October 26, 2012

My "Life of Pi" Quilt...

In 2004, I received this book as a Christmas gift from one of our sons and his family. I opened the cover, and from the very first page I was pulled into this wonderful story. In fact, I enjoyed the book so much that I decided to make a quilt.

Now, understand that I only made my first real quilt in 2002, and I was quite happy to enjoy my first quilt for quite a while before making a second. So, designing, choosing and creating this quilt in 2004 was a real undertaking for  me. I was determined to "make it work", so I individually cut blocks, sewed (and frogged) and kept at it until I finished it.
I had so much fun choosing fabrics that represented images, places, and characters in the book. The book was teeming with images that came to life in my mind: fire coral, a zebra, a tiger, sea turtles and schools of fish. Every single fabric used was significant to the book.

When I was finished all the piecing, I added five photo blocks (and the label) to the quilt before it was machine quilted by a local long-arm quilter, Jane Schurr. The first time I washed my quilt, all the color bled out of the photos and I was the only one who knew what they represented. I could have cried! I've learned so much since then. The only image that stayed true was my quilt label.

The book has recently been made into a movie (which debuts in November), so this week I finally decided to grit my teeth and fix my Pi quilt.
Remember that all of my images were sewn to the quilt before it went to the long-arm, so all of the bobbin threads were between the front fabric and the batting. I also chose to sew them on using an intricate vine pattern, rather than a simple straight stitch, so, yeah...frogging these stitches took me the better part of one and a half days.
After I removed all the faded images, I went back to my printer and generated all new images that are represented in the book, but weren't represented in the fabric - a hyena...
and flying fish..
 ...meerkats, and
...a female orangutan. Of course, the center of my quilt, is the boat with the main character, adrift in a small boat on a vast ocean, which was a scanned image from the book's cover. (You can see it in the third photograph above.)

When my quilt is washed again, I'll treat it first with Retayne© to set the ink in the photo blocks. This isn't going to happen again! I can cuddle under this quilt when the movie hits PayPerView and know that my quilt will now last for a long, long time.
Before I close today, I just want to remind you that next Monday is Memory Lane Monday. I'm going to share images and stories of Halloweens past. I hope you'll come back to join me, and if you have a story to share on your own blog, feel free to link back here so we can read along.

4 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Jane said...

What an amazing undertaking! Makes me want to go back and re-read the book! I do hope the ink on your picture blocks will last through the next washing. You put so much into this fix.

Kris said...

Oh, wow is the best I can do!! First of all the quilt is exquisite and to have to re-do all those pictures is quite a feat!! I applaud you, Donna!!

Createology said...

Your steadfast determination proves how wonderful this quilt is now and when you designed and created it. This will be an heirloom for many generations to come. What an interesting gift your son gave you. Blissful Stitching Dear...

Buttons said...

What a really neat quilt...I love meerkats! I am just convinced that you can make and do anything ! That sounds like a great "date night" you have planned.


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