Mumblings from the Backroom

Tiger Eyes with background in place.

Sometimes I’ll make a design decision seemingly without thought, only to realize later there really was a reason for the madness.

When designing Tiger Eyes, I had a huge constraint on my method of working. The fusible web I prefer, Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, had been on backorder for months with no ship date in sight. Having already bought all the regular Steam-a-Seam 2 I could find, I was being very frugal and saving even the smallest scraps for use. 

For my animal projects, I like to work from the eyes out and do the background last. I knew that to save what precious fusible I had, I needed to piece or use a full cloth background, and I needed to work in reverse, doing the background first.

Seemingly out of the blue I started to make strips of Seminole patchwork. I had never done this before, as I always considered it too fussy with way too many points to match. I forged ahead anyway.

I went on to complete Tiger in the rusted fabrics. Often I seemed to fall into an almost hypnotic state as each piece built on the last. Each time I stepped back to check my progress, the background with the Seminole patchwork would catch my eye and I would wonder whatever possessed me to put that in the background of a wolf piece.

Then one day as I was quilting, it came to me: Tiger and his sister Rosie were born in Florida, the original home of the Seminole Nation. The Seminoles were forced to move west to Indian Territory. Tiger and Rosie have also come west, to live out their lives in a beautiful mountain setting at Mission: Wolf with a pack of their own.

Now it makes perfect sense.

I should listen to the mumbling voices. They know whereof they speak.