Saturday, February 19, 2011

heading south

"heading south"

this piece was finally delivered today, a very late christmas present for my parents. i finished up the stitching on it this week. it's possible i could continue to stitch away on it, but it felt like a good time to call it "done" for now.

heading south - detail

"heading south" is all hand stitched, except for a a little bit of the border. i forgot to measure it before i gave it to them, but i think it is roughly 3 ft x 4 ft. definitely the biggest piece i have done so far. it is a mix of cotton, denim, linen, silk, wool, and other mixed fibres, layered over a bamboo batting and with white cotton stitched on the backside and a navy cotton border. a mix of new and repurposed fibres.

heading south

this was definitely a labour of love, and i hope my folks will enjoy it. my dad has a strong love of the ocean, and worked in various capacities on it for large portions of his life (he is now retired). my mom is not so big on being on the water, but i know she enjoys the view from shore. my parents immigrated from denmark in 1970, shortly after they were married, and i think they feel great love for this corner of the world they have called home for over 40 years. we lived just across from the beach when i was a kid, and i spent long hours at the shore with my friend and our sisters (remember when kids could just roam freely through the wilds, as long as you were home by dinner?). the tall beach grass was thick around the large logs of driftwood as we made forts and played our games.

heading south - detail

when i was young we lived in a log house, and my dad had carved wooden plaques that hung over each window downstairs. one featured a line of three seaspan barges moving along. i think this is a big part of why i love the red barges so much as they move up and down the waterways here, and why i wanted to make sure and include them in this piece. they also indirectly led to the title, as the tug and its charges march south against the backing of the coast range mountains.

heading south - detail

now where they live, the bottom of the driveway is marked by another sign he carved, with three gulls in flight above the street number. they also bottle their own wine, which is aptly called "three gulls" with some labels i designed. i made sure to include three seagulls in this piece for them. in this case one is perched on a rock while two float nearby amongst the gentle waves.

a little visitor

when i was taking photos of the quilt this morning, i hung it from the cherry tree outside, incidentally from the same branch the suet feeder hangs from. all was quiet when i went out, but shortly i became aware of a flurry of chips and cheeps descending on me, and soon a crew of chestnut backed chickadees had popped down to see what i was doing. they were very brave, resting in the tree just feet from where i stood. soon enough, they were on the feeder, unperturbed by the quilt hanging next to it. they only darted away at the sound of the camera shutter, but then came back again quickly for another bit of seed. funny little birds, made my morning.

the sun shone brightly today after yesterday's snowfall. the snow has stayed around and tonight is very cold, but we took a nice walk at the beach today in warm sunshine. i will share some photos tomorrow. hope you are all having a good weekend!


Anonymous said...

oh, Kristy, this is such a meaningful gift for your parents. This piece is out of this world, really. SO precious. oxox

Kate said...

Absolutely beautiful! I love the muted colours (and the seagulls!)

Tara said...

It's beautiful. I love the seagulls. I also wanted to congratulate you on winning Margie's giveaway. I can't wait to see what you will create with those fabrics.

kate said...

It is as beautiful as I expected.

I also grew up very close to the beach and have my formative memories tied up in driftwood and sand and waves.

Yesterday was stunning, we ventured out to Quinsam and the hatchery and it was breath-taking.

Megan said...

Made me get all teary.

Margie Oomen said...

the piece is as beautiful as the history and emotion behind it. I love it so much.

julochka said...

what a beautiful labor of love. the seagull on the rock is just precious.

i have to ask, did you grow up speaking danish, what with having danish parents?

Mona said...

It's such a lovely piece you've made, simple and beautiful. For a gift to be truly appreciated, I think it has to have these 'secret' messages, inspired by the bond there is between giver and recipient . And lovingly homemade makes it a unique gift, I'm sure they didn't mind waiting a bit for a gift like this!
Funny, your parents emigrated the year I was born (in Denmark) - not many emigrated at that time.

Lovely World said...

This turned out perfectly. I'm sure your parents love seeing this hanging on their wall - reminding them of you, and the world around them.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Really superb work.