Farmer's Nightmare 2001
10" x 14 1/2"
Now you all might wonder why the name Farmer's Nightmare for such a pretty looking quilt. As I was thinking about this Boyds Bear doll bed that my husband gave me for Christmas one year I wanted to make a quilt that reflected what he does. He is a farmer....so I thought about crops he grows, cattle he raises, typical dress of a farmer, etc. What I settled on was making a quilt that reflected some of the pests he fights each year.
My original idea was to do a "redwork" inspired quilt with bugs and weeds he has to deal with yearly in the crops he raises so I sat about making a list of possible candidates. I had no problem coming up with lots different weeds and asked him about what bugs he has to fight for his crop health. I had quite a list when he finished telling me but the problem was most of them were in the larva stage and that means they would be fat worms - YUCK! I did not want to put any of those on my quilt so looked only at the weed list and I had enough to make the number of blocks I wanted to make.
It was decided then........... an all weed quilt.
I proceeded to draw simple line drawings of the different weeds then transferred the drawings to Solvy and pinned the Solvy to my white fabric. Using my sewing machine and red thread I stitched the designs. I lowered the feed dogs on my machine and used an embroidery foot. I ended up going around the lines twice to make the lines show up - one line of stitching was not enough for the impact I was looking for.
After the designs were all stitched on over sized squares I trimmed them to size (2 1/2" unfinished) and finished piecing the quilt then machine quilted it in white thread.
Now for the list of weeds.
Row 1. (left to right) cocklebur, dandelion, lambsquarters
Row 2. pigweed, buffalo burr, bindweed
Row 3. shattercane, puncture vine, sunflower
Row 4. velvetleaf, milkweed, black nightshade
Row 5. musk thistle, ragweed, foxtail
I had to laugh when I got this quilt top finished my husband wanted me to print a scan of it. He wanted to take it to the elevator to ask his farming buddies to id. the different weeds. That was a real compliment to me as John hardly ever says anything about my quilting other than - That's Nice!
This quilt won the Pride of Nebraska category at the 2001 Nebraska State Fair. When ever I have given my doll quilt program to audiences where there are men, this is the one they are most fascinated with and want to get a better look at after the program.