Lynne Tyler Word Quilts ~ 2011

2011 was really a banner year for word quilts for me. I think every quilt I made that year had letters in it.

Daft Zebras, 2011

The phrase "How quickly daft jumping zebras vex" is an example of a pangram, a sentence that uses every letter in the alphabet at least once. (Another more common example is "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.) I was bored one day and wanted to sew some letters and have some fun with them. I wanted to use black and white fabrics, and make the letters look like a blinking marquee. It seemed fun to put them against a bright green background. Making this little quilt really taught me that while the letters don't take up much fabric, the background takes at least three times as much fabric as you think it will.

Nine x Nine, 2011
I get bored between "projects" and have to do something creative. One Sunday afternoon I needed something to do, so I made the word TURQUOISE as I imagined a beginning student might make letters. I liked that.  The next Sunday, I made AUBERGINE. I wanted a purple word, and BORDEAUX didn't seem purple enough. All the previous week I had been searching for words and had looked through books on artist pigments, spice catalogs and finally seed catalogs. I don't know how, but CELERY led me to EGGPLANT, and then to AUBERGINE, which is the French word for eggplant.  The following Sunday I made VERMILION.  After I finished that word I put all three up on the design wall and thought, "Wow, they are all long words." That jogged something in my brain, and I counted the letters. I had made three nine-letter words!  That was too good an idea to let slip by, so I decided to continue making nine letter words in each color. My best friend lives on GOLDENROD drive, a guest had brought fresh PERSIMMONs for Thanksgiving the year before. MALACHITE was meant to remind you of the semiprecious stone of the same name. I thought of ALABASTER, but one of my blog readers suggested CHAMPAGNE, which was much better. An internet search brought me to NIGHTHAWK and I don't know how we all missed CHOCOLATE. Each word has a slightly different "font."

White Rules, 2011
I kept telling everybody about the three Rules quilts I had made, but I couldn't show them to anybody, so I decided to make one for myself.  Of course it couldn't be the same as the others... I put the lady in the "I" in MISS because you could "miss" her...

Make It Work, 2011
I'm a huge fan of Project Runway, and I've watched since the first season, so I've heard Tim Gunn exclaim "Make it work" many times.  When my pal Julie asked if I could make my letters deliberately wonky and loose, I had to give it a try, and decided to use Tim Gunn's famous phrase.

Red Letter Alphabet, 2011
In the summer of 2011 I decided to have a quilt-along with letters of the alphabet. The letter L is different from the others because my name starts with L.

The Black Cat's Rules, 2011
Before I had made the first six words in the White Rules quilt, I thought it would be interesting to make a version with a black background. In fact, the fabrics of "you obey all the rules" are the same in both quilts, only the black makes them look different. This is something you will read about all the time in books, and hear in classes, but it is a real eye-opener to see it in person.  Naturally I didn't make the two quilts exactly the same - there are many subtle variations - but there are elements that refer to each other in both quilts. The word MISS, for example uses different fabrics in each version, but I selected and placed them to make the viewer think they are the same. It's fun to watch viewers go back and forth from one quilt to the other to see the similarities and differences when these quilts are hung side-by-side.

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