Years ago, I made this quilt called “Earth, Wind and Fire” from a pattern developed by Toni Whitney and distributed by Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. It was a gift for my husband as he loves working with horses. It has graced the wall above our bed for several years. Each morning we can watch the sun rise over the hills and glitter off the waves as they come in on the beach. Many of these sunrises will rival any sunset I’ve seen.
Unfortunately, the bright morning sun also faded the fabric in the quilt and it has lost it’s luster. I felt it was time to retire this quilt. I offered to replace it with the same design but different fabrics. Doug declined and opted for something new.
I search the internet for ideas. I tried to draw several horses but none of them came up to the standards of my imagination. I found several photos, paintings and drawings on line and finally settled on this one to use as a pattern. The original is an oil painting by Marcia Baldwin entitled “Bold Brave Indian War Horse.”
I used the basic outline, decided on a color palette and added my own touches.
Here you can see the work in progress. At times I’m not quite sure how it will all come together. There are so many pieces, some tiny and placing them in just the right spot; early on seems like a daunting task.
Quilting the horse itself is straight forward. Each piece is stitched on around its edges. However, the border required a design decision. I opted for this stars and ribbon design. Some more accomplished quilters might be able to do this design free hand without affixing it to the fabric. Not me! I don’t trust myself or skills enough to just stitch free motion without any kind of guidelines. I chose to draw it out on tracing paper and pinned it to the border. Then I stitched it, paper and all. The job of removing the paper afterwards is tedious, but the results justify the hassle.
The timing for this quilt worked out well. Doug and I are celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary today. He is pleased with his quilt and hung it on the reverse of the wall behind our bed where no sunshine will fade it.