Monday, November 23, 2009

Indian Summer


Indian Summer has come at last. Two glorious days of warmth and sunshine lured my husband outside, to complete his autumn yard clean up (and snap a couple quilt photos).


If you grew up in the Chicago area, Indian Summer may have a special significance to you. As kids, we'd look forward to the official pronouncement of the season by the Chicago Tribune. When the air turned hazy with the smell of burning leaves, we’d start scouting the newspaper for Injun Summer, the classic story and cartoon by John T. McCutcheon.


This little quilt evokes Indian Summer with its autumn colors and harvest inspired name. I call it "Spinach and Squash" because of the fabrics I used - the green and gold of early Pennsylvania German quilts.

It was pieced and quilted entirely by hand. Sounds tedious, I know, but it was easier to stitch a couple triangles together in the spare moments of my day, than it was to find time to sit at the sewing machine. Besides, the slow process of hand sewing is calming and relaxing to me. There's a kind of romance to the process, a daydreamy, contemplative quality, where I can let my mind wander, while accomplishing something with my fingers at the same time.



The small half square triangles finish at 1" and the large ones are 3".

Spinach and Squash Sawtooth
15" x 18"
 hand pieced, hand quilted
© Diane Burdin, 1990

14 comments:

  1. I well remember Indian Summer days in the north when we lived in Ohio. Your little quilt does evoke that feeling.

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  2. Lovely quilt...and perfect complement to you Indian summer memories! You're right about the handwork. It's very satisfying on many levels.

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  3. It's the perfect quilt for the season and I'm glad your husband took the time to take its picture on the leaves.

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  4. What a gorgeous little quilt, I'm so impressed with your hand piecing and quilting. It's a treasure. I love the colours very much.

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  5. It's beautiful Diane - made more so by the fact that it is made by hand. I think making by hand is such a good meditation. When I begin to fumble and hurry, I have to remind myself to enjoy placing each stitch, to relish the process, not just the finished project. And that does slow down my mind and my day and bring happiness. And romance - I feel like I'm a character in a book :-) As for Injun summer - I haven't a clue! - I'm off to do some reading.

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  6. What a beautiful post. I said out loud: "Diane, am I supposed to read, too?" giggling here over coffee. I just was so taken in with your work. But of course I read and was lured into your experience. I imagined what it must have been like to piece like that. I wonder if I would have had the skills to pull of the work I do, you know? I mean to say that I do a fairly nice bit of work but I wonder, under these circumstances, would I really consider myself a fairly-good-at-piecing kind of quilter? I don't think I'd measure up my friend. I don't know. And oh don't say it! Don't do it. I can feel you about to tell me - just do it that way, try and see. No! Don't say that. I won't. OMG!!! Shsssh.

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  7. Beautiful quilt. There is something about handwork that is so relaxing.

    I grew up in Iowa so I do know the warmth of Indian summers.

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  8. what a cute little quilt. I don't remember this one from your collection.
    Ah, autumn.....
    barb

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  9. There is just something so special about a quilt that is made completely by hand . . . the 'old fashioned' way *s* What a perfect depiction of a memory of times gone by.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  10. Your quilts are lovely. Maybe you're not as old as I am, but I grew up in the Chicago area too and have wonderful memories of visiting the waterfall display with my family at the Olson Rug Company on the Northwest side which always had an "injun summer" theme with teepees and haystacks. And hot dogs! You reminded me.

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  11. ART!! I love this quilt against the brown leaves. Beautiful hand work!

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  12. The colors of this mini Injun Summer Quilt appealed to me immediately when I saw it among the quilts at Repro Quilt Lover! I too remember smoky piles of leaves slowly burning curbside in the neighborhood. It meant fall as much as those leaves that were so colorful weeks before they ended up on that burning pile! I enjoyed reading about how this little quilt came to be. Thank you for sharing its story.

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  13. Love this little quilt!! And even more special as you hand pieced and hand quilted!! My favorite therapy!!

    Blessings

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