Owen’s Giraffes – Grandson #2 Gets a Quilt

My re-entry into quilting began two years ago with the arrival of my first grandson. I dusted off my sewing machine and made “Warren’s Monsters” which rekindled my love of playing with fabric. Now, with the addition of my second grandson it was time to make another quilt; Owen’s Giraffes.

I made it up as  I went, as I usually do because I lack the discipline to follow a pattern or a plan. That’s why quilt-making is my relaxation and therapy; no rules.

Here are the Giraffe Panels:

Owen's Giraffes by gulfcoastquilts.com

Owen’s Giraffes by gulfcoastquilts.com

Owen's Giraffes by gulfcoastquilts.com

Owen’s Giraffes by gulfcoastquilts.com

Owen's Giraffes by gulfcoastquilts.com

Owen’s Giraffes by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I added the “big brother little brother” block:

Big brother Little Brother Block by gulfcoastquilts.com

Big brother Little Brother Block by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a few more little boy blocks and a signature block.

Giraffe Quilt by gulfcoastquilts.com

Giraffe Quilt by gulfcoastquilts.com

Giraffe Quilt by gulfcoastquilts.com

Giraffe Quilt by gulfcoastquilts.com

Giraffe Quilt by gulfcoastquilts.com

Hidden messages on the Giraffe Quilt by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After adding a panel of an elephant family – and sneaking in a pink elephant for the possibility of a baby girl added to the family one day – I put the quilt together and here is the final project keeping my precious grandson warm these days.

Owen's Giraffes by gulfcoastquilts.com

Owen’s Giraffes by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, it’s time for a new quilt for my oldest grandson who just got his first BIG BOY bed. This GiGi is about to begin a dinosaur quilt for his new twin-sized bed. Yes, he’s infatuated with the Dinosaur book at school – loves the creatures – so it’s got to be the subject for his quilt. This ought to be interesting. Who knows what I’ll come up with but I know I’ll have fun and there will be lots of love involved in this fabric adventure because I adore these two beautiful grandchildren of mine and I’m tickled that my son and daughter-in-law asked me to make another quilt. Love them dearly!

A Great Horned Owl Inspires Fall Mug Rugs & Wreaths

Last night a Great Horned Owl perched on the top of our three story high house. It’s the highest spot in the neighborhood; a perfect place for these silent hunters to sit until they swoop down onto unsuspecting prey on one of the nearby vacant lots. We heard the hooting just before bedtime and it brought a smile to my face. I always enjoy the return of the Great Horned Owls as it signals the beginning of Fall in Northwest Florida. The nights have been just a tad bit cooler and the mornings perfect for coffee on the dock. It’s still Florida warm in the daytime but the promise of fall is in the air. I was inspired to make some fall-themed mug rugs for the store and a few wreaths.

Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com - pumpkins

Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com – pumpkins

 

Mug Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com - fall leaves

Mug Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com – fall leaves

Mug Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mug Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com - owls

Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com – owls

Owl wreath by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Owl wreath by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com - For my Saints-loving NOLA friends.

Rug by gulfcoastquilts.com – For my Saints-loving NOLA friends.

A StoryQuilter and A Magical Kiss Under A Moonlit Magnolia Tree

The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

I don’t know if I’m a story-teller who quilts or a quilter who tells stories. I do know that I can’t make a quilt unless it tells a story. There’s just got to be a good story involved.

My friend, Sarah, says I’m a “StoryQuilter.” I like that description. And, although I’m not a traditional quilter I think I’ve finally found my home as a fabric artist. I just discovered SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates. SAQA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications. SAQA defines an art quilt as “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched.” I’m pretty sure that’s the direction my work is headed. I may be joining SAQA soon.

I’m working more on art quilts these days; quilts that are framed and hang on a wall. I completed the first in the next old window series, “Southern Magic.”  This first quilt is called “The Midnight Kiss” and it features a full moon, a magnolia tree, southern magic, and true love.  Here’s the story that goes with it:

A Magical Kiss Under a Moonlit Magnolia Tree

I’d just moved into my dream home; a lovingly restored Craftsman-styled bungalow overlooking an exquisite little park near Pensacola Bay. Exhausted from unpacking, I plopped down on the couch, cup of coffee in hand, to read the card left for me by the home’s previous owners.

