Monday, 25 May 2020

Of Flowers and Letters

This project lies at the intersection of two of my interests - quilting and lettering. I heard about the #36daysoftype challenge in Instagram several years ago, but didn't have the time then, or the year after, or... until this year, anyway.

The commitment is to design and post a letter or number every day for 36 days, the reward is to enjoy all the beautiful, quirky, mind-boggling, sweet or provocative interpretations of the same letter posted by artists, calligraphers, animators, illustrators from all over the world.

I only found out that it started on the day that it started, so I didn't have the time to make a couple of entires in advance or even to think through my concept and it emerged gradually through the first couple of days. I think D was the first really nice one.

The concept, as it developed, was Art-Nouveau inspired illustrated initials with floral motifs. Three fabrics for each letter: a pastel background, relatively dark letter, and a lighter tint of the same colour for the flowers of leaves. Detail and stems were added with a thread, which more or less matched the main colour. The appliqué was done on Pelmet Vilene with the help of Bondaweb, then free-motion quilted.

I did the initial sketches in Procreate on my iPad, several at a time, whenever I had the time, so the process of making the letter itself did not take long and could be fitted into most days. I fell back a couple of times, but then caught up making two or three at a time.

Unfortunately, I ran out of Pelmet Vilene before the end of the project, and not just anywhere, but right after I completed the letter X. None of the scraps left was big enough to cut one last 6 inch square.

Obviously, I knew it was coming, and I had ordered more, but that was the beginning of the strict lockdown and the shop closed even its online operations, so the order was left to hang there for several weeks. I finally received my materials when the instagram challenge was over, but I still completed the last letter and decided not to go into the numbers this time.

So, here they are, all of them:

I used some of the scraps to make two floral compositions for the covers and put them all together into a textile alphabet book, which will go to my niece when she's big enough to learn her ABC.

To make the pages, I sandwiched two sheets back to back and zigzagged around with thin light-grey thread, which is almost invisible on all the pastel backgrounds.

I found a tutorial on single-sheet book binding and stitched the pages together with leftover cotton  knitting yarn.

It turned out rather sweet to look at and nice to hold. Working in such a small format was a welcome change from the large quilts, though it required a lot of concentration for the small details (few of them will stand up to close scrutiny).

Linking up to:
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict


  1. Beautiful and outstanding work! A future family heirloom for sure.

  2. Outstanding! The color choices are perfect and the combination of applique and embroidery is absolutely stunning. The binding technique is perfect. I'm sure it will be treasured by your niece when she is old enough to recognize the alphabet.

  3. Wow!!! So beautiful, you are so talented.

  4. These are amazing! They would have made a beautiful wall hanging, but the book idea is fabulous. Your binding technique is perfect.

  5. Incredible!!! What a wonderful book for you niece. At first glance, I thought you were making a quilt.

  6. If you wanted to turn that into a machine embroidery and applique file and sell it, I'd buy it! It's beautiful.


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