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.