The Comptche Quilt 2013
A tribute to the firefighters and other volunteers who worked on containing and putting out the Flynn Fire in 2012: Cal Fire (including firefighters hired from all around California); Comptche Volunteer Fire Department; Comptche Volunteers who ran registration, cooked and served food; Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department; Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department; Albion Volunteer Fire Department; Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation; Ukiah Ambulance (stand by); Individuals owning and operating special vehicles; tree fallers.
Method of setting up the design and working on the quilt: over many months I began thinking of how to honor firefighters and volunteers for working on the Flynn Creek Fire; ran the idea for the quilt through the informal design critique committee (whoever was around); squares were drawn on graph paper so that around 40 plus squares could be accommodated; counted the squares to get the quilt size and discovered an extra center strip four squares wide; after sleeping on it overnight, woke up with the thought of firefighters carrying a hose up to spray water over the whole quilt; remembered Judy Mitchell's great pieced firefighters that she had put as a border on an earlier quilt; called Judy and asked if she would do this and she said yes; thought of houses at the bottom and animals and insects jumping and flying towards the center to get help from firefighters; asked Lynne Z if she would provide drawings for people to use as patterns for jumping animals; she was happy to draw them; thought of hills with helicopters and planes dumping water on top border; thought of trucks of firefighters coming daily to fight fire for bottom border after I saw the long line of traffic one morning while I was traveling to a medical appointment... was asked to include fire trucks; put CVFD and 2013 on two side borders and then was asked if a chicken and insects could be added to the left border; balanced the right border with tree and birds; Jennifer and I spent days buying fabrics, cutting them into squares, sewing on fences and hills, and organizing materials to be given to the quilters; people volunteered, then picked up squares, patterns and fabric at a meeting where even more people showed up; extra fabrics and embroidery threads were stored and used from a little black box at the Comptche Store; thirty-eight of us, the most ever, worked long hours to create our squares by the deadline; Kathy got home from Hawaii and put it all together in two days; it was shown unfinished at the firemen's dinner; Cindy Jo quilted it the next week; the border was sewn on and hemmed; the quilt was hung on the porch of the Comptche Store; it went to the Fort Bragg Quilt Show and the County Fair in Booneville; it was won at the Comptche Volunteer Firemen Father's Day Barbecue by a guy who lived here shortly, but now lives in New York; the quilt now resides in Comptche at his friends' house.
That's how that worked, in a nutshell... - by Anne Bruhner
The quilters: (Thirty-nine of us... from top to bottom)
Ann Mitchell's rolling hills with flying planes and helicopter dropping retardant and water to quench the fire...top border
Jennifer Scramaglia's letters, chicken and bugs ... left side border
Cindy Hollister's tall redwood tree being singed by fire...
left three squares 1,7 and 13
Belinda Pollack's softly flying butterflies ... square 2
Devon Lacey's mating dancing humming birds...square 3
Judy Mitchell's line of firemen uncoiling the fire hose and spraying the quilt with water...center
Janna Hansen's flying red-shouldered hawk (the one you sometimes see downtown Comptche)...square 4
James Sibbet's soaring vultures... square 5
Katy Tahja's tall redwood tree being snaked by flames... right three squares 6, 12 and 18
Anne Bruhner's numbers, tree and red-winged blackbirds ... right side border
Willis Jenks ' flying honey bees ...square 8
Joyce Desaussure's flitting dragonflies... square 9
Deena Zarlin's powerful owl ...square 10
Anne Nolan's regal quail ... square 11
Gail Coulson's many colored squirrel ... square 14
Carole Freeman's mask faced, well clawed raccoon ...
Janet Russell's beautifully furred fox ... square16
Jeannie Coulson's sleek, springing cat ... square 17
Emily Whittlesey's graceful gliding deer ... square 19
Lynn Unroe's strong, leaping mountain lion ... square 20
Peggy Tone's beautiful curious coyote ... square 2
Wendy Beak's artistic Da Vinci sheep ... square 22
Kathy Brady's patched running horses ... square 23
Sally Early's fanciful leaping rabbit ... square 24
Tom Brown's friendly jumping dog ... square 25
Krystine Graziano's bejeweled, shiny clawed lizard ...
Karen Robert's colorful blue checked house ... square 27
Lynnie Dillard's woodsy tall shed house ... square 28
Fern Tahja's well groomed fluffy skunk ... square 29
Joey Beak's hefty leaping cow ... square 30
Ann Cole's well dressed jumping donkey ... square 31
Marilyn Stubb's welcoming rock foundationed house ...
Stacie Dunlap's well built woodland house ... square 33
Sunny Dunlap's sweet cottagey house ... square 34
Claudia Dunlap's fun cat dwelling house ... square 35
Lynne Zickerman's furry jumping bear ... square 36
Kathy Demetri's line of morning firemen driving colorful vehicles ... bottom left border
Marcelle Sramaglia's line of morning firemen driving firetrucks and a pick-up ... bottom right border
Kathy McCormick's sewing of the above squares together to make it all a beautiful whole.
Cindy Jo's creative machine quilting.
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