Friday, January 30, 2009

oiyi's block

Have any of you other common threaders had a hard time with the design of one block in particular? This one turned out to be the biggest challenge for me. I thought it was going to be an easy one. As I sketched out ideas, none of them felt like me, so I kept walking away from it. I think because this one is really for Oiyi's daughter, Melody, I wanted something that felt special. All the pieced blocks I came up with felt forced.
I took the sketches to my quilting group in the hopes someone would have a suggestion for me. Carmel suggested a heart with a swoop and that got me thinking of a small decorative pillow I'd made my sister years ago. The pattern I drew for the pillow was too large for a quilt block, but I used that as my starting point. Once the decision was made to applique a heart, the rest fell into place.
The background is pieced from all the scraps Oiyi sent and like others in our group, I thought they had a real sense of my 70's childhood in them, so the Little House on the Prairie/Holly Hobbie type patchwork felt perfect. I was a little nervous about the applique. The last time I used it, I covered the edge with a blanket stitch. That wasn't an option this time.
The embroidery was important to me. I wanted a red running stitch that alluded to a Chinese saying that there is an invisible red thread that connects people who are destined to meet.
I also wanted two hearts representing a mother and daughter. I love how the tails of the hearts sort of nestle into one another. (My previous design attempts with two hearts were supposed to have a "piece of my heart" theme, but wound up looking like broken hearts instead. NOT what I was going for.)

It should be in your mailbox shortly, Oiyi. I hope Melody likes it.
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Lunden said...

Gorgeous! I love the embroidery and the swooping hearts.

Amber said...

This is wonderful Wendy! Absolutely beautiful! It looks great.

Rebekah said...

this is so cute! I love the two hearts and the red thread.

jacquie said...

it was so interesting reading about your struggle with this block..i had similar struggles. i was so excited about the idea and then nothing seemed to work...maybe it was the fact that it was for melody and like you, i wanted it to be special. i love what you have done here. precious!

Oiyi said...

I love it. And it will be treasured forever. I love the fact that every block is different and unique. That would never have happened if it was one person doing it and that's why this Quilting Bee is so cool.

Thank you!

Oiyi said...

Wanted to let you know that I received the block in the mail today. Love it!! Your applique skills are amazing.