Nonrandom Act of Friendship Quilting
October 29, 2003
This is a quilt for ElleBee, a fellow Usual Suspect and the woman who single handedly runs the Random Acts of Journaling collaborative I participate in. Like Ellie’s quilt, this is an attempt to make tangible the good wishes that flowed in a thread on the Virtual Underwire support forum after ElleBee shared the news that she had breast cancer.
I wanted this quilt to be uniquely ElleBee’s, with its own design and fabrics and colors. I played around and came up with this rough idea, which had plenty of spaces for people’s messages and plenty of places to use lots of different fabrics. As sometimes happens, the print I used as the starting point for the design (the almost pastel stripe in the border blocks) ended up not making it into the finished quilt at all. That’s fine; I’ll probably use it for something else someday. As I experimented with the fabrics, the design got more focused. When I decided to move the predominantly yellow pieces of the main multi-colored print into the center and the mostly cool hued ones into the blocks surrounding the center, I found the look I wanted. There was enough randomness to keep me interested and enough structure to keep it from feeling chaotic. Because it was an Internet-based project, I had to slip some computer fabric into the corners; I even found a scrap of fabric in my stash that said “world wide web” and “.com” on it. Too cool, if I do say so myself.
Once the design was all laid out on the wall, I sewed and ironed and sewed some more. I really wanted to get it done before I left for Texas, but the need to sleep and the desire to make swag meant that didn’t happen. Ah well, life is not perfect. Neither is this quilt, which I’ve decided is okay. The mistakes I made in constructing it just add that human touch. The biggest problems I had were my iron’s fault; it really needs to stop spitting boiling hot water onto my finished quilt tops or it’s going to get replaced by a fancy new Rowenta.
Flaky iron or not, I’m happy with how this quilt turned out. You can see more pictures of it in this album. I couldn’t have done it without all the Suspects who contributed blocks, especially LisaNH, who not only provided a gorgeous picture for her square but was my head of research for this project. I absolutely love that a bunch of people who mostly haven’t met face to face were able to pull this together in only a few months.