My daughter, Sally, loved Burning Man so much that when we returned for our second year, she was living the Fertility 2.0 theme. Yes, she was 6 ½ months pregnant. We met so many people who just wanted to touch her belly and bless the baby. They were thrilled that she was living the theme. So many wonderful women introduced themselves as doulas or midwives and offered any assistance that was needed.
To help Sally get around the playa, I built a quad out of two old bikes that I had. It was loosely based on one we’d seen the year before. The design allowed it to be operated by one person, so Sally could take it easy and enjoy the sights.
Making simple quilts is one of my passions, so I pieced a baby quilt for Sally. We mounted the front on a piece of plywood and set it up in front of our camp at 7:00 and Dandelion. Passersby were invited to write or draw on it with fabric paints. Here’s the front with a few early contributions.
The backing went around with us on our travels and people were much more creative in their drawings on the back. I was surprised at how most people felt constrained by the patchwork squares on the front and rarely crossed the lines even with coaxing.
Instead of making my usual printed and sewn on label, I used fabric paints to fill in a couple empty spaces on the back.
Here’s the quilt all put together. I started by quilting a heart in Sally’s belly and then shadow quilting out from there like the ripples in a pond. I love the idea that the baby’s ripples will go forth into the world.
Thanks to all the people of Burning Man who helped create such a beautiful keepsake. Here she is — Miss Willow Simone — who joined the Burning Man community on November 29, 2012.
by Megan Thompson