Sunday, September 7, 2014

What am I working on today? Another quilt, of course!


I love to design and sometimes end up creating dilemmas to solve. Today, I'm working on a new opportunity quilt for my local quilt guild, Pioneer Area Quilt Guild, for 2015. We decided to do an Oklahoma themed quilt, and I composed it in my head almost immediately followed by a thumbnail sketch right there on the spot. That was the easy part.

Then I researched the Oklahoma State Seal online. It is a fascinating combination of things, but has proved challenging to render in fabric. It is actually a combination of 6 different seals: The five civilized tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muskogee), and Seminole depicted in each of 5 star points, plus the Oklahoma Territorial Seal that makes up the center. There are 45 stars surrounding the large center star, representing the current states of the Union at the time Oklahoma was added in 1907, making a total of 46.

Detail, detail, detail. There is so much detail to the Oklahoma State Seal. I first tried to appliqué portions but the pieces were to very tiny, some being only 1/8" wide. Too small, I decided, and I don't have time to embroider all the details, so I turned to ink. Permanent ink. Sharpie™ pens to be exact. I like them because they come in many, many different colors. Even though you cannot blend them, you can start with one ink and then add another color ink and get a pretty good effect of blending. And you can do the cross-hatching that works with pen and paper for shading.

But alas! My measurements were off, the star points were too wide. I managed to shave them down a little, but in doing so, I lost a little bit of the emblems in them. But I decided is wasn't enough to start over. It would do. And at last the star lay flat.


Then, I finished drawing the center emblem. But measurements messed me up again. It was an inch too big. This time, I did decide that I had to start over. So I downsized the drawing using my copy machine's reduce setting and now it fit.

I pressed, I glued, I basted, I stitched, then pressed again. And I took photos for you to see. It was only then that I realized then center was set in ever so slightly less than straight. At this point, it will have to do. Too much work already in this thing to start over. I will hope that no one but me notices and that others will appreciate the effort. I have a saying that I refer to at times like this: "Perfectionism is self abuse of the highest kind." And then I relax, it is not a matter of life or death, and I refuse to worry about it being perfect. It is good enough.

The seal center is now basted onto its yellow background. The raw edges will be covered with a narrow white strip with a black piped edging, and the lettering added to the yellow border before adding another narrow black bias strip. Then the entire center will be applied to the final quilt background along with its sister symbols. I'm ready to get on with it. I think I will like the end result.