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Bears In Bertie's Log Cabin by Ricky Tims 

In 2002 I was able to purchase forty acres in a fir forest at high elevation in central Southern Colorado. In 2003 a little log cabin was erected. It was only 10’ x 12’, had no electricity or running water, and had a little pot belly stove for warmth. I named the cabin the Bertie Marie, after my maternal grandmother—my Granny.  It was a fantasy to imagine staying in that cozy space for a few days…and QUILT! 
I like sewing on a machine. That became possible at the cabin because I acquired a Singer treadle sewing machine—and what better project to work on in a log cabin than to make a log cabin quilt? We also have bears roaming the woods and so I decided to incorporate the bear paw block into the quilt too. Being truthful, this quilt was not entirely made in the Bertie Marie cabin, but many of the log cabin blocks were stitched on that treadle sewing machine during the times when I would stay there.
The fabrics are all hand-dyed. The border design is quilted with Razzle-Dazzle (in the bobbin). The Razzle-Dazzle was stitched while it was still a quilt top - so in essence, it is “embroidered”. Then, once the quilt sandwich was assembled, I just used regular thread and free-motion quilting and stitched directly on top of the embroidered Razzle-Dazzle. The effect is...that the quilt is bobbin quilted, but in fact, it’s not.
As many of you know, in 2018, an extensive and destructive wildfire burned about 109,000 acres in southern Colorado. It was called the Spring fire and it burned all of my land. The Bertie Marie and my tipi were lost. Miraculously, my house, which had just been completed in March 2018, was spared (unscathed) even though the fire came within thirty feet of the structure.
Many days after the fire, when I was finally allowed to return to the area, I went down to the cabin to see what remained. The pot belly stove was about the only thing to survive. The Singer treadle was destroyed. Someday I hope to rebuild the Bertie Marie and then I will begin the quest to find another very functional and operable treadle. Bears in Bertie's Log Cabin holds the memories of a wonderful time when the Betrie Marie was a refuge and solace. That’s the thing about quilts—isn't it? They hold memories, and in turn become family treasures.

The Bertie Marie Log Cabin

Click on any image for enlarged view.


Inside the Bertie Marie


After the fire, the Singer sewing machine became a tangled mess.




Choose your own difficulty. Click the 9-patch grid to change number of pieces. Click the circle arrow to make the puzzle pieces rotating instead of stable orientation. Also, there are tips under the "?" on the upper right of the puzzle. If you'd like a full screen version, click the button below. Have fun!



#1 Veronica H 2021-03-03 11:25
Wow that is so interesting how you quilted in the bobbin and then on top. It doesn't seem to hide the razzle dazzle- what thread did you use for the quilting? Also the photos of the cabin show such a different environment- lovely close forest. After the burn you can see so far- sad, and such an adjustment. I have a singer treadle that was my grandma's- in Alaska that would find a good home with you, Just probably not practical to get it to you. There are many out there. The cabin was beautiful.

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