Pear Drops Quilt

Pear Drops is unusual in its origins. It is the only quilt besides Five Horses in which the inspiration for the subject came first, and I actually sought out fabrics to make a project I already had in mind. I was working at tasks completely unrelated to quilting when suddenly I had a ‘vision’ of a series of tiny pears falling like raindrops from the sky. They were being released one by one from a hand from above. I went with it and got the fabrics in the general color scheme I wanted to work with. Naturally, I still found the materials I would use in the bargain section, and I didn’t find all of the colors or styles I had planned, and made due with what I did find. But still, I did go out actively seeking certain colors and types of materials, and had them cut to size. The sewing process was difficult because I was working with very small pieces and in burlap and upholstery fabrics that tend to fray easily. But I am happy with the outcome. Pear Drops is unusual in another way, too. It is the only project for which I have used a sewing machine. In this case, I used the machine to sew the edges of the red microsuede backer. It was folded over multiple times and too thick to get a needle through by hand and in a manner that would yield the look I wanted. The remainder of the quilt—the burlap front piece, the microsuede thumb and finger, and all of the upholstery pears and cotton leaves, are hand appliquéd with embroidery thread. Finally, there is a little story to the wooden pear suspended from the bottom of the quilt. We were working on a wood project involving reclaimed cedar floor planks, and I picked up a strip of wood to discover this ‘pear’ sitting right in the middle of it. I decided to attempt its removal, very carefully, and accidentally dropped the entire plank onto the concrete shop floor. The wood shattered, and the pear-shaped knot popped out whole and perfect. We drilled a tiny hole in the top of it, and I sewed it onto the quilt for a finishing touch. The hanger for this work is a strip of hand cut and sanded cherry, finished with Danish oil, suspended through two large upholstery ‘pears’ stitched to the top of the quilt. The entire piece, including the hanger, measures 29” x 16” 

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