Was it really only nine years ago this weekend that my sons and I drove the Buick to Nebraska to spend July 4th with my parents? That was the summer of the owl family living in the maple tree, now taken over by the baby squirrels.
The boys played ping-pong in the basement wearing flamboyant Hawaiian shirts. They touched the wrong buttons on the cable t.v. box, and sometimes failed to follow the prescribed procedure regarding the exhaust fan in the one-bathroom house, making my dad crabby. My youngest was finally starting to eat hamburgers and steak at age twelve, causing a great multi generation sigh of relief. My oldest was gaining competence as a driver, although his brothers still huddled in the backseat praying for their lives. We shot off fireworks from the sidewalk.
I didn't know then to remember the visit as the last time we would all be together in Lincoln. What I remember most vividly is our drive through Kansas watching the development of a huge storm cloud above the astonishingly green fields and windbreaks.
When we returned to Texas, I went on a crazed attempt to capture that drive. My materials were inexpensive RIT dyes, salt, glue, bleach, old bedsheets and blouses, dotted swiss and drapery remnants, cords and threads. This would be my third road trip quilt effort. I dyed, pieced, and hand-quilted a fabric commemoration of a solo trip to Palo Duro canyon in '97, and pieced a quilt top inspired by New Mexico vacations in '98.
I pieced, then cut, pieced again and recut the fabric. Eventually I cut it into fourteen blocks using my Buick's backseat window as the pattern. Then real life demands took over. I never knew how to solve the quilt-top, or had the time.
My recent stormy visit to Nebraska provoked me to unearth this unfinished project from a box in the closet. The "car windows" are photographed from the loft bedroom overlooking the condo living room. I'm hoping Winnowings and her readers will suggest designs to finish the quilt top. Maybe I should just cut the blocks into rectangles and make sofa pillows. Maybe I should use the blocks as starting points for embroidery projects....
© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder