Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September Birthday Block

In the midst of working on the fabric postcards, I realized it was time to make another block for my nephew's "freedom quilt" - number 17! We are getting close to the end of this project. The first few years it was easy to pick blocks to represent some significant event in or tie to his life, but I must admit it is getting more difficult each year. He lives far away so I don't get in on much of what happens. This year, I knew he'd had a scary bout in the hospital and has aspirations to become a nurse, so I was tempted just to make him a red cross block. But that didn't seem like a very positive way to remember the year. Instead, I thought I could just elaborate on what I'd been doing with the postcards. I started by picking a background fabric to represent a landscape - much as I had done for Life's End. I thought I was picking a true batik, but when I peeled back the fabric, I realized it was actually a print with the "right" side much brighter than I wanted. Well, you know what they say about fabric - you've paid for both sides so you can use both sides! I used the more muted "wrong" side.

Yes, I had "mountain" triangles left - waste not want not they say. I keep going back to this theme of mountains rising out of a flat plain. Those South Dakota Badlands made quite an impression on me.  The smaller triangles are what was trimmed off where the bigger triangles overlapped. More waste not, want not.

I threw my usual caution to the wind and tried different colors of King Tut variegated thread to satin stitch my mountains to the background. No fusible here - just used dots of Roxanne glue to hold them in place and I used a tearaway stabilizer on the back of the block to keep the stitching flat.

And now to add some text. Yes, I did consider feeding the block through my printer - the carriage is wide enough to accommodate up to 13 inches - but no way was I going to risk a mishap with the otherwise completed block. Instead, I took the text formatted in Paint Shop Pro, mirror imaged it, printed it onto freezer paper and ironed it in place on the back of the block. Incidentally, the white you see on the back of the block is tearaway stabilizer trapped under the satin stitching.

Now using a light box, I could see the text in the right orientation and trace it on the right side of the block using a pigma pen. This worked so well and was relatively quick to do. Makes me look like I have beautiful penmanship!

And because I truly do have a difficult time throwing out bits and pieces, I turned this bit of thread testing for the sun on some of the postcards into a bookmark. Not sure who will get this yet, but I'm glad I didn't just toss it in the trash. 


The Inside Stori said...

Great technique for adding text!!!

Margaret Cooter said...

A treasure of a bookmark, rescued and repurposed!

Lucia Sasaki said...

Hi Sheila, thanks for posting.
Very beautiful block, I liked how you made it and the message.
You are right, no waste of material when it can be transformed into beautiful things.
Great week!!