The people who brought us the Pussyhat Project have now brought us the Welcome Blanket Project. They ask, What if we welcome instead of exclude? What if instead of a concrete wall 2000 miles long we offer a yarn line 2000 miles long, a line of welcome blankets?
Blankets can be knitted, crocheted, woven or–drum roll–quilted.
I decided to get out my F2F (FootSquare Freestyle) blocks since 9 of the 12 1/2-inch blocks with a small border would make the required 40 x 40 size. This being the first quilt I’ll have made from the total (well, minus one really as I have one of my own 3 yet to make) I have a full range to choose from.
Arranging sampler blocks, various patterned blocks, requires a balancing act. Will I balance blocks by color? by saturation? by shapes? by value?
I started out with my eye on color. I create balance mostly diagonally in a square construction, but I pay some attention to horizontal and vertical.
Although it doesn’t show in the photo, the middle-column blocks each have green in them, the brights make a cross, and the browns finish the corners.
Not quite working. The upper right is too light. So I started to work with value, keeping the color arrangement.
Better. Now one diagonal is brown and the other brown with a touch of bright. Nice. But the white background of the lower-right block draws attention as out of place. And the upper right square piece didn’t complement the lower left checkerboard. So I switched the top and bottom of the right column.
Somewhat improved, but there was still that white background problem, now in the upper right.
And then it dawns on me. The color arrangement isn’t cut in stone. It too is a variable. And there are lots of star blocks.
This time, paying more attention to shape created the final arrangement. I’ll sew the top tomorrow, then quilt it as soon as I can.
The final due date for quilted/knitted/crocheted/woven blankets is September 5, 2017. However, the Installation at the Smart Museum of Art of the University of Chicago will open in July with an empty room and change as they receive blankets. So the sooner the better. When the Installation closes, the quilts will be distributed to various refugee resettlement groups.
Are you interested in making one?
Essential information (more detail on the Welcome Blanket website)
The blanket itself: 40 inches by 40 inches. (If they find more sizes can be used, this will be updated on the FAQ on the website.) Preferably washable fibers
Include a note of welcome and introduction. There are suggestions on the FAQ. Without the suggestions, I’d not have thought of including my own immigration background.
Mail them to Smart Museum of Art, WELCOME BLANKET, 5550 S Greenwood Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60637, USA