Saturday, Kitty and another gal who recently completed one went fabric shopping with three of us who intend to do this thing. There will be twenty different fabrics in mine! Here they are, in the order that they’ll be placed in the quilt. The center of quilt is the fabric on the left, and it will build out from there in the order shown. Click on the picture to get a better look.
Perhaps more important than color, value, scale and design, I think fabrics also have personality. There are silly ones that you couldn’t take to dinner in a fancy place – playful ones that shout for a romp in the sprinkler – sedate ones that like to sit in the back pew at church – and so on. As we were selecting mine, Kitty often mentioned that one of them “talked to another.” Looking fondly at my new quilt babies this morning, I started thinking about them as characters in a play, having conversations with each other.
You may have noticed that my characters are all over the map – batiks, dainty floral prints, stripes, plaids, polka dots, abstracts, large scale florals. How can all of these different types of fabric get along together?
Let’s look at the whole cast one more time.
What could we name this play? What about Jungle Exploration? What about Tango of Love? At the moment, I’m leaning toward Family Reunion. We probably would not call it Desert Dreams, or Revenge of the Grunge Singer, or Country Bride. Given this particular cast of characters, what might you name this play?
Indulge me for a moment… let’s explore this concept with regard to specific personalities. Here are some of the conversations I imagine in the play:
Blue-green Lattice Batik says to his son, Tiny Blue Flowers, “Come on kid, lets go shoot some baskets.” Watching them fondly from across the room, Dragonflies murmurs, “Chip off the old block. Our son will grow to be as handsome as his dad."
Blue Batik is sitting on the sofa between her sisters. Her elder sister by less than a year, Periwinkle Polka Dot, is calm and composed, the scholar of the family. Both sisters are concerned about Violet Floral, who is young, impetuous and in love for the first time. “You are always such a wild one, dear,” says Blue Batik. "Stick with us, and try to stay out of trouble today.”
Violet Floral replies, “Trouble? Fat chance! Look at Stripes! You think YOU keep me under control? Ha! So, you’ve noticed I’m crazy in love with Spiral Batik? Ooooh-la-la! Right! Well just try to keep us apart – I dare you!”
Pale Hydrangea waves at Pink Floral across the room and turns to wink at Bright Purple Floral in the kitchen. She says softly to herself, “Without us, this play would be rather dull. I am gentle, fresh and pure. My light reflects on all the others, emphasizing their brighter qualities. I don’t need many lines to be of influence here.”
Green Plaid, out in the garden, is having a conversation with his grandson, Purple Batik. “Congratulations,” he says. “You and Bright Purple Floral are a great couple! Your strength of character, orderly without being boring, compliments her almost child-like willfulness. You’ll do well together.”
Well, OK, I never said I had any talent for writing scripts. I’m sure some of you could do far better. But the point is, fabrics do have personality. They can speak to each other across the boundaries of color, value, and style. Hopefully my selection will continue their conversations with one another throughout the second (sewing) and third (using it) acts of this play.
Anyone care to give us some samples of conversations between Dragonflies and Wild Batik? (Remember, Dragonflies is married to Blue-green Lattice Batik and mother of Tiny Blue Flowers, or so the script says...)