"I am the one thing in life I can control. I am inimitable, I am an original."
While this quilt isn't just one fabric, I practiced the same concept of wholecloth quilting: quilting that thing to life! One of my closest friends Jessica Levitt (@jtlevitt) had a birthday earlier this summer, and I wanted to make her something Hamilton related. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard of Hamilton: An American Musical, I suggest you go give that soundtrack a listen, STAT. Lin-Manuel Miranda is an exuberant, inspiring genius.
Once I finally see it (one day but who knows when I'll be able to get tickets!), it will surely make my list of favorite musicals. Anyway, I got Jess into it, and we've both been obsessing over it for months! We have a pact that we'll meet in NYC if one of us wins the lottery.
This is a quote from the song "Wait for It," in which Aaron Burr (Alexander Hamilton's "nemesis," played originally by the brilliant Leslie Odom Jr.) discusses his ambition and his family's legacy (listen to/watch an amazing a capella version here. CHILLS, people!).
These lines are what make the character so intriguing to me, and I felt like they apply to Jess and myself as well. It's about letting go of the things you can't control (for lack of a better word) and doing your best with what you can. I love the power and spice of so many exciting words put together; really, the whole musical is like that!
I decided to use three background colors to play with different threads. I started with citron green fabric, Jess's favorite color - the teal and navy quickly fell into place afterwards. It was exciting to experiment with thread colors; if something didn't show up like I expected, I simply traced over it a couple of times. A few motifs are purposefully light, which makes you look a little closer. Some of the threads I used: Aurifil 2024 (white), 2600 (dove gray), 2870 (green), 2710 (light blue), and 2783 (dark blue). I have so many ideas whirling in my head right now for changing thread weights and colors in my large project to come.
A blank canvas! So full of possibilities.
I practiced the writing in my sketchbook and used my Hera marker for minimal marking - otherwise, the lettering is freehand. It's not centered exactly (which, I realized, is all part of the message) and that wasn't an issue for me. I just went for it and had fun creating all kinds of contrast.
I used some motifs that are very "Jess L." (the wonky square spirals) and some that are very "me" (orange peels, of course!).
The back shows tons of quilting - especially those orange peels! I chose this fabric because it reminds me of Jess (I used it in the very first thing I made her way back in 2013). I gifted this quilt to her privately at our guild sewing day last weekend and she was thrilled. It makes me so happy to sew things like this for others.
Yay, texture! I have another small wholecloth quilt to share soon. Until then, do yourself a favor and listen to Hamilton. Come on, you know you want to.