Warning: this post is long and contains many photos - I hope you like my story, it's almost 20 years in the making.
It all started with a fat quarter pack that I picked up in 1996. It was at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show and I was with my dear friend, Mary B. We were traveling and quilting together quite a bit at that time. I'm not sure how she'll feel about these photos from 2009, but I like them.
Here are the blocks I made with the FQs after adding in some other fabrics.
There is an odd assortment, like this one with spiders. Many have that weird gold embossing on them.
I was not sure what to do with the borders. I had only been quilting about 5 years, but I had attended a Gwen Marston retreat, so I was already thinking about how to create my own personal quilts.
While driving along one day listening to my favorite musician, Paul Simon, I heard the song "Sparrow". My mother, Cathy, had died in 1990 and was still grieving the loss of her. The words spoke to me and I decided to design the borders based on the song. (sorry the lighting isn't great on this)
I also like the Biblical references to the sparrow such as
"Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine alters, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God"
"I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top"
I've included the lyrics and psalm 84 on the back with the label.
I like the sparrow, she is humble and simple. I wish I was more that way.
I researched the lettering in the library. I sat on the floor and combed over many calligraphy and alphabet books. This is in the days before "fonts" on my computer. I settled on an 16th century Italian script alphabet.
I entered this quilt into the AQS show in Paducah and to my utter delight and surprise it was juried into the show in 1998.
I included the sparrow in a challenge for the Gwen Retreat the following year and my great friend, Mary, suggested that I include the sparrow in my quilts as a personal icon. And since I do everything Mary says, I have included it in many (not all) of my quilts.
Here are the some of the quilts where I have appliqued them:
This is on the back with a label.
I can't wait to see this one settled in her quilted nest.
Here are some that are quilted-
This one is in a coffin in my Moby Dick quilt - it's Queque's coffin. That quilt is another story...
Thank you to everyone that expressed their interest in this story, I hope you enjoyed it!
I'd also like to say a special thanks to coco, who watched all the quilt pulling and photography to make this post possible. Good Pup!