You know, quilts are funny creatures. They have a tendency to decide for themselves who they belong to and what they should be named.
I started piecing this quilt about two years ago, as my first subtle experiment in a piecing technique called "Stack and Whack", which was developed by Bethany Reynolds. Early on in its development, it was clear to me that it was not my quilt, in the sense that it was not intended for me to keep it. I had no idea where it was going or what it was going to do, and so I worked on it intermittently over that time, with the steps of piecing the blocks, setting the blocks, basting the quilt and finally quilting it separated by some months, with other projects interjected between those steps. My tentative working title of the quilt was "Veteran's Quilt", because it had that feel.
A week and a half or so before the Harvest Powwow this year, I decided that it would be a nice quilt to start and take to powwow as part of my demonstration, as a work in progress on a Q-Snap quilt frame, and started putting a bit of quilting on it so there'd be something to show to the "work in progress". Experimenting with quilting patterns, what seemed to best work was to echo the shape and size of the stars in the large spaces, and put medicine wheels in the small spaces between stars.
Then came September 11. I was working at the quilt frame on this quilt, as it happened, when the phone rang and my husband told me to turn on CNN. Like millions the world over, I remained glued to CNN for the duration of the day, watching the events unfold in dismay and horror.
When said husband pointed out to me that sleep was a Good Thing, and I should get some, I realized that I had quilted nonstop for 21 hours on this quilt while staring at the television. It was apparent that it had become possible to finish the quilt entirely by the upcoming powwow weekend, and it seemed important to do so.
I offered the quilt to Joe Standing Bear of Midwest SOARRING for whatever purpose seemed most useful at powwow, regarding the September 11th disaster. His decision was that it would be used in a blanket dance, which is a dance during which a blanket (or quilt!) is laid at the center of the dance circle and people are invited to bring money to the blanket to donate to whatever cause the blanket has been placed there for. He also felt that it would be appropriate for the various people at powwow (dancers, vendors, volunteers, general public) to be invited to sign the quilt with wishes for the survivors of the tragedy, and for the quilt to be sent via the Red Cross to New York to be used in whatever way the Red Cross felt best.
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