Saturday, June 20, 2009

Laying the Foundation

I said in my last post that I'd been doing some handwork. I'll show you that later. What I'm going to show you first is a piece that will require some handwork - which I hope to do this weekend.

I'm guessing that few of my readers are familiar with the author Terry Pratchett and his series of books set on the fictional Discworld. Suffice to say that I am a big fan. According to Sir Terry the stories started out as parodies. What they have become is subtle and spot-on satire. He's British, so there's the dry humor they're known for too. Whenever I need a laugh I pull out a Terry Pratchett book and dive in.

I was just heartbroken to learn that this brilliant man had been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's Disease. I knew I would make at least one Priority Quilt in his honor, and pulled out a few novelty prints with that in mind. Then I got stuck.

Wizards figure prominently in several of the Discworld books. They learn their "skills" at Unseen University, located in the largest city on Discworld, Ankh-Morpork. The images I had on my novelty prints included two different wizards and representations of what was meant to be Hogwarts (of Harry Potter fame). I fussy cut a section of Hogwarts to create Unseen University and then another section to represent Ankh-Morpork. It was the wizard who was giving me fits (of course - that's what they do best!). The one I really wanted to use was just too big. So I had to go with a smaller version.

My next problem was how to convey that the University can be visible or invisible according to the dictates of the Archchancellor of the University and the circumstances of the moment. I have a small collection of sheer fabrics in my stash and found one that looked like it would do the trick. Simply laying it over the University didn't seem to be enough. So I pulled out my Janome needlefelting machine and had a go. Voila!

You can see in the picture below that the sheer is caught in one seam and part of another. I will tack it in place with some sparkly beads. I pinked the edges that will remain exposed. Hopefully, since this is a wall hanging, that will be enough. This quilt will likely be quilted entirely with beads. That seems to be what I do.

The other thing I do is make stuff to donate to raise money for causes I believe in. To that end I am working on a special item for the upcoming Pink Artists raffle. Isn't it lovely?

Ha! This is the backside you silly. I'll show you the finished product very soon, I promise. In the meantime, let me offer you one of my peonies to make up for pulling your leg...


  1. Your Alzheimer's quilt is such a lovely tribute, and a wonderful quilt, too. Not so sure about the Pink Artists quilt!! ;)

  2. What a wonderful tribute piece - thanks for sharing the thought process (I love coming to understand how and why others do what they do).

    Lovely peony!!

  3. well, you mentioned Sir Terry and we had one of his books I started it only to be stopped by my son. He is a huge Terry fan, has read everything etc..he gave me a different book to read in place of the latest one we have. I see reading a lot more of Terry in my future! Thanks for mentioning him, it is perfect "light" reading. And, your latest quilt efforts are so creative...can't wait to see the front.

  4. I think your tribute piece is going to be great! Thanks for sharing your creative process - it's so helpful to see what others go thru in their creative efforts. I'm a fan of Terry Pratchett too, and my DD & SIL are huge fans - have most of his books. I like what you're doing with the "University". Beads will look great on this.

    Your peony is much lovelier than the back of your Pink project!

  5. FABULOUS!!! You have such talent and skill! I think it's positively perfect. I'd better get moving, now that you've inspired me!

  6. You are incredibly talented - but you already know I think that! Love this tribute/wizard piece, and hope you show in detail what you mean by "quilt with beads." Interesting. Thanks for the peony. It was 102 yesterday in Austin, and not a cloud or a flower in sight.

  7. Thanks for sharing your problem solving process: I think your solution for the unseen university is perfect. Lovely peony. I should plant some of those too.


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