I’ve always loved Jim Croce’s song “If I Could Save Time in a Bottle.” Since we lost our oldest child, our daughter Kathy, in February 2012, the song has new and even more poignant meaning for me. (I have quoted and printed a portion of these lyrics and fused this quotation to the back, in case you’re not familiar with the words.) It seemed a natural for me to use that song as inspiration for my quilt.
To portray “time in a bottle,” I used three of my old watches, all of which have sentimental value to me. In the large bottle I suspended an antique man’s pocket watch that my mother gave me years ago, one she had found while browsing in an antique shop. In the smaller bottles I suspended the watch my parents gave me when I graduated from high school and, then, one that daughter Susan gave me about 20 years ago. None of these watches work anymore, but I can’t part with any of them!
I arranged a still life of these three bottles on the dining room sideboard, with some red fabric beneath them, against a red wall. After photographing the three “time [pieces] in bottles,” I printed the image onto Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Sheets. I applied Wonder Under to the back of the printed image.
For the background, I was eager to try the weaving technique that Rita used for her background in that lovely bird quilt for our Neighbor theme, but I tweaked this somewhat. On You Tube I watched a tutorial on how to weave curved strips. For the two fabrics to weave together, I chose two different red batiks. Before cutting the curves and weaving them, I fused Steam a Seam 2 onto the fabrics, a product recommended in the video (because of its repositionable nature). After the weaving was done and the background was cut to size, I quilted the background with a small zigzag stitch, following along the curves.
Then I fused the bottles image onto the background. As an afterthought, I fused a strip of the same fabric I’d used under the bottles for the photograph onto the background, as I didn’t like the look of a “floating still life” and I hoped this would make the bottles look as if they were sitting on a table!