I’ve been quiet again, computer issues. I think the computer has given up on me. So please bear with me as I’m going to attempt to write this using my iPad. I’m not too sure how this will go.
So, let me tell you a story, yes there is a reason I’m sharing this with you.
Growing up my hometown was surrounded by farms. Each Sunday during summer my grandparents would drive in one direction or another to visit the stands set up on these family farms where they sold their produce to the public. We knew each of these families well. To the west we visited the family whose son married my cousin, to the east we always stopped to chat and purchase fruits from childhood friends, and so on.
As the years went on it became harder to make a living on these farms. The children couldn’t afford to work the farm without an outside job to supplement the farm’s income so fewer wanted to take over from their parents.
Too many of these farms were sold off and later developed into subdivisions but there were a few who were able to keep the land in the family.
As the children grew and married they were given a section of the land to build their home on.
I was sad to lose these farm stands but understood the economics of life as a farmer. What I loved was seeing some of the barns and outbuildings, no longer serving their intended function, saved and converted into homes for the younger generations, the perfect upcycling if their ever was one.
Why am I telling you this today? It’s because those memories came flooding back when I received a cross stitch pattern in the mail from my friend Marlene.
This is the cover image of the chart
Marlene fell in love with this pattern when she saw her friend stitching it. I knew Marlene had problems with her vision and offered to stitch it for her (visit Marlene and see her final piece all framed by clicking the link above). When I received the chart I immediately asked if I could hold on to the pattern a bit longer so I could stitch a version for myself. Marlene told me it was all mine.
This is where the above story comes in. When I saw the chart I knew I wanted to make changes that would reflect the family farms that were able to hold on to the land.
I pictured a young family that took one of the smaller barns and converted it into their home. They would not only honor the land several generations of their family cared for but would hold on to heirloom pieces as grandparents and great-grandparents passed on.
I wanted to break the pattern down and show you it in stages to explain what I was thinking but haven’t figured out how to do that yet from my iPad. Instead let me show you the final piece and explain some of the changes I made.
The most striking change was to the house. I changed the color to red to represent an old barn and converted the second floor window to a hayloft door to represent the inhabitants wanting to honor the past.
You might have also noticed that I filled in the trees instead of using just the outlines of where the leaves would be. My thought was that by the time we hang out our winter bedding to air before packing away for summer our trees would be in bloom.
I also decided to leave off the geese to represent a non-working farm and the loss that represented to our community.
The more subtle differences are in the two quilts on the left. I used a variegated red on the first one to represent light filtering through the trees. The blue quilt I also used a variegated color to make it appear old and worn….a much loved hand-me-down.
The only other difference was to use brighter colors on the remaining two quilts than was called for in the chart.
This is how my brain works. I like to have subtle reminders of cherished memories that are only known to me. My guests can treat my pieces like a piece of music letting their own memories dictate any impressions they may make.
Much thanks to Marlene for sharing this lovely pattern with me, And now I have a memory of her hanging in my home.