Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The White Buffalo Quilt and It's Story ~ warning photo heavy post!

According to Wikipedia
A white buffalo or white bison is an American bison possessing white fur, and is considered sacred or spiritually significant in several Native American religions; therefore, such buffalo are often visited for prayer and other religious rituals. The coats of buffalo are almost always brown and their skin a dark brown or black; however, white buffalo can result from one of several physical conditions:

They may be albinos, in which case they will remain unpigmented throughout their lives, and may also have hearing and vision problems.
They may be leucistic, with white fur but blue eyes, instead of the pink seen in albinos.
They may have a rare genetic condition which causes a buffalo to be born white, but to become brown within a year or two as it matures.
They may be beefalo, a bison–cattle crossbreed, and thus have inherited the white coloration from their cattle ancestry.

White buffalo are extremely rare; the National Bison Association has estimated that they only occur in approximately one out of every 10 million births.

I would assume, that sadly, many will never even see one of these beautiful creatures in their lifetime. The brown buffalo are magnificent in their own right, large massive and full of honor and glory.However, it is the white buffalo that holds an allure of mystery and beauty that can not be matched. My family has been blessed with being able to be up close and experience these wondrous creatures firsthand.

We have a dear and wonderful friend who has a buffalo ranch down the road from our cabin in Colorado, they have three white buffalo in their herd and they are as special as you can imagine. We have never taken for granted how special the experience has been to be able to say we have experienced these amazing creatures up close and personal. A true gift.

In June of 2012, an idea formed from a posting of a completed wall hanging by Bonnie Smith. This photo was posted on The Quilt Asylum quilt shop bring and share post that they do each month on Facebook. I sent Bonnie a message and asked her about the pattern. Bonnie graciously shared where to get the pattern and I found it HERE. I purchased the pattern and just filed it away for a "someday" reason to make the quilt I had pictured in my mind. 

Finally, the day came...there was going to be a wedding, our friend was getting married and I could finally bring to life the quilt I had dreamed of making. There was just one small problem...it was a wall hanging....and I needed to make a king size quilt.

I followed the directions exactly, and as the image began to take shape on the design wall....I have to say I was alarmed. Steve and Jeff said it was a blob.....I knew it was surely going to work out, as I forgot about the seam allowances! It was a doubtful start. But I knew I had to put all the doubt aside and keep sewing.

I sewed, and sewed and spent hours on piecing this quilt. I made all the blocks first, and as I laid them out, the quilt grew and grew. This quilt was so different from any thing I had ever done before. I wanted this one to be just right..(not that each one I make I don't have the same goal) but this one held a special since of myself sewn in with the fabrics. It started out as a wall hanging and needed to be made into a king size quilt and aside from the original pattern, this was being constructed clearly from an image in my mind. I stressed that I would miss the mark and it not turn out the way I wanted. 

When I lay my quilt tops and backs on the floor, the dogs pretty much know to stay off of them. (most times) In this photo, I was piecing the back and had spent the whole day sewing. Dora had had enough of not being the center of attention and as I went back in my sewing room for some additional blocks for the back, this is what I saw when I walked back into the room. She had gone and gotten Steve's sock and placed it right in the middle of the back of the quilt...Just LOOK at her face......ugh.

Here is the quilt top before going to the quilter. I have never been more proud of a quilt that I have made. Steve wanted me to keep this one for us!

The corners have brown buffalo because our friend does have a whole herd of brown ones, but the center jewel is the white buffalo.

Here is the quilt once it was finished. I was pleased that it turned out the way I wanted it to in the end. The colors are so bright and vibrant. I wanted to stay away from it feeling too southwest in style and I think I accomplished that here.

True Story, I had a lady ask me how much I'd charge her to make her a quilt like this one. I told her I could not do it, as it was a one of a kind. She persisted.....I finally told her $1800.00 and that was a bargain. Her eyes got as wide as saucers and said (I kid you not) that was not enough. Maybe not, but I told her it was one of a kind and I could not make another. She said she might try and make one herself and did I mind.....be my guest was my reply.

Here is a closeup of the quilting, not too much so the piecing and everything on the quilt stands out, not the quilting. Joanne did a wonderful job on the quilting, I love how it turned out.

Here is a photo of the back, pieced with left over blocks from the front.

We went to the wedding in November of this special couple, our son was the best man. It was a beautiful day in the mountains of Colorado. It was a wonderful wedding and we were so happy to be able to go. I took the quilt all wrapped up and placed it on the gift table at the wedding.

Little did I know, this special couple would take the time at the wedding to open their gifts before they left the venue. I have not seen that done in years, and as a giver of a gift it was refreshing to see this done. 

I was able to see the couple's reaction as they saw the quilt I had made exclusively for them, and them alone. The most touching part of the whole experience was after they opened up their gift from me, the groom got up, made his way over to where I was sitting and gave me the biggest heart felt hug and thanked me for their quilt and told me how much they loved it. I was so touched by that, but it just confirms my feelings for this couple, and the fact they are as special as the beautiful buffalo they raise. It was a moment in time I know I will never forget. Rare as the White buffalo itself.

I was thrilled to get this photo after the holidays, as I had thought I had lost all the original photos I had taken of this quilt. Luckily, I was able to find them on my computer. But I am so happy to have this photo of Jessica and Paul with their quilt. 

I love it when the vision I have in my mind comes to life into something I am super proud of. As in most of the quilts I make, it is often hard to spend so much time on creating something and then give it way. This one was no exception. Out of all the quilts I have made to date, this one is the one I am most proud of.  I know however, it has a good home, a home where it is meant to be with a special couple who are happy to have it. That in and of itself makes for one happy quilter!

Hope you enjoyed seeing my pride and joy in this quilt, I have been meaning to share about this one, and just now getting the post done. I may never make another one like this one...but at least I can say, I did make one and it that holds a special meaning to my heart both for the work and who it was given to as a gift.
~ Good stuff.


  1. Such a special story and such an amazing quilt. Doesn't seem that sometimes we are just "possessed" by the spirit of the quilt - you can see it and will go to great lengths to achieve our vision. I agree that $1800 is not enough for this quilt. You cannot put a price on passion! It is so lovely. It should be entered in quilt shows! Gorgeous!

  2. So glad you shared this story of the "White Buffalo" quilt. You do not make bad quilts, but you really outdid yourself on this one. It would certainly be priceless if it were mine. I treasure mine and it stays on my bed. From day one, Carie has said she wanted it when I did need it anymore.(Pass on)

  3. What a wonderful quilt. It seems that is was the perfect gift for this couple.

  4. What a delightful quilt story!! I can feel the love that you have for your quilt and for your friends. It is fitting end of the story that they opened the gift when you could see their reaction. Thanks for sharing.

  5. That is beautiful. I don't quilt, but I've gone to the Houston International Quilt Show a number of times and your quilt is right up there with the best of them. You could win a prize!


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