Bodega Bay Flowers

Years ago, in the early 2010a, I went to Bodega Bay in California for Independence Day. I have a lot of great memories from that trip, but one of my favorites was this photo of me from a hike that we took nearby.

I love flowers, and the experience of hiking through millions of yellow flowers was absolutely sublime. I wanted to capture that in the medium with which I’m most comfortable, and so I started a quilt. I chose and cut strips of fabric and started weaving them, a process I felt most closely resembled the chaotic and beautiful flowers on the hill.

Meanwhile, shortly after this photo was taken, I discovered I was pregnant. Nine months later, my elder daughter was born. The quilt, which I had begun to work on, was taken apart, folded up and put away. I had no time and no space to work on it.

Flash forward 8 years. Finally I have the time and space to pull this quilt out and I am determined to finally finish it. I started to weave it again, ironing the strips that I cut eight years ago.

The quilt is a technical challenge, a woven rather than pieced quilt, which was held together until it was sewn by iron-on paper.

It worked, but in the end I rather despaired of getting all that damn paper off. But finally I did, and the whole thing started to come together. I made a quilt sandwich, chose the sky, and started working on makin git come together.

Finally I did the hand quilting and machine quilting for the final product. I didn’t know what it would look like. I hadn’t really ever gotten that far when I first envisioned it. Years later I was inventing something to capture an old memory.

My memories of the salt air of the ocean were strong, and I did some hand quilting-embroidery to represent the ocean breezes. Finally the whole quilt was done, right down to the representation of me as an admirer of the scene.

Finally the whole thing was put together, the binding attached, the quilting completed, and even a sashing for a hanging rod was attached. The quilt, NINE YEARS LATER, was finally done.

I really love what I eventually created, though it is smaller than its original design (not as wide).

Facts:

* The flower field is made of four fabrics woven together in green and yellow to represent the field. There are many unfinished edges and haphazard weaving to represent the randomness of nature and the ever-evolving feel of a windswept hill full of flowers.

* When I bound the quilt I left some of the ends uncaptured from all the weaving. I really wanted to emphasize how uncontrolled and wild the field was.

* The sky is a simple light blue embroidered with blue and white, representing the fair day filled with gusts of wind. The border is darker blue just for contrast.

* The person is in blue with a sunhat, an idealized version of me in the midst of the field all those years ago.

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