Friday, April 20, 2018

Once in a Blue Moon - Part One

Our quilt guild has picked a theme for next year's show, and it is "Once in a Blue Moon".  I always love to work on quilts for challenges and themes.  It's fun to think of something creative that you may not ever make otherwise.  Is that true for you too?

I started gathering ideas for a quilt with a blue moon and/or with blue fabric by looking on Pinterest and the internet.  Some pretty good ideas percolated.  Then I found (with the help of a friend) some really cool blue and white fabric with phases of the moon on it.  I bought 2 yards for the back of the quilt.   I found some blue velvet on our free table and some blue selvage at a quilt store.

And then I remembered a feeling I had when my husband and I laid on top of a picnic table at a campground and gazed at the stars.    Awesome was how it felt.  The universe is so vast and we're just a tiny spec.  There's so many stars up there!  I don't often lay out flat and look up at the stars... do you?  It only happens once in a blue moon for me.  Especially since I'm afraid of the dark and you can't get me out there very often, or for very long.  Anyway, this became my inspiration for this quilt.

I sketched up a few ideas of a couple looking up at the stars, but frankly, people laying down didn't look all that great; standing up was much more effective.  Then I thought about something more playful and ended up designing a quilt with cats (and one mouse!) looking up at the stars.

Genius ideas sometimes surprise me!  No, I'm not saying I'm a genius.  I'm saying that something genius moves through me from the universe.  Doesn't that happen to you too sometimes?  What if I was able to use battery operated LED lights and really bring this piece to life?  I went to my local craft store and bought 3 strands of blue lights, for a total of 90 tiny LED lights.  The lights don't emit any heat so that should be OK.  These strands are on for 6 hours and off for 18 hours - perfect for a quilt show!  I decided that I would attach the lights on the back of the top fabric only, and devise a slot for the battery pack to stick out of the backing fabric and sit in its own pouch on the lower back of the quilt.  Here is a sketch of my idea:

I drew up 5 cats that were slightly different and one little mouse.  Then I went through my stash and found some fun and bright prints.  I had some hand dyed dark blue fabric in my stash too, but it was only one yard and I needed closer to 1-1/2 yards.  Fabric Depot is so close that when I get an idea of what I want for the background, I can run down to Portland and search for just the right piece.  I found it in the Christmas section.  Dark blue, mottled, with dots of white and gold.  Nice.  I had just the right grunge white fabric for the moon in my stash and also the hand dyed orange fabric for the wall.

Here is a picture of the fabrics pinned to the background and the cats roughly cut out.