Tuesday, October 8, 2013
We the People Crazy Quilt
I love my country. I really do. This craziness in our political leaders, though, has just got to stop. I know everyone has their own opinions on how to do this. I also know that the stress of having a furloughed federal employee husband, who is also our sole bread winner has been very stressful, to put it mildly. I don't claim to know much about politics, but I do know about quilting, so I decided to channel my own craziness into a quilt.
As usual, when I start a new project, I like to try out or learn a new technique. I have been wanting to try reverse applique for a while now, so I used my red and blue scraps first to make a crazy quilt of the different states in the Union. It's art, so I ad-libbed a bit. Our politicians are very good at doing this. Crazy quilts are made in exactly the same fashion, and it just seemed a perfect way to "portray" our country right now... a little bit crazy, and also a little bit (OK, maybe a lot) divided into "red" and "blue" states. I'm a little bit crazy myself right now, so it just seemed perfect. My opinion is that a little bit of crazy can be a good thing. From this springs creativity, ingenuity, perseverance. Going over that fine line, though, can be a very bad thing, and I think we're pretty much right there...
Of course our colors are red white and blue, so I found some almost white batik fabric in my stash. I've learned that tightly woven batiks hold up better to the applique process. I traced the outline of the United States that I had printed off, enlarged and also pieced together with paper, onto the batik fabric (did you follow that?).
I then pinned the batik on top of the crazy quilt top, both facing up, and free motion quilted just outside of the traced lines.
Now came the tedious but oh-so-fun step of cutting out along the line I drew, revealing the craziness underneath.
Then came the layering of batting and a back fabric, and the quilting. I decided to quilt "pebbles" or people in the country part, all from a nice variegated purple thread, because we're all pretty much the same when it comes down to it. To emphasize what this country is about, and maybe to even send out a little message of my own, I quilted the words "We the People" across the top, because this country is all about We the People, not we the politicians, or we the corporations. Stippling and a scrappy binding finished it with the exception of one last detail.
I sewed on a button, and made a 2 sided fabric postcard sign that reads "open" on one side, and "closed" on the other. I'm eagerly awaiting the day that I can flip the sign to open, and my husband can go back to work doing what he chose to do as a career, helping both our national forests and wild lands, and the people who use them. These lands belong to all of us, not just 1 party. They are important and essential, just like all federal employees and the people they serve.
Let's get on with it!!