I have always called this my Jungle Quilt, but an imaginative little 4-year old named Ian calls it my Rain Forest Quilt, which I think is a much better name.
In some ways this quilt is the reason I’m in the quilting business today. Up until the day I made this quilt, the most ambitious quilt projects I had finished were two bed-sized quilts commissioned by a dear friend.
But one day I wanted to make a baby quilt for a friend who was having her second child. Wayne (who was my husband at that time) is very artistic so I asked him to draw me a sketch of a jungle scene. When I came home that night he had drawn the fantastic jungle scene below which became the basis for the Rain Forest Quilt.
On the second day, Wayne perfected the design. The next day he went to Kinko’s and blew up the picture so that it was about 4 ft. by 6 ft. It took two sheets of paper to hold the enlargement, and he made three copies of each. I used one copy as a pattern on my design wall and the other two I cut up and used for templates.
Below are some closeups of the quilt. This little fan-necked amphibian I put in myself, mainly because he’s cute:
Wayne took three days to complete the process, but it took me several months to make this quilt, something I had never done before. I do know I loved searching all over town for material, all flannel or minky, and adding embellishments such as blue topknot above or the pink tuft below.
The snake idea was derived from a wonderful sketch I have by Jaro Hess, an amazing artist who was a friend of my father’s. I grew up with a picture of a similar snake coiled around a tree in an impossible tangle and always loved tracing the snake’s body all the way to the tail.
I learned to applique during this process,
learned how to work on a large complex wall hanging,
and best of all, I learned that I could work beyond my skill level, rise to the occasion and come up with a decent product.
It gave me the confidence to take on bigger projects and eventually start up my own quilting business. These days, thank goodness, the challenges just keep on coming.