With little pieces of hydrangea fabric from the summer as well as an overprint of hydrangea design, this block brings me back to walking the hot streets of Florence with my sister at my side. Freckles and sandals and sketchbooks in backpacks. However, rather than settling into nostalgia, I like to remember the many things that have grown from that month: a deeper relationship with my sister, a year of studying fabric design, a beautiful quilt from the fabrics we purchased at the markets, this show. Dwelling on the past is not productive. Appreciating, instead, the unfolding of moments into long-lasting treasures keeps us thankful and grounded in the present and future.
Making it was a whirlwind of late nights and frantic stitching. The deadline for the juried exhibition was Friday before noon, and I began it Tuesday morning. Between every class and commitment, I would dash off to sew or print, pick up velcro or make frames. The final stitches zig-zagged around the edge of the ninth block at 3:30 in the morning Thursday night, and I fell contentedly into bed for several hours before bringing it to the gallery for the jury.
I think it's the layers in this one that make it my favorite, as well as the movement between the navy and coral pieces. After piecing each of the nine blocks, I laid them down on my printing board and over-printed two layers of the hydrangea design in a transparent white. At first, it felt like the white toned down the outside colors too much, but after adding a zing of color with coral straight-line quilting, the piece really came together. The free-motion quilted swath of the hydrangeas that overlaps from the grey blocks to the colorful ones is probably my favorite aspect of the design, and I look forward to figuring out how to make this design into a full-size bed quilt.