Thursday, December 5, 2013

The story of the music quilt

I have finished the music quilt!

This quilt started with a collection of music fabrics. Music has a big part in our lives, so it was pretty likely that one day I would make a music themed quilt. I wasn't sure whether this would end up as a gift, but in the back of my mind knew that my son's very strong interest in music would meant that, if it turned out OK, it might become a gift going in that direction.

I was actually a bit intimidated by the fact that I loved all of this music fabric. I wanted so much for this quilt to be special,  and that was a bit too much pressure -what if I spoiled all that lovely fabric?

The design breakthrough came via my son and son and daughter's old school friend
L, who is a young quilter. She showed me a panel from a local quilting shop which had musical instruments on it. We both bought a panel to see what we could do with it.

Then I found a bolt of fabric in a local fabric shop which had choristers in choir robes. From there I started playing on the design wall. I framed the choristers with music notation print fabric.

The problem I found with the musical instrument panel was that it felt too boring and predictable, even when the chorister blocks were interspersed with it.

The answer was to do some UnRuly letters which make up the words "Psalms, Hymns and Songs" from the verse in the bible Ephesians 5:19 -20. It is a favourite verse of mine.

Be filled with the Spirit,19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God.

As soon as I had posted this rather blurry picture of these words on Facebook, my son asked for the quilt to be his-and so the project found it's natural goal of being turned into a quilt to commemorate the Commissioning of my son and daughter in law as Salvation Army officers. I could see that the music quilt had both the stringed instruments which are so much a part of DS's life and the brass instruments were there for DDIL. 

The words I had chosen seemed pretty apt for a young couple going into ministry. 
From there the question was: how big is this quilt going to be? I had lots of music fabrics so I made some more blocks for a border. I framed the blocks with solids in browns from a collection of Kona cotton, which reminded me of colours of coffee and chocolate drinks.

I still thought it looked like it needed a lift, so I added a sort of soft orange border which picked up the colours of the instruments. 

Finally what binding would be used? I had thought of going with one of my favourite black on white prints, but I decided in the end to use with some lovely fabric which DS and DDIL had given me last Christmas. It actually has ornate crosses on it, and I thought it would be particularly apt to wrap the Commissioning quilt in the Cross.  Each Salvation Army class group is given a name and the name for my family's group is "Disciples of the Cross"

 We have just returned from the Commissioning, and were able to give the gift in person to my son and daughter in law.

There was a lovely moment when their little girl crawled all over the bed, pointing to the pictures of the musical instruments with great excitement.

 I am pretty happy with the way this turned out.

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