I am thrilled to say that I finished the Fox Wholecloth Quilt in time yesterday to photograph, wash, and sleep under it last night!
This is the orientation the quilt is meant to lay on a bed. The bed that it is intended to be used on will be in our Wabi-Sabi Overland vehicle where the bed is oriented side to side such that the foxes will be viewed “right side up” when you are standing in the kitchen looking back at the bed.
Some quick reminder statistics: the foxes are 47″ wide and 20″ tall at the extremes, the quilt is 67 1/2-inches wide by 92-inches long, and the quilt was made using Kona Cotton in Astral for the front and back, bound using Kona Cotton in Ocean, and I used Quilter’s Dream Dream Green batting.
The entire quilt is quilted using Aurifil’s Forty3 thread, which is a three-ply forty weight thread (their normal 40wt is a 2-ply). You can read about my testing and evaluation of the differences on the Auribuzz blog. I used 5 different color threads for the quilting: 2692 (black), 2784 (Dark Navy), 2725 (Light Wedgewood), 2600 (Dove) and 2024 (White). 2725 (Light Wedgewood) blends in beautifully with Kona Astral.
When planning out the quilt, my husband and I immediately felt a strong connection to the fox silhouettes, so each fox represents one of us. The playful, pouncing fox is for my husband and shows his deep connection with nature, and his love for space, the stars, and a certain propensity to be a big picture dreamer.
The only location in the quilt that uses 2692 (black) thread are the pebbles that represent the earth and rocks in the feet of his fox, nestled around the tree roots. I like that the general trend for my husband’s fox is to go from dark to light, dense quilting to less dense quilting.
I hope that the motifs capture not just his personality, likes, and interests, but also a wishful hope for playfulness and the freedom to explore while feeling rooted, grounded, and loved.
When discussing what to include in his fox, my husband requested a tree similar to the style I created in The Giving Tree Mini Quilt, which I was more than happy to re-create for him. For the tree trunk and branches, I used 2784 (Dark Navy). For the “leaves”, I started with 2725 (Light Wedgewood), then 2600 (Dove) and 2024 (White). These are tiny pebbles, probably about 1/8-inch in diameter at largest.
The largest feature on my fox is the quilted Mariner’s compass. I have a very strong internal compass that I try to use and live by. Most of the time I just call it “the vibe” and I am eternally grateful to those times it has steered me in the right direction.
The next thing I knew that I wanted for my fox was some dense quilting in each of the legs, this time using 2784 (Dark Navy) to create a realistic looking effect for a typical red fox coloration. Note that each of the foxes also employs the characteristic white tipped fox tail for the same reason.
After that, I was a lot more stumped about what to do for my fox. When my husband suggested that I think about looking at maps to relate to the compass, we hit on the perfect solution: mountains, towns, forests, and rivers inspired by the map illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkein in his book, The Hobbit.
I won’t say that I am a reluctant traveler, but my husband knows that I take a while to warm up to his travel ideas. I never regret any of the adventures that we have undertaken, but my natural inclination at the proposal of a new idea is much like that of a hobbit: to stay cozy at home and (in my case) quilt. So I hope that the quilting in my fox also reminds me of the second title of The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Of course, it helps knowing that in our upcoming travels, we will be taking home with us everywhere we go.