baby quilt – arms and legs

at the beginning of this process, i stitched all the tops together in a long line.  then i spread out the center panel and laid the tops in place, and damned if they didn’t fit almost exactly.  almost exactly enough that i had room to cut off the seam where i’d stitched the cuff of each top together.

this was problematic from the first, and illustrates the compromises you have to make when you work with materials as sloppily as i do.  it’s sort of cut by ruler and stitched by line.  but not really.  but learning about the materials is important – it’s half of what making art is.  like, how much room i should have left between the edge of the snap and the cut edge, which wasn’t enough, and i had to go around each snap turning the wheel by hand, gingerly at that.

anyway, the cuffs wouldn’t fit together in anything less than huge bulk, and they stretched out as i sewed them, and didn’t look very good.  so when i saw that each side would take two tops, i started centering the tops, and finally decided i had enough room to maybe make a corner, and cut off the cuffs, and it would just exactly fit.

and so it did.  is that a miracle or what?  you just can’t measure something like this.  the very act of cutting up those baby blanket and sewing them back together again twice – or was it three times – guarantees that you can’t measure with any kind of certainty.  you can only plan to cover your mistakes and judge by eye.

the fairies have to sew something like this.

the next step was to sew the legs together and then sew them on behind the tops.  they had to cover all the bare spots tbetween the tops, and at the edges.  i took a long time figuring out how to put the legs together, and preparing the legs by ironing and pinning and making sure they were mainly five inches wide.  i sewed each foot down to the leg beneath it, and made a long strip of joined fabric, and then tried it on, and found that three legs would fit down a side.  i measured it against the backing material, which has been cut to 45×60, and figured out that i had to put one row of feet at one end, and the other end  had to have two.

i’ll admit it looks a little funky, but really it looks a lot better than i had anticipated.  sorry for the blurriness.

here’s a detail, showing the central panel made of three baby blankets, with a row of tops beneath, and two rows of legs

and now the thing to do is come up with a border.  this border has to cover the tops whose collars extend past the edge of the backing material, which you can see on the bottom of the small scale photo (up two).  so i figured i’d go thru the clothes i haven’t cut up yet and find something that wasn’t the colors i’d been using.

and i came across these things.  a bunch of sweat pants, mostly, with a couple of tops and a light denim dress.  i’m going to strip together a length of fabric at least four inches wide, and maybe eight, for a 4″ border.  i’ll strip it a couple of times, maybe i’ll do diagonal, since i haven’t done that before.  i’m a little hesitant about some of the fabrics, especially the leopard print, but jim’s had a look at it and likes how it adds to the color balance, so i’ll leave it in.

tomorrow i’ll decide how to cut it into strips, and then i’m going to have to start getting around to dyeing that backing fabric.

i guess i intend to make it pink and blue, and then to discharge baby feet out of it.  since it’s not very warm out yet, i’m going to have to keep it in the oven overnight, so we’ll see when i get around to it.  but it’ll soon become critical.  just as soon as i get the border done.  maybe tomorrow.  gak.

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