Monday, June 1, 2015

Noah's Ark baby blanket - a patchwork quilt with monoprint

Let's move on with babyshower gift making – part #2.

Yesterday I was talking about making gifts for a babyshower to the theme Noah's Ark. Here's the second gift. First I had the wooden Ark, but it didn't get filled, though I spent some thought on it. Here's the point - filling the Ark with animals didn't feel right. But we had to have animals to correlate with the theme. And so they come. On a blankie.

This project involved some collaboration with kids. We made monoprints. I simply suggested they should make a drawing of an animal they like and want to draw, but then repeat it, because Noah's Ark had them paired. And that's what I got: a pair of fish, birds, sheep, giraffes, toucans, and unicorns. I had six kids working on this project, aged five to eight, and we got twelve drawings.

I could have found eight participants, to make sixteen prints and perfectly fill the surface of sixteen squares. Some Photoshop rendering prior to getting started with kids to better visualise and find the right colors to mix proved quickly that sixteen prints would make our blankie look busy and too patchwork-y. A bit boring too. I introduced first simple squares of solid cottons, matching the colours of monoprints, and after some fine tuning and playing around how to complete the monoprints better I've come up with those waves and playing elements on cords.

That sea element, referring to a story of Noah, the greyish blue wave repeating at four squares holds the whole piece pretty well together, and bundles it. And this element induced the idea of making pockets. Playing pockets.

I filled two of them – I had a leftover monoprint of a fish, so I made a soft a bit stuffed mini toy (some padding added inbetween two layers of fabric – between linen backside and printed surface). I had to sew an Ark, to thematically tie the blankie to the wooden Ark. And it's attached to a cord, and can be played with as well.

Yes, there was also some research on Noah's Ark quilts, mostly on Pinterest, though less gainful than for the wooden Ark. I've seen one, that had colored squares and white animals in appliqué technique, cut of white plain fabric, and hand applied onto the quilt. Pretty subdued in colors, with only different animals and I quess it wasn't even brandmarked as a Noah's Ark quilt, it was a simple animal themed quilt. But I loved the idea of colored squares and white objects.

A couple of words on colours: we don't know whether the baby is going to be a boy or a girl, because the future mom-to-be doesn't want to know. They love blue, different types of cold blue, and emeraud green, and they have a bit of red and this soft pink around the house. That's where the color scheme came from. Not a typical one for me, but as I said after playing around in Photoshop, I've found the satisfying combination, both with „their“ colors and the way I loved it personally to engage and produce it. I must say, I love this piece very much, and I hope it will bring joy and happiness to the mom-to-be and her future baby.