I hope y'all aren't offended by the word fuck. If you are, then I suggest you stop reading the text now and only skim the photos...or just go read someone else's blog today. I'm not going to tiptoe around it or offer any apologies.
But I'm betting that nearly everyone has been affected by cancer in some way. This is my F.C quilt that I've been designing for many, many months, and finally putting together over the last month. It was my way of dealing with the pain I've gone through of losing a best friend to cancer in November of 2012. And then my husband's uncle in July 2013.
You might be thinking, "Why would you put that much time and effort into something with such an ugly word?" Because fuck cancer, that's why. Same answer for any other questions you have.
My friend that died was named Jessica--we'd know each since we were kids, and had been pretty close friends since the age of 15. Just before my husband and I got married she started dating my husband's good friend, so we often went on double dates. We'd go months without seeing each other and then hang out and nothing had changed. When I went through a very dark time after my son's birth (you can see the resulting quilt here), she was one of the very few people that genuinely listened, cared how I felt emotionally and validated my feelings and experience. We didn't always agree on things, and we often did things completely differently--but there was never judgement. She was one of those friends.
|As I was taking photos of the quilt, the wind suddenly died down and I watched a snowflake land on the quilt.|
|When I told my husband, he said maybe it was Jessica telling me she liked the quilt.|
She was diagnosed with stage IV Ewing's sarcoma (a pediatric bone cancer--at age 26) in December, and died in November. The last several months were incredibly painful for her, and extremely difficult to observe. I'm still sad and angry about it. Fuck cancer.
|These threads are glorious. I figured if I was going to top stitch down the binding I might as well use the big thread.|
I used entirely Aurifil thread--the lighter color is Light Jade (1148) in 28wt and the dark is Jade (4093) in 12wt. I bought a large spool of each and did not hold back! And wow do I have a lot left for another project (yay!). I used a 50wt in light grey on the back, simply because I have a cone of it. Also I love to see quilting on the back:
|The fabric was given to me by my dad's then-girlfriend, who also died of cancer in 2012.|
I chose the froggy fabric because a couple of the frogs from the fabric were in her Prayer Quilt that I made, and I consider frogs to be her totem animal--they always remind me of her.
|The small tag is from TagsToGo on Etsy.|
I used this pattern for to make the carpenter's star, changing the color blocking to get the effect I wanted. The font is Freebooter from dafont.com. I specifically chose a fancy font that might be hard to read for some people (especially my 4 year old son, haha...not ready to explain how the word fuck applies to something that I want to die). I used water soluble stabilizer to transfer it to the quilt.
|It measures 22" square.|
I used two layers of batting--one of warm and natural and one of some high loft poly I'd found at a thrift store. I spray basted the whole thing together and had a lot of issues (due to the double batting, spray basting and larger threads) with the threads breaking and skipping stitches. Finally I switched needles--from a universal 80/12 to a topstitch 90/14--and things went significantly smoother!
I used Kona Ash and Kona Charcoal, and a bunch of my favorite fabric scraps.
|I didn't quilt on the scrappy pieces so they would really puff out.|
I was really hoping to have this finished by her birthday on the 19th, but...well...here it is. But this is how our gifts always went--days, weeks...months late. It didn't matter though--it really was the thought that count.