Friday, July 15, 2011

I is for Imagination

There are several ways to make the letter "I". You can cut the body from a strip of fabric about 1-1/4" wide, then add pieces of the background to each side, then add bars of the letter fabric across the top and bottom. You have to be careful not to make it too big, but it's an easy fix.
(Actually, an I is exactly the same as an H on its side.)See?

To make a lower case "i", you can slice a tall strip of fabric in two, and sew a piece of background fabric in the middle.
Or you can use a different fabric for the bottom of the "i" and the "dot". You can also "dot" your "i's" with stars, hearts or inverted triangles.
Or you can just use a strip of fabric to represent an upper case "I."Something else you can do is to use a piece of fabric in a way that makes you THINK you're looking at an "I". When I was making Tonya's Rules, I was looking for fabric to use for an "I", and saw a skinny piece of a big print, with the center of a flower, and some leaves below it. The center of the flower reminded me of the dot on top of an "I", so I set the fabric aside, intending to use that center as the "dot" on the "i", but when I went to cut it out, I realized it looked like an "I" already, so I decided to use it the way it was. I loved it, and it really became the springboard for how to use fabrics more creatively when making letters. (Click the photo to enlarge, and get a better view.)

When I was making Nine x Nine, I needed an "I" for the word NIGHTHAWK. This black cat wasn't in any black fabric - it was in a cat cartoon novelty fabric. The cat became an "I" when I cut away the background, and left the cat by itself. The cat wasn't tall enough on its own, so I set it on top of a piece of solid black fabric. Suddenly a funny cat with yellow eyes became an eerie black cat and a perfect addition to the word "NIGHTHAWK." Which brings me to the ladies in the word "MISS" in the Black and White Rules.
It turns out that we don't necessarily need to see every letter in a word to know what a word is. As long as the letter is -suggested- our brains will make up the difference. The red beret of this lady holding the yarn suggested the "dot" of a lower case i, so I decided to cut her out, and see how she looked. Bingo! It worked!
For the black version, I selected this lady, with big red hair and a black blouse. Your eye connects an imaginary line from her red shoes to her red handbag and continues up her (black) arm to her red hair and beret, which your brain reads as an "I".

I didn't want the ladies to be too prominent. I wanted you to almost miss them. They are among my favorite elements in the Rules quilts.

For the "i" in the Red Letter quilt, I selected this big print.
I cut the components very carefully, so one of the poppies would be the "dot" in the I.
Have some fun with the I in your Red Letter quilt. Let your imagination run wild, and find something unusual!

Enjoy the weekend!


Clare said...

I love doing i's. You can make the dot different shapes.

Susanne (flicKwerk) said...

Your I's make me smile! Lots of wonderful ideas. I've made two I's before reading your post, but I think I have to do some more.

Quiltdivajulie said...

GREAT post ...

Terri said...

I am soooo enjoying this series... even though I'm not sewing along. I do want to make letters, someday. Thanks for the tutorials.

Jean said...

Love the Is, thought I would do all capitals but I love the small i too.

Judy in Michigan said...

I'm trying to make my letters with more slants - just need to remember to add a big chunk to the right of each letter so it will trim as a triangle shape - wish I would think of that before I sew the last strip to the right of the letter - rip, rip. Having fun.

Tonya Ricucci said...

love how you make your I's. my favorite is definitely the kitty in Nighthawk. awesome.