Recently I found a photo taken in 2006 of our two youngest grandsons, Locke and Dawson. The cousins (then 3 and 2) are sitting on wooden steps that lead up to a big, wrap-around porch on a house we had rented on Lake Michigan to celebrate our bachelor son Rob’s 40th birthday. I realized that this would make a good image to depict friendship.
I have long wanted to try my hand at screen printing. So I emailed the image, which I had converted to black and white, to a good friend who has a Thermofax machine. She graciously made a screen for me from this photo, after manipulating the image herself on Photoshop. After many trial runs, I finally got a print I that I liked, using acrylic fabric paint.
Soon after doing the screen print, my husband and I saw field after field of sunflowers on a drive home, south of Ft. Worth. Several days later a sunflower-fields image appeared in the Waco Tribune-Herald. The photographer was staff photographer Rod Aydelotte, whose work I have long admired. I got in touch with the newspaper and received permission to purchase a copy of the photograph and to use it in this quilt. Thanks, Rod and the Tribune-Herald!
But how to make the screen print of the little boys and the photo of the sunflowers work together? On the internet I learned that the color yellow is associated with friendship. Perfect!
The sunflower photo is transferred to fabric using TAP, Transfer Artist Paper. The sunflower at the bottom is a silk flower that I cut up and tacked to the quilt. The images on the quilt are fused onto batik using Misty Fuse. The quilt is hand quilted using the running stitch with red perle cotton thread. More of the same batik is used to back and to bind the quilt.
Not wanting to neglect our other two grandchildren, the older two (Lia and Malcolm), who are ALSO good friends, I have reproduced some other photos, another taken also at Lake Michigan in ‘06, on the back of this quilt. I used TAP for the top two images, the color version of the front screen-printed one and another of the children with their Uncle Rob. The other photo (printed onto June Taylor Computer Printer Fabric) was taken in Waco at a museum the children adore. These are all fused on top of a piece of ExtraOrganza by Jacquard, which has been printed with the sub-title of this quilt typed in many different fonts. I think all the photos illustrate that saying very well! So now I have a two-sided quilt!