Monday, April 2, 2007

"H"...or, How to Make a Crazy Quilt Letter

For the central square in my Fan Quilt, my original idea had been loads of silk flowers, etc...but my sample attempt at creating it in Mexico turned out to be a bust. The flowers didn't integrate with the rest of the quilt; I needed something much more graphic and abstract in nature.
So I got to thinking about my second idea...
I lost my Uncle Hal last June, and I still miss him so much. But his was a celebratory nature...the man was a volcano of love for life...and for art. He was always so supportive of every project I ever showed him, and often understood what I was going for much better than I did. So I decided to dedicate my Fan Quilt to "H", as everyone called him.
He'd like that his initial fits the space so well, he'd want the colors to be bright, and he'd say, "Go for it, Girlie!"
The quilt has many references to the Folk Art tradition of crazy quilting, and those often had black centers with initials in them...so that part fits too.
So yesterday I went about creating my 'H", finishing it up just as the Mets creamed the Cardinals 5 to 1 in their opener. What great defence! Ahhh....baseball is back with us, so the new year is finally really starting.
(H would approve, he was a sports fan extraordinaire....)

Step by step, then:

The only color for H is red!

I decided to use paper as my foundation because it would stay nice and stiff for me while I was sewing...when done with the piecing, I could just remove it.

Moving right along....oh how I adore piecing! I don't get to do it enough in crazy quilting....everything else involved takes at least 10 times as much time!

The paper is removed and immediately I stabilized my fragile and frayable "H" with my trusty iron-on knit interfacing. Then I ironed some fusible web to the back of the interfacing.

I recut a pattern of the letter out of tracing paper, then positioned it over my interfaced H with a quick spritz of 505 repositionable spray adhesive. This works much better than pining the pattern on. Then I cut out my H, and immediately fused it onto the pieced black background square I had made.

Fused or not, those naked edges were extremely vulnerable to fraying, and besides, my "H" needed some serious punch if it was going to stand up to the rest of my loud and busy Fan Quilt. So I decided to repeat the buttonholed cording which is used in other areas of the quilt. Hooray for "Glue Base It"!

And here we have our "H", ready to embellish before I applique it onto the quilt's center. I think it is going to work!

God love you, H!!!!!!!

7 comments :

Rian said...

Neat-o! What a fitting tribute!! Love those reds!

Granny Fran said...

Thanks for the step by step tutorial. I'm saving this in my CQ notebook for future reference. Uncle H is a cutie, how great that you are remembering him in such a happy and colorful way.

Marty52 said...

Love the colors on your "H." It is really going to make the center pop!

Barbara C said...

What a great tribute for Uncle H. I'm sure his spirit will guide you in finishing this piece.

BöskeZ said...

Lovely way to remember! Your stitching is as allways wonderful.
Thank your for your step by step explanations

Kay said...

I can only second what everyone else has said: I love the tutorial, the picture of your uncle, and the wonderful red H. [I hear my chemist husband in the back of mind though, Allie. Be sure you've got good ventilation for that spray stuff; it's really toxic. :) ]

Deb H said...

I'm sure H is smiling at your beautiful tribute to him. I do believe they know what we're up to.