I have been very very busy since my last post. So busy, in fact, that my dear husband asked me last night rather plaintively if possibly I might be done sewing for the day. I think he was tired of trying to hear Rachel Maddow over the buzz of the sewing machine.
But progress has been made. Observe:
Yes indeed, children. All the blocks are now created. Just in case you don’t “get” it, I will just point out to you that there is a block for every letter of the alphabet, these appear in clockwise order around the outside of the quilt. Then there are the numbers and shapes, which will do double duty helping illustrate the major colors. There are a few extras in there too, just for fun.
There will be a thin sash between each block, which I have yet to even start cutting. It is a sage green with tiny pink flowers in it. It will also surround the quilt body and separate it from the borders, and the same fabric will be used for the binding.
There will be a one inch white border, which is destined to have the atomic symbols quilted into it, then a 1/2″ crazy border, which is created from numerous small pieces of fabric sewn together, and then the final border will be 1 1/2″ of alphabet.
I may or may not put each block’s descriptive word on the pale green “window sill” in either embroidery or fabric paint. I haven’t decided yet. It may make the quilt, which is already quite busy, a little too busy. I don’t know. I DO know that once I start putting words on, I will have to put them ALL on, and there is no going back. I am not interested in cutting and sewing all those blocks again, although I suppose if I started the labeling process and didn’t like it I could just replace the pale green sills.
The meticulousness with which I am approaching the last border is a credit to my obsessive compulsive streak. I cut all the pieces for the border and stitched them together as they lay. Then when I started pressing the seams open I realized that I did not like the haphazard way the pattern was emerging from this treatment. So I took all those seams out, all 60 of them, which really wasn’t that hard since they were only 2″ long. Now I am sewing them back together again, while matching the pattern lines more carefully.
So, the finding of the fabric for this quilt was a lot of fun. I went to the fabric stores with my niece, who helped me find some of the very cool fabrics that illustrate some of the letters.
My older sister, who also is an amazing quilter, sent me a care package with beautiful fabrics in it, including some of the crazy border and a lovely Kokopelli, who is appliqued onto the block next to the giraffe block. As soon as I opened the box, F was suddenly for “frog” rather than “fox” due to the fabulousness of the rainforest frog fabric. There were a lot of fabrics that I didn’t need for this project, but I’m sure I’ll find a use for them later.
Mostly I was pretty set on what image I wanted for each letter. I was bound and determined that D was going to be for dragon. I had resigned myself to dragonfly since there were no dragons to be had anywhere, when I got a call from one of my friends who was at a fabric store in Columbia.
“I found you a dragon,” she sang into the phone. While she was on the phone, she measured the image and told me what size it was. It sounded right, so she bought it and brought it to me, and then wouldn’t even let me pay for it. This is a most awesome dragon, courtesy of Judy Gibson.
The letter I had the most trouble finding an image for was, of course, X. Jim suggested “X marks the spot” and just applique a big X on a block. I looked in the dictionary last night, in hopes of inspiration. “Xyst” is not a term that spring readily to mind when you see a nice garden walk lined with trees. “X-ray” is a concept that is hard to get across without getting pretty silly. “Xeric” or “xeriscape” could have been shown with a nice desert scene, and I was contemplating this.
I really wanted a xylophone. I had an image on a fabric, but it was so small and insignificant. So, this morning I woke up and said to myself, “I have permanent markers. I can draw this myself.” So I did.
I think it turned out rather well, actually.
So, I’m off to dust my massage room and put together another batch of lemon marmalade.