Tornado Dreams on November 1st

The base of the vortex.

This quarter’s theme of The Endeavourers quilt guild was Dreams.

I was six when I first saw The Wizard of Oz on television. I had seen nothing like it in my young life, and it filled me with wonder and delight. What appeared on the screen- the plot, the characters, the music, held me entranced. I could not look away. When the tornado appeared, I was terrified of the looming, sinuous black column of doom, yet still I sat, transfixed. The fabulous songs in that movie became part of the soundtrack of my life, sung again and again. The tornado also incorporated itself into my life, but in a very different way.

Blue skies behind and green skies before the funnel.

Shortly after seeing that movie for the first time, I found myself staring into a black and green sky as an actual tornado pelted us with hail but missed us by several miles. Shortly thereafter the dreams started. Tornado dreams. And for the next fifty years of my life they returned once or twice a year to haunt me, usually when my waking life was in some kind of turmoil.

The tighter the isobars, the stronger the winds!

In the beginning, the tornados were far off in the distance but headed my way. As the years rolled on, they came ever closer and the dreams were filled with terror as I tried to get my loved ones down into the basement to safety, but, in the way of dreams, they refused to cooperate. Then, one night, the tornado in my dreams hit the house, and astonishingly, I lived! That was the last tornado dream I ever had. (Except, not surprisingly, for one I had last week as I worked on this quilt!)

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds sit.

This quilt is about 23 inches/58 centimeters square. As usual, I challenged myself to use only the fabrics in my small stash. I further challenged myself to use only the fabrics of a single jelly roll: Flow by Zen Chic for Moda; and I further further challenged myself to use only squares. I would have made other design choices if I could have used different shapes and fabrics, but I like seeing what I can do when limits are imposed. So, here it is, Tornado Dreams on November 1st.


  1. It’s truly a magical creation Maureen! There a concept that creativity thrives in small spaces. When you tightened down the parameters to only use certain shapes and fabrics, it made it far better. PS… I too had tornado dreams all of my life until I finally wasn’t in turmoil anymore.

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