“Enjoy your new home; it brought us years of joyful living. We hope it does the same for you. Leaving was not easy for us; we’ll never find another home filled with such strong southern magic. Take advantage of the short walk to the water’s edge as often as you can. A walk along Pensacola Bay will always sooth a troubled soul. And when you need a reminder that true love lasts forever be sure to stay up until midnight during the full moon.  The best view of the midnight kiss under the old magnolia tree in the center of the park is from the attic window. Oh how we will miss that magic.”

 I looked out the window and there it was; a bold golden full moon. I sipped my coffee and wondered what I’d see from the attic window at midnight.

What I saw was southern magic in its rarest form…

It began in 1942. America was still mourning the attack of Pearl Harbor. He was a sailor with orders to join the USS      Pensacola, a heavy cruiser later nicknamed the “Grey Ghost” by Tokyo Rose.  She was a nurse, selected to be one of the first women to serve as a Navy Wave.  They were young and in love, and before he left to join his ship he asked her to meet him under the old magnolia tree at midnight. It was a full moon when he got down on one knee and presented her with a ring and his intention to marry her when he returned. She said yes and they kissed, at midnight, under the full moon, under the magnolia tree.  Leaning on his southern heritage, he’d selected that precise place and time to propose because he knew southern magic promised that a kiss under a magnolia tree under a full moon would seal eternal love.

He joined the crew of the USS Pensacola where just a few months later he was counted among the 125 brave men killed in the Battle of Tassafaronga, 30 November 1942.

She never stopped loving him. She never married. She dedicated herself to nursing. She rose through the ranks retiring as an officer with a distinguished career as a Navy Wave, then building a second career caring for veterans in the VA hospital. She lived her final years alone in a cottage near the park, visiting the old magnolia tree often.

It was after her death that the neighbors began to whisper of the ghostly figures kissing under the magnolia tree. All these years later, during the full moon, they still meet at midnight under the magnolia tree for a kiss confirming their eternal love.

At midnight during every full moon I climb the stairs to peek out my attic window, and I know that a magnolia tree touched with a little southern magic really can make true love last forever.

About the Artist: Quilt-maker and storyteller, Gina Maddox, was born with sand between her toes. She resides in Gulf Breeze, FL with a water view from every window of her home. Her quilts always tell a story and reflect the beauty of the Northern Gulf Coast.

The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com 

 

 

The Story of the Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

The Story of the Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

Detail - The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

Detail – The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

Detail - The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

Detail – The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

Detail - The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

Detail – The Midnight Kiss by gulfcoastquilts.com

Something New: The Day of the Dead

Mexican Folk Art - gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – gulfcoastquilts.com

I never believed I’d be so excited about skulls. Yes, skulls.

One of my longtime favorite shopping haunts is Pottery and Garden Alley where you never know what you’ll find. Owner, Lee, makes multiple trips a year deep into Mexico rummaging through old warehouses and throughout the countryside to find treasures overlooked by others. Lee has an amazing eye for finding precious gems under a seeming pile of junk. She hauls her finds back to the store where her flair for displays delights countless loyal customers. I’ve spent a fair share of my decorating dollars in her store.

Here’s the exciting part. I’ve joined the team as Pottery & Garden Alley‘s lone quilt artist. The first challenge Lee issued to me was, “Make something for our Day of the Dead display.  Make something with skulls; Sugar Skulls are popular.” I realized this wasn’t going to be easy.

Macabre at first glance, the Day of the Dead is actually a charming celebration in Mexico and in other cultures around the world. The holiday focuses on honoring loved ones who have died. Family gatherings, special foods, and cleaning up cemeteries are all part of the festivities. In Mexico, candy treats, extravagantly decorated Sugar Skulls, are offered to the living and the dead. The skull is a common symbol of the holiday. 

There are many collectors of Sugar Skull themed items and Mexican Folk Art. Many shop in Pottery & Garden Alley. My challenge was to study the styles of Mexican Folk Art, add my own touch, and create some tabletop items for the Day of the Dead display. It was a fun challenge and I’m excited to learn more. Below are photos of place mats and a table runner made using applique and thread sketching and featuring Sugar Skulls and the Day of the Dead. Stop by and visit Pottery & Garden Alley if you’re in the Pensacola area!

Mexican Folk Art  - Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

Mexican Folk Art - Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art - Day of the Dead and Tree of Life by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – Day of the Dead and Tree of Life by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

Mexican Folk Art - Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com