Area 51 Challenge Update #18 – “Wordplay”

Some times you have to take a little risk and that’s just what revealing this week’s finish is…risky. You see, today is my mom’s birthday and this little finish is winging its way through the Postal Service as we speak. My dilemma…to show or not to show. 

Now, given that my mother at 78 may be the most sought after substitute in her entire library system, I’m hoping that good old USPS will beat her to the punch and get my package there before she has a chance to get to her computer. If not, well… Happy Birthday, Mom!

"Paris" for Mom's Birthday

Close up of Paris blocks

Remember when I started this challenge and I said I wasn’t going to start and finish a quilt in a week? This one was just over a week but it was a UFO. And, it has a story. Three years ago, my mom turned 75 and my siblings and I gave her a trip to Paris with her daughters. For twelve days we toured museums, took tea in little cafes and generally delighted ourselves with everything about the city. (Ok, dog poop on the sidewalks was not delightful but even Paris isn’t perfect!) Every morning, we trotted out to our local boulangerie and brought back chocolate croissants (to die for) and every evening we bought fresh bread on our way home from the museum of the day. 

When I came across this delightful Paris fabric, I knew there was a gift for Mom hiding in it. I really, really, really wanted to get it done for Christmas but, in the end, it was the quilt or my sanity and I choose to retain what shreds of sanity I still had…besides, Mom’s birthday was just around the corner, right? 

One of my goals since starting this challenge has been to improve my freehand quilting. I’m a good stippler, pretty decent at using all-over fillers but I needed to expand my horizons. My inspiration for the quilting on this came from my older daughter, Sarah. We were talking about handwriting one day and she made the comment, “I like your handwriting, Mom, it looks just like your quilting.” Hmmm, I do mostly squiggles and such which, now that you look at it, is what my handwriting looks like. As I thought about quilting this one, I wanted to use the place names and phrases that come to mind when I think of Paris. Without just quilting rows of words. I wanted words to grow out of the quilting. Yesterday morning, I spent some time with paper and pencil and finally found what I was looking for in this sketch. 

Drawing of quilt design for Paris Quilt 

I rolled the quilt on the diagonal, decided I would cross t’s but no way was I dotting any i’s on this one and got to work. And worked, and worked. I quilted for at least 7 hours actual quilting time yesterday and by 10:30 pm I was beat! I put the binding on and finished the hand stitching this morning. Then I snapped a couple of quick pictures and sent this little messenger on the way bearing birthday wishes. The good news about my little adventure in quilting design is that the words did melt into the vine as I hoped they would.  The bad news,  it doesn’t show up in the photos and the first two people to see the quilt couldn’t really find the words. I’m hoping that when this is hanging on the wall, Mom will have lots of fun finding the hidden words and remembering all the places we saw. Happy Birthday, Mom, we love you!

Week 19, finishes 30, UFO’s remaining 50

One response to “Area 51 Challenge Update #18 – “Wordplay”

  1. I like that idea and have done similar things in my quilting. It is actually kind of easy to freehand write with a longarm! Love the quilt and the story about it too. I’m sure your mom will treasure it!

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