Whoo, hoo!!! He Loves Me is finished!!!
I love this quilt. It's modern, colorful and happy. The back-story is really quite ordinary: my friends and I picked "flowers" as children and pulled the petals off one by one, chanting, "He loves me, he loves me not" over and over until we got to the last one.
Supposedly whatever we landed on when we arrived at the last petal was an indicator of whether the beau loved the one yanking off petals. Of course, at eight or nine, our beaus were more often than not make-believe or a clueless boy who was better off not knowing that a girl was fawning over him.
Having played this summer game with my friends and sisters for years, I had the idea of turning it into a quilt. I had been working on a series of nursery rhyme quilts and this was a natural progression from that. The flowers are easy Dresden plates that I forced to work by using 17 blades for the petals. The odd number is important to make the last petal come out to "He loves me." Otherwise playing wouldn't be much fun.
I really got into the quilting. Since it's a modern version of a quilt that I made eight years ago, I wanted to do something quite different with the quilting. The quilt has lots of negative space between the individual flowers, except where an occasional petal is fluttering through the air. To give it a sense of that fluttering, or movement, I quilted large sweeps of scrolls and surrounded each with anything I could dream up--pebbles, tiny scrolls, short lines, stippling, and so on.
Those sweeping scrolls really worked. They give the quilt a sense of movement, as though one can see the breeze blowing. Of course, there's no regular pattern to my quilting. I simply filled the quilt with scrolls, then filled in between the scrolls with whatever came to mind, breaking up the space in any way that made sense at the moment. The idea was to define the scrolls without getting bored.
All I really had to work on was getting a good rhythm going; the rest was easy. Once the negative space was filled, I went back over each flower petal with a variegated Superior thread called Joseph's coat. It matched so perfectly that on some petals it's difficult to see the thread where it matches the fabric, but because it's variegated it outlines the petals nicely.
One more run of the quilt added green thread to the leaves and flower centers. All of the petals, leaves and centers are appliqued down, so this was simply a matter of defining the parts just a little more and adding some quilting so that the quilt would not ripple while hanging.
What do you think? Will it do? It's a nice big queen size, so maybe it would make a pretty wedding quilt for a young couple. For now, though, it's going to hang in the studio and brighten my afternoons of play.