Oliver's Odyssey

Conceived in Saudi Arabia, carried all over Europe and brought home to California to be born, this child "sensed" and "tasted" lots of the world before he was even truly in it. During his childhood, he was jealous of times when the rest of us mentioned memories of living in Saudi and lamented, "you never take me anywhere!" As soon as he finished high school, he and a buddy, John, were off to backpack thru Europe, doing things I still do not want to know about, but having amazing synchronistic adventures like randomly meeting a woman at a coffee shop who had actually visted in John's home the year before and who offered to put them up in her home for free for a week!

They came home, Oliver took a break to create some artwork and was off again, traveling to more places than any of the rest of us had seen, including his "travel-addicted" eldest sister. After several trips that filled many sketchbooks, he decided he had enough inspiration to begin painting seriously and his journey into the world of artwork began - look here.

Part of his journey took him to Ireland where he felt utterly caught by the landscape, the people and with his own very Irish heritage. Meanwhile, back at home, I won a certificate to buy fabric from a really nice source and immediately saw colors and textures that reminded me of this son. At about the same time, I was introduced to Karen Combs' "Celtic Pieced Illusions" in which by using a very few basic blocks repeatedly, and by turning them in different ways, you can create and endless series of Celtic Knotwork patterns. Using Electric Quilt, I recreated the basic blocks and moved them around until I got a pattern I liked. This particular pattern ended up being my biggest challenge yet as not only was the fabric directional, I had to make directional blocks as well so the whole thing would match up. Once it was finally pieced, however, it was pretty easy to quilt and embellish - a surprize was that it turned out to be reversible as the quilting on the back created a whole-cloth design!

Demonstrating the old adage, "no matter where you journey in life, there is no place like home," Oliver's life journey seems a perfect metaphor for the twists and turns in this quilt - short journeys, long journeys, they all come back to the beginning.

Here is the back

Stitch detail