My church was going to be holding another auction/raffle event, so I decided I would donate another quilt. The last quilt had covered it’s costs plus a little bit, so it seemed like a great plan. I found the pattern Square Dance in a book called Simply Charming Kids and I thought it would look really cool done up with some of my many, many batik charm squares.
When I started out I bought almost all my fabric on the internet. It was a little nerve-wracking knowing that the color shown on my computer monitor might be radically different than what I was actually going to get. Between the vendor’s photography and lighting and my own computer setup, I occasionally ordered something that was completely wrong for my project. Then I discovered charm packs. They were cheap and had one of every fabric in the line. Perfect. I’d know exactly what I was ordering. The only problem? I ended up with hundreds of charm squares. We established in the “His” Christmas Tree skirt post that I am not drawn to the scrappy look. What is a person to do with hundreds of unique charm squares? Make an auction quilt! What else?
Anyway, back to my story. I got further inspiration in church one Sunday. Probably not the kind the Pastor was hoping for though. 😉 As I was looking at our hymnal, I noticed the logo would look quite stunning as a quilting motif on this particular quilt, with a leaf in each charm square. Done! Inspiration complete, and my plan in place.
The pattern was really easy and I totally appreciated not having to cut out eighty 5″ squares! The hardest part was deciding which charm squares to pair together. The quilt top took no time at all. However, my brilliant (?) idea about the hymnal logo caused a little more work than expected. Karen’s longarm at the time was not computerized at all. So either she or I was going to have to copy the design onto tracing paper, so she could quilt it onto each block. In order to keep costs down, I volunteered.
First I had to get a copy of the logo somewhere other than by stealing a hymnal from my church. I managed to find an image on the internet somewhere, convert it to black and white and resize it to fit. Then I printed it out and made cardboard templates complete with registration marks. Then using water soluble pens I transferred the pattern 20 times, once for each block, onto tracing paper. There were a few starts, stops and restarts along the way as I refined my process. This whole activity took longer than piecing the quilt! You can read a little more on Karen’s blog here.
Karen did a great job free-handing the logos then filled the background with feathers. She took a pretty plain quilt and turned it into a work of art. I almost didn’t part with it. But I had made a commitment. The auction committee was thrilled when I delivered the finished quilt. The only downside was that the auction that year was a bit of a stretch for people. Not everyone had recovered from the “great recession”. So the final bid for this quilt did not cover even the cost of the custom quilting. It did come close though, so I didn’t feel too bad. And I chalked it up to more learning experiences:
- Auctions can be iffy for handmade goods. It might have done better as a raffle item. Or I should have just stuck with a pantograph to keep the costs as low as possible. But I was happy to see my inspiration come to life, and happy to do my part for the church.
- Tracing is boring. And I’m bad at it. Fortunately for me, Karen has a new machine and I am not likely to have to do it again. Yay!
I never did find out if the people who ultimately bought the quilt recognized the logo from the hymnal embedded therein. If so, then hooray for them! If not, it’s my little secret.