Friday, 18 April 2014

Baby Quilt & Moss Bag

I am finished! Well I'm waiting for daddy moss to put away the laundry I washed and folded :/ but otherwise I am finished chores and baby sewing.  I feel I can incorporate so much into making both a quilt and a moss bag.  Being 1/2 Lakota and 1/2 Cajun I can bring both sides together.   my Cajun ancestors would have been busy sewing quillts for their babies and quilting is a skill my Lakota ancestors became well known for after colonization with our star quilts.  And the moss bag (in various forms) was used throughout the America's by all our Indigenous Nations.   


The Quilt:
When I started contemplating the baby's quilt I didn't know if I was having a boy or a girl. But I designed two quilts, one a Cree floral design (my partner is Cree), and one a Lakota inspired thunder horse design (turns out I'm having a boy). I say inspired as it has a bit of a modern look. The night sky and clouds are more suggested in the geometric background. Where the horses are very organic, coloured and designed in a simplified version of your typical thunder yourself but the shape is more natural and less stylized then the traditional shapes. The quilt is larger then a typically baby quilt cuz I like then to be big enough to cuddle up in with baby. The colours are very "American", but lets remember lots of Nations like and use red, white and blue, and my people do also. Plus using those colours with shared cultural designs (stars, stripes, dots, horses), helped our people convince the Indian agents back in the day that we really were celebrating Independance day ... in our own way....it just resembled a powwow (wink, wink). The blanket binding I made out if a complementary quilting cotton. I prefer doing this so that it matches or accents my quilts (will do a short tutorial on how to make your own blanket binding / bias tape).

(thunder horses, similar to a Thunderbird and yet very different, like a lesser thunder being to make it simple) A wooded Thunder Horse (marketed for eBay but I couldn't find a more traditional image to show yous)
The Moss Bag:
Traditionally our people used moss bags to diaper our babies. Some went inside the cradleboard, while others (like this one) have straps on the bag so no board is needed but it functions the same. These items diapered, swaddled and kept babies safe, with a clear view of the world and a warm snug place to sleep. There is much to the teachings of their use but that is not for the internet. The bags were decorated amf filled with absorbent moss, which was changed when used. I've made the moss bag with the same materials as the quilt. The design is also the same although the horses (like those on the blanket) are a little different. Picture of Plains Cree Women with moss bags circa 1914.