Whee, look what quilt I'm finally working on. All the letter blocks that my students have sent me in the last five years. This is what it looked like just throwing all the letters up on the design wall:
Can you spot your letter/word/number in there? I've been thinking about (in no particular order) Lynne, Clare, Brenda, Tanya, Kathie B, Laura, Kim, Cher, Sharon, Nancy, Jude, Cheri, Kristin, Heidi, Annie amongst others who've contributed. I wish I could remember EXACTly who gave me every one, but my brain isn't that good.
I love the exuberance and wish there was a way to magically just sew them right where they are... using my mind powers! mwa ha ha. Unfortunately it's not that easy.
I'm using white and beigey neutrals as the background fabric to tie everything together without calling attention to itself. I finished off letters, where needed, to make them square or rectangle:
I finished off "orange" and "you" with yellow background and used a bit of purple fabric to put ends on the Stroop effect "purple" and in a couple of other spots where a darker fabric was needed. I'm NOT going to surround each letter with a background fabric - sometimes they'll slam directly into another letter and that's okay.
Next step was to put the big pieces onto the board, along with some letters that I'd sewn together into words, to get a feel for how big it needed to be. After playing with several options I did sew Lynne's "slither" together into one long word (these were her practice letters for the Halloween words quilt) which gives me a width for the quilt.
I wasn't planning on sewing words together but after my friend Kathy mentioned it I totally couldn't stop doing it. I'm not sure once the top is sewn you'll be able to spot cat, sew, unruly, lazy, quilts, and the year 2010, but it was a way for me to sort through the chaos and get started sewing. The only letter that I've altered was an incomplete "I" which turned into the letter one. Otherwise, I'm leaving them au naturel. So to speak.
Bit by bit, that's the only way to tackle this. I started working around Big Pink Hope because the biggest block has to be taken care of first. The smaller the block, the easier it is to fit in. I initially planned to work this medallion style around Hope and that's why the next unit was another square. I got that far with the medallion idea and realized it was rubbish. I needed to do rows.
Sorry this next shot is so dark. I've been trying to just use natural daylight to get these pics and it didn't always work out so well. Blocks are getting moved around and I've completed another big block. Everything to the right of the Hope is sewn together.
Next shot: I've got one big section all together. The Hope, Wish and Rub big blocks were all joined together and the Blitzen row added to the top of them. The Big W block (which goes all the way down to Joy) joins to the left of it. I moved Merry Christmas from the bottom to up above this section just to see what it would look like and really ended up liking it. I start thinking of this quilt as Slither 2: the Revenge of Christmas.
There is another section sewn together below Hope. That's the Q down to the big C and all over to the left. I realize now I should move aside the unsewn bits so that you get a better idea of what's done.
I'm posting all these so that you can get a feel for how I do improvisational work like this. I'm sure there are other ways to do it. I'm just happy to finally have my quilting mojo back.
Happy New Year!