So I’m planning to make 9 patch block for each of my lost loved ones, it’s a very simple block, but I think that will give me more latitude in choosing fabrics that really represent those I love. It’s actually almost making me happy. It’s forcing my mind to recall them happy, and alive, and to try to capture their essence in fabric, and a central embroidery piece to each block. In a way, it’s almost like tattooing, as I’m trying to distill a lifetime into 9 small fabric squares, one embroidered with a symbol that captures a memory clearly, like an insect in amber.
I’ve decided to border the blocks in either black or charcoal grey, to mitigate the variety of fabrics I’ve thus far as well as to mark this quilt as a quilt of mourning in an homage to the tradition of black for grieving. I think I’m going to go with 12″ blocks. That allows me to go with 4″ squares in each block, large enough to embroider, but small enough to allow a good number of total blocks. Right now I’m actually aiming for an 8×8 layout, though it may wind up a block larger or smaller in each direction. I like the thought of being able, when this quilt is completed, of being able to wrap myself literally in the memories of love. Yes, I do. I’m sure I will cry some as I sew, but the idea of my quilt is giving me some real measure of comfort. I’m eager for my first lot of fabric to arrive. It’s in memory of my friend Tom’s wild hawaiian shirts, as they were by far the most readily recognised part of his wardrobe. Even years after my husband and I had moved away, all it took to start us remembering Tom was to see a man wearing one of what we called “Tom’s shirts”. In his memory, and with love I ordered 2 yards of LOUD red hawaiian printed poly/cotton to cut some of his patches from. I know quilting purists would say polyester=evil, but…this fabric is perfect to me, and this is a quilt for daily use, not to be placed on display at a quilt show, although I hope to make it beautiful as well as functional.
Who would have thought that fabric might be my way back to the world of the living?