Thursday, March 7, 2024

Quilts to Share

 Sometime in the late 1980's, my husband, youngest child and I were on a short weekend camping trip to Western Pennsylvania.   As I recall the two of them were out, perhaps on a bike ride and I was on my own for a bit -- maybe birding, maybe walking, maybe stitching??  I was in a reflective mood triggered by something I no longer recall, but what I do remember is deciding that if I was going to continue to "work" as a quiltmaker/shop owner/teacher I needed to start being more generous with my skills.   I loved my work and did it mostly for myself, because it was so enjoyable - but I felt at the time there needed to be more than personal enjoyment.

And so began a new commitment to sharing quilts as often as possible.  Over the past thirty-plus years, the count of "quilts to share" that I've either produced myself or organized a group of quilters to produce is a lost number but I'm sure there have been hundreds.

Last week I shared a couple batches of wheelchair size lap robes - an easy size for me to handle in spite of the increasing restrictions of my arthritis!   I can experiment with ideas and block designs in a small way and quilt them without crippling myself -- that means I can keep stitching!

Today another quilt I donated to Homegrown National Park went up for auction!!
It's my version of Pamalamajo Designs Whirly Weeds quilt.
Even though I don't enjoy machine applique, I did enjoy making this quilt since it merged my enjoyment of nature and making and sharing quilts!
I donated it to the first Homegrown National Park Auction which began today and ends on March 17.  The quilt is item #26 of fifty-two (really great) items.
Anyone can bid -- HERE IS THE LINK.
UPDATE - 3/19/2024 -- the quilt sold for $400!!
If you are one of the growing number of native plant gardeners in the USA, you may already know about the Homegrown National Park movement triggered by the books of Doug Tallamy, a professor at the University of Delaware.  His book, Bringing Nature Home, has opened the hearts and minds of thousands of Americans about the dangers of diminishing natural diversity.
The Instagram account @homegrownnationalpark has almost 70,000 followers.
The Facebook page has 22,000 followers.
And the website is full of native plant resources tailored to every region of the USA.

HERE IS A LINK to my favorite Doug Tallamy talk -- I hope you'll listen if you haven't already heard him speak -- his ideas are compelling and doable and lots of other folks agree!!

Bring nature into your backyard or patio or balcony!
And then "get on the map" -- my 60' by 200' suburban lot is part of the 5000 acres in Ohio where homeowners have started to rejuvenate natural biodiversity by planting native trees, shrubs, grasses, and forbs.  I'm on a mission to pass the 75% native plants mark in my own yard by the end of this summer.  My casual observations of native insects -- bees, wasps, beetles, and butterflies -- has increased over the past three years thanks to native flowering plants which makes my yard more fun.  I have more fireflies in summer and more birds year round than adjacent yards thanks to the changes I'm making in my gardens and yard.

Homegrown National Park is a rallying platform for this movement so check it out!! 



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