. Many of the quilts I make with a specific recipient in mind are meditations on the person, and my relationship with the person, and the other people surrounding this person. But sometime things need to happen more quickly.

A couple of weeks ago, my father's health took a nose dive, due to him falling into cardiac arrest. Luckily my mother was with him, and got him help immediately. A week in the ICU was followed by transfer to another hospital and a triple bypass heart surgery. He's still there, and, though improving, will be there for a while longer as he awaits a defibrillator implant. After that he'll be heading home, but will be facing a long recovery.
During day 3 of this, I was at home, trying to relax via sewing after a turn at the hospital. I'd left my father, and my mother with him, and headed home. We did not then know what the prognosis would be. At home I was working on a quilt for my daughter, and thinking about the things I could do to help my dad, and my mom, and the things I could not do. And then it hit me. My dad was going to be in bed for a while; I'd donated quilts to hospitals before; I'd make a quilt for my dad to use at the hospital. This was a way I could use my hobby to make things a bit nicer for my father, regardless of prognosis.
I left my daughter's quilt, and went to the fabric store. Luckily, I know my father well enough so that the rumination part of the creative process didn't need to take long. My dad's a life-long lover of horses. He loves westerns, and has a great fondness for the myth of the west and of the cowboy. I would make him a horse and cowboy quilt. I also knew I wanted the quilt to have movement, and a sense of the outdoors. I bought fabric of horses running free and 4 other fabrics in blue, green, and brown. Out of them, I made this:
And a detail: 
I made the strips "wonky" because I thought it would add to the dynamic feel I was going for. A friend also pointed out that it fits with the Old West theme as it makes it more "rustic". I hadn't thought of that, but it works.
The reverse looks like this:
And a close up:
The quilt is knotted with reddish brown embroidery floss, intentionally used to recall to mind the quilts of the 1800s. The quilt is Single size, and will, I hope, be useful to my dad as he convalesces in front of the tv or computer.
It turns out the unit he's in at the hospital will not let him keep a personal blanket, so this will have to wait till he gets home. I will however, print him a picture of the quilt and take the print out to him. He can keep it with the rest of the cards, photos and pictures his grandkids have made for him.

No comments:

Post a Comment