Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What I Did Do

Way back when before HONK, I had something to show you. It got delayed many times - first because I didn't have good weather to take pictures, then because it was a present and I thought I should present it before blogging about it and then because a certain delightful musical took over nearly every facet of my life.

So here we are. It started out with a wee, yet-unborn baby who was due around Christmas time. Her mother and I discussed her quilt for a long time, trying to come up with a design that referenced the fact that she was going to be a Christmas baby but wasn't too on the nose. No holly and ivy for us. We wanted it to have flowers because her older sisters' quilts had flowers, but it shouldn't look too spring-y. Finally her mom chose the Star of Bethlehem flower, which we both thought was perfect. I designed a quilt that would have a circle of white flowers on a dark blue background.

My first sketch of Baby's Bouquet - Star of Bethlehem. For some reason on its side.

The lovely border of flowers that I was experimenting with here was quickly axed when I realized just how many petals that would mean I would have to cut out. (A Star of Bethlehem has six petals. When you start adding extra flowers, they multiply like crazy.) So I limited the design to just the 72 petals that the circle would require, cut them out, appliqued them and their stems and then trimmed the blue fabric away from the back of the flower appliques.

This was absolutely nerve-wracking. To know that a slip of the scissors could ruin months of work ... It was terrible. But you could (sort of) (kind of) see (a glimpse of) the blue background fabric behind the white petals, which bothered me greatly. So I held tight to my slippery courage, selected a good sharp pair of scissors, and snipped.

It all turned out ok.

My favorite method for basting a quilt sandwich  is to lay the fabric and batting out on a bare mattress. I can feel quite clearly whether or not the needle has gone into the mattress or not, and it is (slightly) easier on my back than crawling around on my knees basting a quilt on the floor. It's still no picnic, though.

(Speak not to me of basting sprays. I have used them, I sometimes like them, but this was a Masterpiece I was making here. And Masterpieces are made with the long view in mind and do not take shortcuts that may not hold up to a century or two of use. No matter how much it kills my back to hand baste.)

Many (many many many many ... ) hours of quilting and several holes in my fingers later, it was done. And I love it dearly. Now that it's finished.

Conveniently, it had snowed just in time for my little photo shoot ... 

Title: Baby's Bouquet - Star of Bethlehem
Design: Mine!
Materials: 100% cotton fabric, 100% cotton batting, white quilting thread of unknown origin
Finished: February 2014

What I've Been Doing

Hello hello!

Yes, it's terrible form to start up a sparkling new blog and then immediately vanish for a month. But you see, I have been very very busy. I was the Costume Head for a production of HONK!, which just opened last weekend. *cue sighs of relief all round* We had a wonderful designer who made my job both easier and harder (there is a price for creativity and is TIME!), which was a new experience, as was clothing people who were supposed to be animals (You can listen to one of the actors talk about how challenging it was to be an animal here.), as was working with a Children's Chorus. I was frankly dreading that part, but they turned out to surprisingly easy to work with and absolutely stole the show in their cute little duckling and froglet costumes. (Not tadpoles, apparently. Froglets.) Production pictures to follow.

If you are in the Chattanooga area and are so inclined (and you should be), you can go see it Thursday or Friday night at 7pm, or Saturday afternoon at 2:30.