This quilt has been a mental quilt since the beginning of the year when the theme was announced. This is Stretching Art and Tradition’s 20th year, so the theme for this year’s pieces is anything to do with the number 20. (Click here for history of the art-quit show project.) One requirement is that the size must be 18 x 36 inches.
I considered several possibilities: a line of houses and an address 20 20th Street, a pair of glasses on a quilt titled ’20/20 Vision,’ and then the one I chose.
I played with the Roman numeral XX, and two Xs made me think of the 70273 project. Either last year or the year before the project was exhibited at our quilt show, and I was interested. In short, the number represents the number of people killed in the Holocaust as mentally or physically unfit. The determination was made without physical examination or consultation, only a look at medical records. Three doctors examined each set, and if two marked a red X, the person was sent to the concentration camps. The goal of the project was that people make blocks, two red Xs on white, one to memorialize each person killed. The blocks would be made into quilts and exhibited (as at our guild show) to educate the public. The goal of 70273 was reached February 14, 2019; the blocks are continuing to be made into quilts. (For more information see the 70273 website, and to stay updated follow their blog, here).
I decided to make a single 18 x 36 block (of course that is not one of the required sizes.) And the top is finished.
I had two construction concerns: keeping edges straight with the sharp angles and matching the cross-link of the X when I added the second leg. The latter was much easier than i expected, unlike other times I’ve had the same issue. But the edges!
Luckily, I had made the templates 2 inches larger than the required size. The little half-inch jog on the left didn’t worry me. Then the bottom leg got stitched upside down on its first seam. The photo isn’t clear enough to show that each X has one leg that is ruching (I got that idea while working on the small quilt earlier.) It seemed a way to add interesting texture to an otherwise stark design. Before that I’d planned wishbone quilting on the red legs of the letters; I think one so quilted will compliment the ruching. However, the ruching was such a pain to baste and sew that I didn’t want to rip if I didn’t have to. And I think I’ll be trimming off only1 1/2 inches, so still in the limits for the exhibit.
So far I have only one plan for the quilting, to make the numbers 70273 run diagonally from top left to bottom right in stuffed quilting. I have practiced one and am testing the marker whose lines are to disappear in a couple days.
I remain stumped on the next quilting steps, other than there will have to be something close to each number to help them puff up, and it has to be detailed because of the starkness of the piecing, and I don’t want quilting to detract from the two Xs.
I’ve considered sectioning it off with 1/2- to 1-inch unquilted lines with small background pattern inside the spaces made, but how to arrange the lines? Two thoughts so far: One option is 6-inch spaces echoing the lines of the two Xs. Another is rays radiating from either the numbers or the Xs. I’ll have to start quilting in a couple days, but would welcome any suggestions that get here before I start.