Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another Block for the Freedom Quilt

It's time for another block for the nephew. He is turning 13, and until earlier this year, he had not met my late husband's famous trumpet-playing cousin, Allen Vizzutti. But that was rectified at a state jazz festival where AC (as the family calls him) was a featured artist and the trumpet-playing nephew was an eager participant. Can you tell the nephew is excited about all this? What a perfect event to commemorate in his 2009 block.

I wanted to do something more interesting than just transferring a photo onto fabric used in a traditional block. So I cropped the picture as you see at the top and started running it through the kaleidoscope effect in my PaintShop Pro software. Using the random button (letting the software change the various settings) on a picture with people produced some pretty gross results - a two-headed nephew, a cousin and his Siamese twin, something that looked like a bare behind - yikes! But eventually I stumbled on one more like what I had in mind.

But now I realized I should have cropped my photo square, so I started over, noting the settings that gave me the usable results. Something was off - Oh, the number of "petals" is odd. I switch that from 9 to 8, and experimented with adjusting other factors until I came up with two possibilities. The one above ended up being rejected, the other one was printed directly onto pima cotton treated with Bubble Jet Set.

The largest square I could print on my Epson inkjet printer is 8-1/2 inches, so I set it in a classic Puss in the Corner block setting. After much auditioning for just the right green and just the right red, I was ready to add some words to the block: both participants' names, Yamaha, which is the brand AC represents, and the nephew's school name. After much thought, I decided it would be easiest to compose those words to size on the computer and print them out mirror image onto freezer paper. Once the paper was cut into strips the exact size of the strips bordering the center (including seam allowance), words perfectly centered, I could iron them to the wrong side of the fabric, flip it over, place over a light box and ink them onto the fabric using a Micron Pigma Pen.

And here's the finished block - I love it and I think he will too!


June said...

Nice block. And great printing. I've done that and it isn't easy. And mine never looked as good as yours.

Featheronawire Sally Bramald said...

very cool!

Chris said...

So, this kid gets a block every year until... he's free? (FREEdom quilt?) Anyway, what a lucky boy! Very creative block.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, everyone. Yes, Chris, when he was born I got the bright idea to do this based on a late 1800s tradition I'd run across. In those days, young men became adults or gained their freedom when they turned 21 I believe, at which point female relatives and friends would band together to make a quilt to celebrate. Making a block each year on his birthday didn't sound like an imposition and each year's block would reflect some event in his life. I've also discovered it is a bit of a history of my quilting journey as well. I may regret this when the planned 20 blocks come back to me to be joined and quilted for his 21st birthday...I hope I can make them play nicely together!