Here is my Quilt of Dreams 2005 entry, “Thai Dreamin.” It was inspired by a girl who dreamed of going to Thailand. So I chose two things that a child would enjoy in Thailand: riding an elephant in Chiang Mai and flying a kite in Sanam Luang (a park in Bangkok).
The technique I learned for this quilt was inking with Tsukineko all-purpose inks and fantastix brushes. I saw quilt artist Lura Schwartz Smith demonstrating them on Simply Quilts and simply had to try them. They are easy to use and so much fun! (you can buy them at Web of Thread, a marvelous Internet store that also carries amazing hand-dyed silk ribbon and a staggering supply of thread!)
My original plan was to create the girl with the inks in a photo-realistic style (based on photos of my daughter, Annika). It didn’t fit the playful mood I was aiming for, so I decided on the Japanese Manga style (after watching Anime with my daughter, neon-colored hair now seems perfectly normal to me, I’d better watch out when she becomes a teenager!)
I attempted to hand quilt with #10 cotton crochet yarn, going for the “big stitch” quilting look, but I cannot rock the needle properly to get the stitches the same size on both sides, so I outlined the heart and the sunshine in the small rectangle blocks in a hand-embroidery running stitch instead and then did the quilting by machine.
The back side of the quilt is a map of Thailand, which probably qualifies as the largest applique ever (the quilt is 45″x60″, I’m not sure about the map’s dimensions). This literally took days. I could not sit at the machine and finish it in one setting. Some of the islands must also be the smallest appliques. You can’t even see them on the photo here.
This quilt won best use of theme in the Southern California region. A salesperson told me several Hancock Fabrics stores were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina and my quilt may have been in one of them at the time. I hope not. I haven’t had the heart to check into this rumor myself.
All in all, I had a wonderful time making this quilt.