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Vintage Chevron Quilt: “Home sweet home.”

May 17, 2018

Three and a half years ago our family was moved to Toronto for my husband’s job. It was bitter sweet as he was promoted to a more senior position, however we loved our dear Vancouver and the community that we lived in. We didn’t know anyone in Toronto and none us us wanted to be here. It was a larger city, faster paced and it felt overwhelming. After a few weeks I realized that if I wanted it to feel like home I was going to have to make it so. I started making connections and looking for things that our family would enjoy in the city. I also started making a quilt, in part to keep myself happy, but also a quilt that would help make our new home feel like home.

VintChev.quilting.HSL

Quilting by Stacey Murton. @hushrules

Since I was looking for something “homey” I bought some vintage looking fabrics and paired them with my fave: Essex linen Flax – love the tactile feeling of the linen once quilted.

I designed some letters for the back that spelled out “HOME SWEET HOME”. (I ended up writing a pattern for the alphabet called “Vintage Alphabet Pattern” which is now available in my Etsy and Crafsty stores.)

VintageAlphabetQuiltPattern.jpg

I finished the quilt top and back and it sat on a shelf in my sewing room for 3 years.

Towards the end of 2017 I decided it was time to get it quilted, so I sent it off to Stacey Murton (@hushrules) in Vancouver. I told her she could do whatever she liked as long as it was modern and not too flowery. She did an incredible job of it. It’s the first time I have had a quilt custom quilted and I am a convert, I tell you.

VintChev.windows.HSL

Ironically the week that it arrived back in the mail, my husband was laid off from his job, and we decided to return to Vancouver. I had to laugh and cry. It seemed that all my efforts in making Toronto feel like home had worked out better than I had ever expected, and now I am so sad to be leaving. Toronto has been incredibly good to me. It gave me a blank canvas to reinvent myself after “being a mom” years. I’ve learned and grown so much here, and I will always be grateful to Toronto for that. I love it’s diversity, multi-culturedness, it’s wealth of the arts, the urban grit ‘n grunge, the amazing restaurants in pretty much any type of food you can dream of. And of course the beautiful friends I made. I will miss them the most.

VintChev.front.HSL

When looking for a shoot location I thought this abandoned barn was perfect. This sad and neglected place, was clearly once a home to a farmer and his family. Toys and furniture were strewn around outside, and on this clear but freezing winter day, an icy wind howled through the brokenness of the barn. The frozen, brittle textures summed up how fragile and lonely I felt when I arrived in Toronto. I love the juxtaposition of this homey quilt in this isolated space. It shows how one place can be both friend or foe – depending on what we make it.

VintChev.back.HSL

Here’s me in my winter gear climbing up in the rafters. The art director {idiot} in me loves a quilt shoot, and will risk life and limb for the perfect shot. I could not feel my fingers at this point, and my legs were close to frozen too. But hey, worth it for the pics, right?!

VintChev.B.freeze.HSL

This shot below is outside a different barn on the way home. It was red like the back of the quilt, so I had to jump out the car and snap this one too. Luckily my co-quilt holder hadn’t lost patience with me yet! And thanks to my hubs, Cosmo, for his good eye and kind tolerance of my crazy quilt shooting adventures.

VintChev.redbarn.HSL

Home is where we want it to be. With loved ones, where memories are, where we feel safe and loved, or just a little space in our hearts where we feel free to be who we are.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Family Bedford permalink
    May 17, 2018 11:18 am

    What a beautiful quilt and tribute to your time in Toronto. I am so glad our paths crossed. Good luck on the rest of your journey.

    • May 17, 2018 11:26 am

      Thank you Susan. I’m so grateful to our little Wednesday workshop group. Kept me happy and sane(ish) for those first couple of years. 🙂

  2. May 17, 2018 12:32 pm

    I was so sad when you left Vancouver but it was a blast seeing your Toronto and sewing adventures. I love that you made it home but I have to admit, I’m thrilled you’re coming back! xo

  3. Rosemary permalink
    May 17, 2018 2:30 pm

    Berene that is truly beautiful. The quilt is lovely and the photographs just perfect. But more, much more is that the the images document your rite of passage. You have moved into the next stage of your life, you were presented with challenges and you rose to the occasion. Embracing the demand of an altered attitude you faced it full on, found your inner, personal strengths and built on them. You are now your own person; strong, confident and ready to take on the next stage of life in whatever form it comes.
    You are a strong, remarkable and inspiring woman and I am proud of you. Congratulations.

  4. Sandi Hill permalink
    May 17, 2018 3:38 pm

    Such a lovely quilt and a beautiful story! Happy to see you back home soon.
    Sandi

  5. Katy(LethargicLass) permalink
    May 17, 2018 4:14 pm

    I am forever blessed that I got to meet you while you were in this end of the country, safe return!

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