October is the pinnacle of the autumn months, featuring incredible scenery as leaves turn gold, crimson, chartreuse and bronze. Even the light seems to turn everything golden at this time of year. I am sure the scenic vistas and cooler temperatures have inspired the creation of more than a few quilts.
Nature seems to augment our gratitude as we contemplate our blessings from the past year. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, a month before our American counterparts because of our earlier harvest. We also have a day off for Thanksgiving, giving us a day of rest, a day to pause and reflect, to be thankful, to quilt… What are you thankful for during this season? I am thankful for the gift of time – and especially for time to work on my quilt about time!
The birth flowers for October are marigolds and cosmos. The marigold is described as warm, fierce, and elegant and is ascribed with the characteristic of devotion. Marigolds come in a myriad of fiery colors such as bright yellow, orange, and red – but these colors did not work for the primary October birth flowers in my quilt. In pursuit of a balanced and harmonious composition, my marigolds are white – a legitimate, but unusual, color for this flower.
To create these multi-petaled blossoms, I layered many tiny white fabric pieces in that characteristic squared-off marigold petal shape. The outer petals were needle-turn appliquéd; the innermost shape was turned using the Apliquick method.
In contrast to the intense marigold, cosmos – whose name comes from the Greek word for harmony or ordered universe – symbolize order, peace and serenity. The flower was given its name by the Spanish priests who grew them in their gardens in Mexico because their petals were so evenly placed. I chose blue for the cosmos in my quilt.
Here is October in my quilt about time.
There are two birthstones for October: the opal and the tourmaline. They symbolize hope, creativity and innocence. The tourmaline, known as a bicolor or tricolor gem, comes in a myriad of colors to suit just about anyone’s taste. The opal has a “kaleidoscopic rainbow quality” – its name derived from the Greek opallos, meaning “to see a change”. Opals range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. They are said to encompass the hues of all other gemstones making them the “Queen of Gems”.
The flexibility in color combinations should have made choosing the gemstone for my quilt easier, but it was challenging to represent a multi-colored gem that still blended harmoniously. In the end, I chose the faceted shape of the tourmaline in soft creamy shades that could be found in opals as well. Here is how it will look, at the 10 o’clock position representing the 10th month.
October wraps up with an event favored by most children everywhere – Halloween. While pumpkins are carved and set out, children dress up and go “trick-or-treating”, receiving more candy than can possibly be good for anyone. I do believe they are thankful for the bounty they have received! May this season of Thanksgiving, Autumn and Halloween inspire you in all your current creations.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.