Day 87 – North of the 49
July 9, 2008
From ‘All Through the Woods’
I was planning on posting a different quilt, when I got an e-mail sending me over to this site. http://anniesquilting.blogspot.com/ and to my surprise, the quilter is making our North of the 49 quilt! Seeing other quilters enjoying our projects is something that really makes us happy. Quite often we publish books or fabrics, and send them off into the ‘great beyond’ and we never really know what happens to them. So finding this blog, has made my day.
So maybe I should tell you the story behind this quilt. It was designed, almost, exactly 8 years ago, at 2:00 am. No, I don’t usually know when I design a project, but in this case, I have strong memories tied to it. My son was about 2 months old, and I was still trying to cope with the fact that I hadn’t slept in over 2 months. My son never slept, and he ate A LOT. He usually had a full bottle every 2 hours, so during one of these middle of the night feedings, I had him propped up on my lap, and with one had I was holding his bottle, and with the other, I was sketching out a quilt. I wanted to make a quilt, just for my son. I wanted it to represent the nature of Canada, and I wanted it to be scrappy and fun. I started with the moose, and I had the quilt about half way drawn when I finally got a chance to go to bed. When I woke up in the morning, I looked at the paper on my table, and had a couple of different thoughts. “Did I do that?” “What was I thinking?” and “This might actually work!”
With the help of my mom, we cut and stitched this quilt together, and I instantly loved it. Looking back now, it shows a time when Cori and I were starting to do very different styles of quilt design. It was never meant to be published (because of the large applique shapes) but Martingale & Co. took a very big chance on printing it. But they told us that if we wanted the book to be published, we had 6 weeks to write it, draw the hundreds of illustrations, and make some supporting projects. They did not anticipate the book selling too well, because it is ‘theme specific’ which means that quilters in Miami are not going to buy a book with a Canadian moose. So a small run of 9,000 books were printed – and they sold out in 6 weeks! And from then on, the book kept being re-printed. (It turns out Canadians live all around the world, including Miami.) So we are thrilled when quilters in Minnesota, and Washington, and New York also find a fondness for our projects.
And what’s with the name? Do you know how hard it is to name all of your quilts! We struggled trying to come up with a name for this quilt. But since it mainly represents western Canada, we named it after the longitude line that runs along the border. We live just north of the 49th longitude. (I live 9 1/2 miles north – to be exact, and my mother’s farm was actually on the 49th parallel.)
Well, that’s the story for today. Cori’s out of the office, so I better go and take care of all of the e-mails this morning.
See you tomorrow.