Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Forgotten Kokopelli-tipi quilt

I was reorganizing some sealed bins that I had stuck under my cutting table five years ago when we moved here and I found the pieces to this quilt that I had TOTALLY forgotten about. They must be 15-19 years old, because I made them when we lived in the desert.

I think I gave up on it either because:

   1. The green flying geese strip curves and I can't iron it flat and I will NOT redo it.
   2. I decided it was too big (60x80 inches) for me to want to quilt it.
   3. We had to move to Illinois and I forgot about it in the ensuing three house moves.
   4. After we left the Southwest, Kokopelli wasn't so compelling anymore.

Kokopelli the flute player.
 You can read about Kokopelli here:

I can't believe I did all that meticulous applique -- a tiny blind hem machine stitch with invisible thread. Pretty soon these fabrics will be considered vintage. My color palette has changed so much since then that I don't know if I want to finish it or put it all back in the bin. However, I do like the running horses.

Maybe I'll just throw out the green flying geese -- they're too dark for my tastes now and there's no way I'll pick them apart and resew them straight.

Strangely enough, when we moved to Illinois, one of the first things my husband did was erect a tipi in the backyard. Our property was totally wooded and backed onto a wooded park and wooded section of a little college, so it looked natural. I think our son slept in it a few nights, and we saw the occasional college students staring at it and probably wondering who lived there. Once I heard someone singing/chanting near it in the snow.

I couldn't find any digital photos of the tipi, but this shows our yard near where it was. I sure miss that sunny studio spot in the livingroom

The best thing about the tipi was that it caught the attention of a new couple in the neighborhood who became some of our closest friends until they moved back to Ireland. If they hadn't stopped to ask about the tipi, we might never have met.

So, the verdict is still out on what to do with it but I thought I'd show it to you because it was such a surprise to resdiscover it!

Have a colorful day


The Idaho Beauty said...

I could see maybe breaking this down, identifying workable areas and finishing them off as separate smaller quilts. Those running horses are great all by themselves. I too (believe it or not) would ditch the flying geese, unless they were repurposed as a journal cover or something like that. Of course, if you really aren't drawn to it at all anymore, you might offer it up at one of your groups. Someone else might see great potential and be more drawn to it than you are now.

At any rate, thanks for sharing a bit of your ancient history!

Lynda said...

Sherrie, What a find! I found several tops a year or so ago when I was cleaning up my studio looking through boxes that I've had packed up for years. I ended up putting mine back in the box thinking maybe I'd like them better years down the road. What is neat is that it does tell your story and your progress. I, too, found that my color choices were different from what I'd choose now but especially the designs. Anyway, enough about my story! Thanks for sharing yours.

ellen gets crafty said...

How fun to find a hidden treasure! It's amazing how our ideas and color choices change over the years.