Sunday, 30 October 2011

Prep and math

Almost this whole weekend was devoted exclusively to Pip's quilt. My mum's comment on my industrious streak - "If you keep going at this rate, you'll have it finished by Christmas!" may be a bit ambitious, but I'm very proud of how much I got done.

It feels like 80% of what I've been doing up to this point has been prep work. When I sat down and drafted the heart blocks and quilt layout the sums so far worked out as follows:
  • 9 x embroidered blocks
  • 8 x heart blocks
  • 4 x star blocks
  • 16 x apple pip fabric blocks
  • 12 x 9 patch blocks (hmm...still wondering if this will work)
  • All this surrounded by 2 or possibly 3 borders (See what I mean about the quilt's design changing on the fly?) 

So most of the weekend was spent chopping fabric up into patches. All the apple fabric blocks are now ready to go, the background fabric for the heart and star blocks cut and as of last night, the appliqued angel hearts have been vlisoflex-ed on. Vlisoflex is a double sided fusible magical creation that you iron on to hold applique in place until you've stitched it in place. Think double sided tape for fabric!

Each heart has 2 wings, each side of the wing has 3 pieces. So 6 different pieces for the wings alone, per block. I was determined to get the heart blocks ready for stitching if I could by last night, so I worked late into the night laying each piece out so that I could fiddle with arrangements and colours before I settled on the final arrangement. 

Even though in my sketch the hearts are red, in the end I chose a rainbow fabric I found in my fabric stash because it's so pretty and because it's a reference to rainbow babies. This is how Urban dictionary describes what a rainbow baby is: 

A "rainbow baby" is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.
"We lost our last pregnancy, but now we have a rainbow baby."

Someday when the universe sees fit, we would love to have a precious little baby to love, whether it is Pip returning to us transformed, or a brother or sister to love, the thought of a rainbow baby has a touch of magic to it.

So after fiddling with it some more, I finally decided on a final layout and ironed it all on. 

Excuse the awful overhead lighting, but I couldn't wait till morning to take a photo. I even managed to find a cute pink fabric that had silver glitter all through it (top part of the wings in the heart block pictured below). As my friend Nat said, every little princess deserves a little bit of bling! (even if Pip's bling is woven into the fabric of her quilt).

So here's a line up of the blocks so far. 

I'm quite happy with the way the colours are working together. Can't wait to get started on the blanket stitching on the heart applique. Hopefully the stitches will outline the different fabrics more.

According to the current plan, there are a grand total of 49 blocks in the middle. Which will be surrounded by 2 (possibly 3) borders and finished off with the binding.

Current count of blocks ready to be pieced into the top 17. 

32 blocks to go!!!

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