"Back to the Garden" is Done

From this...

...to this.

What began as a quick sketch several years ago generated an idea for a quilt last fall, changed as it grew, and is finally complete.

The four winds blow...

...the sun shines through the clouds...

...and the waves sparkle.

I put the geographical co-ordinates of the island in the space after the Alden Nowlan quotation. The quote starts in the lower left: "For those who belong nowhere," and continues across the top "and for those who belong", down the right side "to one place too much to belong", finishing upside down "anywhere else." I know it's a bit of a puzzle to figure it out, but I think words in a piece can be so dominant that I am always trying to soften or blur them.

I am happy with the way the multi-coloured thread of the blanket stitch blends and integrates the cloth letters.

I added the second part of the Joni Mitchell verse to the ground beneath the rainbow. I was actually thinking of her voice singing. "We are stardust, we are golden" is all light and sparkly, while "and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden" is more earthy and deep. The threads I chose echo that contrast.

Those of you who are regulars will be familiar with the stages that this quilt took. If you are new here, the previous posts are under the quilting tag.

This quilts incorporates a few firsts for me:
1. First completely hand-stitched quilt.
2. First time painting with dyes.
3. First time using metallic thread and beads (conservatively, yes, but they are there.
4. First time using stumpwork techniques (on the sheep.)


  1. Wow -- that's breathtaking! I embroider and I sew, but I haven't learned to quilt yet. Boy does this make me want to learn!

  2. Anonymous7:39 PM

    an amazing amount of work and truly a treasure. hope you are planning to keep it. so wonderful that you could complete it after changing direction/intent.

  3. It's stunning, Heather! I'm so impressed that it came together so beautifully and that you finally completed so much stitching. Amazing.

  4. Anonymous10:56 AM

    This is a very inspiring work Heather!
    Love the colors and the so many details you added to it!!
    What is the size of it?

  5. It measures 99x117 cm, or 39x46 inches.

  6. The original sketch was 4x6 inches.

  7. Magnifique!


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