Monday, April 26, 2010

Wonky words and the never-ending fabric...or is it?

Lynda and I are part of a sewing group that meets 6 times a year and challenges ourselves to try new techniques.  This year our theme is flora and flowers and the blocks we sew together must link in with that theme. The last month, Lynda challenged us to make wonky Tonya letters.  I decided to sew together "Lily of the Valley" as it was my grandmother's favourite flower.  I started by drafting and colouring in some graph paper.  I wanted my letters to be more script-like than blocked letter and as I have never attempted this technique, I knew this was going to be interesting.  I kept the background consistent, but wanted to use different reds for each of the words.



Now anyone that has tried this technique before will know from the following picture that I was heading for trouble...



Just how was I going to get the "L" to loop properly? 
Well, I didn't  and in the end I decided I was trying to be too clever...too complicated and I needed to start again.

After some ripping and cursing I got my first word sewn..maybe I should just stop at "Lily"!



Nah...couldn't do that, it has to be "Lily of the Valley"  So onward I sewed. 
Now I want you to take note of the fabric being used for "of"  This is my everything fabric.  It has been in my stash for 12 odd years, and can be found in most quilts in my home...you know the fabric, it never ever seems to end...until you need a little bit to finish of "F".



After sewing the long bit for the "f" I realized I only had those 2 scraps left. 
"Never fear", I thought to myself, there is bound to be a spare square in one of the scrap boxes.  So off I went to look through them..and guess what..I had come to the end of the everything fabric!!
PANIC!  What to do, what to do?
After another frantic look through the boxes with no luck, I started to accept that I might have to start the word over again.

UNTIL...
I realized I had one final place I hadn't thought to look..my 5" charm squares!
I thumbed through them quickly and sure enough there were 3 - 5" squares in the pile.  Just enough to finish the job. 
Thank Goodness! 
I whooped and cheered, like I'd won the lottery as my two stunned children looked on...
I'm pretty sure my kids think I'm nuts! 

Until next time,

18 comments:

Anina said...

Ooh! I think your words are going to be lovely. Can't wait to see the result.

free indeed said...

I've tried some of those liberated letters and they are NOT easy! I'm part of a block lotto, and our Feb blocks were words of endearment....talk about tough! Of course, I didn't go read anything about HOW to do them, I just winged my way through with less than stellar results....there's a knack to these things, and I'm beginning to think liberated isn't my style since I have such a hard time with it, but out block lotto boss has deemed this year to be a liberated year! Sigh...I want to perservere! You have taken the best approach...graph it out, and work from there. They'll be lovely in the end I'm sure. That'll be a nice addition to a quilt themed for your grandmother.
Shelley

Kim said...

Nice challenge and an excellent liberation of the letters. :-D Pretty ones at that!

Janet said...

Of course you cheered - I'd have done a little "happy dance" as well. ya - my kids think I'm nuts too :0) I think your words are going to look great!

YankeeQuilter said...

We had carpets of lilly of the valley in my yard! The words get easier as you do more even though mine never look as good as Tonya's!

anne bebbington said...

You're brave doing joined up writing - looking good though :o)

*karendianne. said...

Great post! Love seeing you there proudly with your letters displayed and reading about your scrap diving efforts. That cracks me up. It's great to have stash all over the place! You've convinced me there is nothing wrong with "...all over the place." As a matter of fact, it's a real treat. Plus, you brought some silly joy and delight to the kids faces. (that's what it was, right?)

sewkalico said...

Your words are going to look wonderful. Not liberated exactly, more decicated :-) Glad you found that extra fabric although if you hadn't it wouldn't have mattered, would it?

Jackie said...

Your liberated letters look wonderful! I'm glad you found a last little bit of your everything fabric.

Thimbleanna said...

This is going to be a really fun quilt. Thank goodness for extra little stashes here and there!

Quilter Kathy said...

Phew...that was a close call!
You did indeed take on a challenge!
Were you happy with the results in the end?? What are you going to do with the letters/words?

Shirley said...

I know that feeling Jane as I have roughly a 3" square of my favourite fabric left. I have just scrolled down and read your previous posts and if you suddenly get 1,000 hits that will be me ogling Mr Darcy. The sewings not bad too!!
Shirley.

cozy quilter said...

I'm glad you had enough fabric for "of". I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your liberated letters. I had a close call with some binding fabric tonight myself with only two very small pieces of fabric leftover after I had finished the binding! Whew! What a relief to know that I had enough!

Tonya Ricucci said...

holy cow, you're not just trying letters for the first time but trying really complicted ones??? wow, good for you! they look great.

American Quilter's Society said...

We cannot wait to see more of your projects, we just found your blog and love it! Thank you for sharing, your pictures are lovely!

www.aqsquiltnews.blogspot.com

Tanya said...

Lovely picture of you holding lily! Oh yes, the headaches involved with wonky piecing and finding that last scrap of fabric.

Lynda said...

Unfortunately, when I had the same problem, there was no more in my charm box! Never mind, I managed. Your owrds are going to look fabulous!

MARCIE said...

Whew! Close one! Lucky you have little stashes to go through. But now you will have to find a new "everything" fabric! Those will be great letters.