I've been thinking a lot lately about women and our journey through history. The campaign and election have brought women's' interests to mind, but I've been thinking about "our" interests for far longer. So with the arrival of my newest line Hope's Journey in shops in the last couple of weeks, I thought it was time for a post....please read to the end, a prize awaits.
Did you know I name each of my fabric lines with Moda after women and my quilts are influenced by their story? Below is the mini version of a larger quilt, I named Hope's Journey. It is based on a fabulous antique made in the late 1840's or 1850's at the very latest.
So who is Hope? Hope is every woman who left her home in search of a better life. This time period saw massive movement of civilization westward to California, Oregon and southwest to Texas. In a movement called Manifest Destiny, men saw it as their right to go west, conquer, and prosper. Men sold their homes, uprooting their wives and children with the prospect of a better life, a fresh start, leaving behind debts, or worn out soil, or crowded cities. They were adventurers and dreamers and their women had little to no say in whether to go along or not. Whether they agreed or went kicking and screaming, they got in the wagon and said goodbye to everything and everyone they knew. They might as well have been going to the moon. All the women had was HOPE, the hope that somehow life would be better and the journey would be worth the sacrifices made.
Here is the antique quilt....
The quilt below, is called Between a Rock and a Hard Place....a tough place, where many a pioneer found themselves. To continue pushing on, or to take a different route or even turn around, after tragedy-- an illness, death of a parent, loss of a child or, even a disagreement with the leaders of the wagon train, was a hard decision to make and all too often, a decision they would regret. There are SO many stories from women's diaries of the Overland journey! Far too many for me to tell.
Here, Molly is in mid squirm on Calico Meadow. Inspiration for this quilt comes from a vision of women and girls clad in bright calico dresses walking beside the wagons through fields and meadows at the start of the journey. By the end of the trail, the calico was far from bright, but rather a dirty and tattered testament to the courage, perseverance, and triumph of seeing the journey through. Would their new life be the vision of bounty and prosperity they had dreamed?
In planning the quilts, I didn't realize they would look so Christmas like. Calico Meadow looks like little Christmas presents and Hope Blooms, the quilt below is ideal for Christmas.
Hope Blooms...I'd like to believe that all who departed, arrived in one piece and had a happy adventure, but I know the outcome for so many was not that at all. If the journey did carry a family to a pretty homestead or a successful business or to strike gold, they were the fortunate ones. Hope got them through and with hard work, its blossoms set, and a new life began.
a close up of the pretty quilting by Sheri Mecom. I love the design in the basket.
Eliza's Indigo quilt, below is named for Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who in 1738 at age 16, took over the management of her families 3 plantations and developed indigo as a major cash crop in South Carolina by 1740's. (note this is a photo of me, that I don't hate, LOL) Eliza had no experience, but I'm sure hoped that she would meet and exceed her father's expectations as she planted the indigo seeds.
Below is Lizzie's Legacy quilt, large and small. Lizzie, my great great grandmother left her home in Kentucky in 1852 with husband R. W. Carpenter and traveled to Texas to settle and make a new life. Where would I, or any of my family, be without the courage of this brave woman, or the hope she had for the future? It is her legacy, of sewing and quilting, I treasure beyond expression.
And now we come to Rachel Remembered, the line that was just shown at Market in Houston. First, is a close up of the antique quilt, my inspiration for the line. Notice the image of the man, Andrew Jackson, a military hero in the Battle of New Orleans, a statesman and businessman before becoming out 7th president. I named the line after his wife Rachel. Rachel's family was one of the first families of Tennessee. Rachel was born in 1767 and died in December 1828, one month before Andrew was inaugurated.
Shown here, is most of the quilt.
Rachel and Andrew fell in love at first sight, or at least shortly after meeting. Rachel was separated from her husband at the time. Word of divorce was published and she and Andrew married. A couple of years later it was discovered the notice was falsely reported and the divorce was not final and their marriage was illegal. Once the divorce was final, the Jackson's married again. The scandal kept her in seclusion and followed Rachel to her grave, The press was as vicious and as unrelenting in reporting the opinions of Jackson's political rivals as the recent abysmal display by the candidates and the press in the recent campaign.
And here are my creations based on the fabrics in the antique quilt....the large and small quilts with the stars, are called Rachel's Garden, her favorite place on the plantation, the Hermitage. The gold and blue quilts are named Morning Walk. Tennessee Lady is between the star quilts. The patriotic color quilt and the quilt on the table are in one pattern called Endearments (that will be a recurring series of little quilts) and last, the 16 patch quilt is called Nashville, home of the Hermitage. Rachel Remembered will be in shops in April,
We hope. We endure. We hope. We survive.
Life is a journey, taking many paths.
We live in the hope that with every day, every year, every election, to have a better life.
Every politician makes the promise to make our lives better.
Today's vision of HOPE is no different than that which all women have had before us.
BE THANKFUL for the better, as it comes in so many different ways for each of us.
Now, as I promised, a reward for reading....
Please subscribe, or follow me, and leave me a comment about hope or your journey
for a chance to win.....
a layer cake of Hope's Journey
Let us lift each other's spirit.
~Until next time, hoping every day is day,
Please comment until 6:00am Wednesday. Texas time.