Thursday, January 09, 2014

WIP Wednesday 1/8/2014

Currently I'm working on a quilt for retiring co-worker Edna N. When thinking about making a quilt for Edna, I decided that she might like a signature quilt. So several months ago I gave her a list of employees and asked her to highlight the names of people she's worked with closely. There were 67 names! I created a design that uses striped signature blocks.

Electric Quilt sketch of Edna's quilt

Although I'm fast at making quilts, I knew it would take quite a while to get 67 people to sign blocks. So I started months ago, passing around a few blocks for signatures at a time. I ironed freezer paper to the back of each block to keep the fabric from wiggling while the block was signed with a fabric marker. I put strips of masking tape on the edges of the white stripe to prevent people from writing in the seam allowance. 

Block ready for signing
Freezer paper ironed to the back for stability
Masking tape prevents writing from being caught in seam allowance

When passing out a set of blocks for signing, I included an assortment of different colored blocks, along with a fabric marker. I typed up a sheet of paper, explaining that the quilt was for Edna N. and that it was a secret. The instructions said: "Please choose a block. Write your name in the white space. Please do not write beyond the masking tape or some of the letters may be lost during sewing. Please return to Debbie A. as soon as possible."

Below the instructions I typed the names of 6-8 people from Edna's list of employees. (I kept a copy for myself, in case I had to hunt down the blocks.) I put 10-12 blocks and a black fabric marker in a big office envelope and stapled the sheet of instructions/list of people to the envelope. I handed the envelope to one person, who signed, crossed their own name off the list, then handed the envelope to the next person on the list. The last person returned the envelope with signed blocks, usually by the end of the day. As blocks were returned, I circled the names on Edna's list so I knew who still needed to sign. This scenario was repeated many times over the past several months.

Some of the signed blocks
I'll finish collecting the last few blocks tomorrow. I'll probably begin arranging the blocks on the design wall this weekend. Edna will retire in a couple of weeks but it won't take long to assemble the quilt top and finish the quilt. I expect she'll be blown away that all of this was going on around her and she had no idea.

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