This year’s challenge with my Fifteen by Fifteen group are going to be letters. I wasn’t very fond of that, but because I had nothing better to offer, I agreed. I thought I would never come up with any good idea for creating six quilts representing letters. For first challenge it was letter S. It doesn’t have to be the letter itself, but something easily recognizable as being associated with that letter.
The solution came when my friend, who works a District library here in Siauliai, invited me to attend calligraphy class. She had in mind me making Quilted Diary fabric book but actually it helped me to catch an idea of making letter quilts.
It was a classical calligraphy class, and we used one of classical tools called qalam. It took some time to get used to it. Using qalam we had to create our own monogram. I struggled putting together letters M and C. I could not find any way to connect them until I started writing C first and then adding M inside of C. I was pretty pleased with the result.
On the second part of the class our monograms were printed on a linen shopping bags:
After this class I knew I would be making quilts with actual letters. But classical calligraphy wasn’t going to work here. I didn’t want to print or applique my letter. My favorite quilt making technique is machine piecing. I decided to make a pieced background and ad a letter that was going to be hand stitched. From this moment on I already knew that all my letters will be made from the same fabric and using the same technique but the background would be different for each letter. Some design elements would be repeating on each quilt though. The background for each letter will be different color but mostly in pastels.
I made a wage sketch of my first quilt that helped me with prportions of elements and their placement:
First of all studio manager Albinas helped me to select fabrics:
Then I started piecing and placing elements on a large cutting board to make sure the quilt top will cover a little more than 15×15 inches square and worked until the entire square was covered:
I placed my letter S cut out of paper to see where should I place other elements. I also was making two separate blocks for left and right sides of the quilt:
When the entire square was covered, I had to cut the letter itself:
It wasn’t easy to piece that letter in but somehow I’ve done that:
First I hand stitched the letter S, then I machine quilted the entire quilt mostly echoing piecing lines and matching thread color to the fabric. I faced the quilt and here it is: