Thorn + Bloom Quilt
Thorn+Bloom started coming together this February with the idea that I’d finish the quilt by the time the roses were blooming in Carroll Gardens this Spring. Cool idea, right? What I forgot was just how many small pieces make up each rose with its thorns. By springtime, I had most of the quilt-top together, but still needed a few months to complete the hand-quilting.
I’m a sucker for half-triangle blocks. If you need to make a lot of them and if they need to be small, half-triangle blocks are a labor of love (hours spent cutting, piecing… stitch-ripping, cursing…). Since I have an aversion to following the rules, there were a few trial-and-error blocks made at the beginning of this project until I got the hang of it.
Each rose block in this quilt is unique with its own variation of colors, just like the roses I’d see strewn about the front yards of Carroll Gardens’ brownstones. On my daily commute, I’d notice new roses blooming into their own and I’d note the roses that were pealing away, petal by petal.
For backing, I used this block-printed blue stripe that was costly but so worth it for the pop it gives when you peel back the quilt from your bed. It’s also a wicked soft cotton and the blue is bright enough that it lifts.
I finished this quilt just before I moved from Carroll Gardens in early September. It’s a quilt about beginnings and endings; I’ve quilted in who you love and loved; there are stitches in there for what you remember even if it’s got a tinge of sad to it; there are stitches in there for what you’re reaching for even if you’re feeling bruised or shy or grey grey grey.
Personally, THORN + BLOOM is about Carroll Gardens after living there for nearly 4 years and morphing into this city-person-with-a-woodsy-history. In all that hand-quilting, it’s got the beautiful brownstones and the rose gardens and the cinematic night walks down Clinton Street with your earbuds in. It’s about coming to the city in 2014 and meeting total strangers who become so close to your heart you don’t know how you could’ve lived your life never knowing them. It’s about finding all these new places of refuge after you thought you could never call anywhere home that didn’t have lots of trees.
This quilt is currently available at Brooklyn Collective and also my (brand new!) Etsy shop. While it would make a mega-gorgeous wedding gift, THORN + BLOOM would also be perfect for the person out there who’s loved & lost & keeps getting back out there with only more love to give this crazy world.