Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
I've designed a quilt based on a picture I saw on Facebook: it showed a Charlie-Brownish figure sitting on a dock next to a Snoopy-ish dog, looking at a spiraling sunset in vivid colors. The picture captured exactly what I wanted to make for my doctor's fundraising MS Walk. In addition to being the director of a hospital MS Center, she also trains service dogs for people who need their assistance. The rainbow is to represent the theme of optimism.
I began with the spiral of beautiful colors. I looked at the picture, and graphed out an irregular spiral using a pack of fat quarters in those basic colors. It took me about about seven or eight hours to make and join the twenty vertical rows, over about a week or so. I have to sit in a recliner after sewing at the table for about fifteen minutes as I have back spasms if I don't. So it takes me a little longer, but I love sewing with my Bernina. It was my birthday present about five years ago.
When the spiral was complete, I began the foreground, or bottom of the quilt. Instead of copying the figures in the picture, I used smaller figures, in silhouette form. I'd seen a you-tube video about ironing appliques to a quilt and then stitching them around the edges to protect them in the laundry. If you know me, you know my story of laundering antique quilts. So I'm careful when giving quilts about making them virtually laundry-proof. I found some pre-quilted fabric with dogs of many breeds, and so I bought half a yard of that and unquilted the dogs, then attached them to the daisy/grassy green fabric. I found silhouettes of people and a black lab online in free images, so I printed those out and enlarged them on the printer. I then sprayed quilt adhesive spray on the back of the paper, then carefully put the paper onto black-on-black tiny floral fabric, and then cut out the figures and then peeled off the paper. Then I adhered and stitched them onto the green fabric. When I found a dear little free image of Snoopy himself, I remembered another you-tube video about printing directly onto the fabric itself, so I did that using our ink-jet printer and freezer paper to print onto a scrap of snowy white-on-white tiny floral fabric.
The quilt won't be finished until mid-February. I'll be adding puffy white clouds with silver linings beneath and the words Journey of Hope. And then I'll add the backing and batting using quilt adhesive spray instead of pins, and binding the quilt with more of the back fabric.
And in late February I will muster the courage to bring the finished quilt to my first quilt guild meeting for show and tell ... it will have flaws, but it will be different than any quilt I've ever designed and sewn before, and perhaps they will like it. Then, I will bring the quilt to my neurologist's office for display and fundraising. The walk is in May.
Here's a picture of the quilt, with the bottom pinned in place, and another of the beautiful fabric that will be the back and binding.