Blue, blue, electric blue
That’s the color of my room where I will live
This quilt is a gift to celebrate the wedding of two good friends.
The white bars spell out the couple’s names in Morse code. The beauty of Morse code is that it can be transmitted as sound, or as light—even by touch. It works is many environments and can be understood even with poor signal quality. It seemed like a good medium for a message of love.
The design took some time to develop. I wanted something interesting to make for me, and something that would fit with my friends’ tastes. I also wanted something that would work with their color sensibility (saturated, spicy colors) without dominating the room. Morse code seemed like a promising start, and I was inspired by Thomas Knauer’s Marriage Quilt #2 that encodes vows two ways. But I wasn’t loving the sketches with which I was littering my studio floor until I hit on the idea of interpreting the letters as wider and narrower bands, instead of the more commonly represented dots and dashes.
Dots are an inch wide; dashes, two inches; with three inches spacing between each letter. The zingy yellow bars on one edge spell out the year 2016. I also made the first line of each first initial yellow, both to give the quilt some orientation and to add a dash of visual salt to the color recipe.
The deep blue background is a batik with a subtle wave design. The white bars are all cut from a yard of block-printed cotton, also with a wave design.
Sound + Vision is channel quilted every two inches, reinforcing the horizontal bars without too many lines of stitching running across them.
The back is mostly composed of cotton shirting. It feels wonderful, but I was concerned with the soft fabric potentially puckering during quilting. To stabilize it, I added in squares made of scraps from the front plus a few bonus fat quarters. I even “signed” the back with my initials—SES—in Morse code. All fabrics were from stash, and each one left only a few scraps behind. Pulling such a large project out of what I had on hand was a really satisfying bit of stash busting.