Worldwide Friends: full steam ahead

I’m getting there, and a little faster than I expected/feared.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 6.40.39 pmI have the bottom strip hexies complete and assembled. It’s amazing how a bit of slightly panicky focus can result in a massively increased output! Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll have the front finished.

All this industry has been greatly assisted by care packages of more fabrics – I had enough in yardage terms, but the range was getting very limited and I was very reluctant to spoil the effect from lack of choice. Thanks to the contributions from Nanette and Cath (which I’ve written about in earlier posts), that’s not going to be a problem.

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Spot the moon. Time for some gold paint, I think!

I’ve also decided that the crescent moon on the rabbit fabric has to be gold too. It’s a bit, well, discreet at the moment, and after my success with the lettering, it seems an obvious progression.

Before I assemble all the front sections into one giant piece, I’ll tackle that job, otherwise it’ll be a huge, cumbersome thing to manage. The haiku will make a bit more sense if the moon is shining!

rabbit dances on
the moon’s straight and shining path
along lake’s bright ripples

On a completely different subject, I’ve had some rather trying news. It appears that I’m now lactose intolerant as well as coeliac. I’m used to managing my diet, so it’s nothing new. The real disaster, of course, is that the very few mainstream brands of chocolate which were gluten free are also now out of reach… 😦  There’s only one left: Whittaker’s. Their Dark Ghana 72% and Dark Almond 62% have the ‘may contain traces…’ disclaimer, but I reckon lactose levels would be minute and I refuse to take that into consideration. I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to get through life without chocolate?

I wonder if it’s possible to make your own Nutella…. any ideas?

Worldwide Friends: friendship is golden…

Sekaijū no tomodachi

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The quilt’s name, painted freehand onto the fabric surface using a brush and thick red-gold resist ink

That is what this says. And its meaning is Worldwide Friends or Friends around the World, whichever way you prefer it.

The calligraphy nib on my pen was not the right tool for laying down thick ink on this textured surface, so I fished out one of my fine sable brushes for the lettering. It wasn’t completely straightforward. Having traced the ideograms from the original slips of paper using my LED lightbox and a quilt marker, I found the painting process was fairly laborious. The resist ink is thick and blobby, being very dense with gold pigment, and the surface of the fabric is a nubbly weave, making straight lines and neat corners a bit tricky. It dries quickly on the brush, and slowly on the fabric, so I had to keep moving.

Probably a Japanese person will be able to point out awkwardness or inaccuracy in my letter forms, but so long as it’s not actually saying something rude, I’m OK with it!

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 10.16.19 pmNow that I’ve done this lettering, the central section can be permanently added to the side pieces. I haven’t wanted to do that until now, because of the additional weight and volume of the sides making it hard to work with the middle – particularly when I thought I’d be embroidering the name on for a week or two.

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At the bottom is Nanette’s own hand-dyed fabric

After my last post on this quilt, which said that I would need more indigoes in order to finish the front, the kind and generous Nanette from Stitch and Sow has sent me even more loot, including some of her own hand-dyed fabric. So kind… As you can see, I’m making progress on the bottom strip. And no, I haven’t worked out how many more hexies I still have to make, that wasn’t such a great idea last time!

Suffice it to say there’s still quite a few hexies to go…