Fais de beaux rêves
68” x 80”
Joanie Zeier Poole
The story of this quilt, Fais de beaux rêves, began two years before I knew what that the title phrase meant. The purchase of the fabric set in motion the creation of the design, but the theme for the piece didn’t reveal itself until it was time for the top to be quilted.
On Mother’s Day 2003, we visited our son during his first year at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Seeing him on my special day provided a good excuse for a quick trip to one of my favorite places to shop, Vogue Fabrics, only a mile from campus. I was immediately attracted to one artfully composed print with gigantic peonies that have the appearance of a watercolor painting (by Waverly Fabrics). Since the fabric came into my life on Mother’s Day, I concentrated on the mother and child relationship for the theme as I planned the layout.
As I had successfully done the two prior years, I began the quilt during my three-week break between summer school and fall semester. However, many distractions during the final months before completing my Graphic Design degree and writing my first book kept me from working on the piece and it took over two years to get back to it. Ben was in his junior year at The Sorbonne in Paris. We were in the habit of emailing late in the evening and I would end my notes with “Sweet Dreams”. One night I asked him how to say that in French and he answered “Fais de beaux rêves”. I knew then I had the perfect title for my quilt! I began to search for images; with a French theme and to express my longing to remain close to my son, at least in my heart.
I drew a layout and began construction. The process used to enlarge the clip-art Eiffel Tower and bird delivering a love letter into stitchable designs is now offered in my design classes. Many new techniques were invented for this piece like combining fused raw-edge appliqué with turned-edge appliqué to create the unique border. I used supplies which are now my recognized as the formula for success for my quilts; the solid colored RJR sateen fabric, wool batting and a combination of lightweight threads; Bottom Line by Superior Threads and silk by the YLI Corporation.
I have had great satisfaction in completing this piece and showing at quilt shows around the country. After focusing so long and hard on my degree, and after the pure joy of creating the projects my first the book, I finally got back to the real activity that makes my heart sing, Heirloom Machine Quilting. The quilt was completed in 2 ½ years (with a 2 year break) and took 160 hours to complete the hand-guided free-motion machine quilting on my regular size sewing machine.
© Joanie Zeier Poole 2005 Photo by Norman Lenburg
Awards and Exhibits
2005 Prairie Heritage Quilt Show Sun Prairie, WI, Best of Show
2005 Minnesota Quilters Guild, Best Machine Quilting
2005 Quilt Expo, Madison WI, First Place, Large, Machine
2005 A Quilter’s Gathering, Best Machine Quilting, and Viewer’s Choice
2005 Quilt Odyssey Hershey, PA First Place Appliqué, and Viewer’s Choice
2006 Road to California, Best of Show
2006 Quilting on the Waterfront, First Place Conventional Machine, Traditional, Large
2006 Three Rivers Quilt Festival, Best Machine Quilting, and Viewer’s Choice
2006 American Quilters Society, Paducah, KY, Finalist
2006 Pacific International Quilt Festival, Best of Show
2007 Dallas Quilt Celebration Second Place, Masters, Large, Appliqué
2007 Quilter’s Heritage Celebration, Third Place, Appliqué
2007 International Quilt Festival, Second Place, Merit Machine Quilting
2007 Lowell Quilt Festival, Best Machine Quilting and First Place, Large Traditional
2008 National Quilting Ass. Honorable Mention and Judges Award
2008 International Quilt Festival, Chicago, Winners Circle Exhibit
2010 Contemporary Broidery Perse Exhibit at National Quilting Museum, Paducah, KY
2015 Elegance in Stitches Exhibit- Artwork of Joanie Zeier Poole, Quilt Expo Madison, WI
2016 Elegance in Stitches Exhibit- Artwork of Joanie Zeier Poole, AQS Grand Rapids, MI