Thursday 23 May 2024

Fanshawe 40


When I finally found a vendor that sells rug binding for my latch hook project, I had to decide what else I was going to buy from them in order to justify the cost of shipping. As I was perusing their sale fabric, I found a couple of fabrics from a line called Essential Heroes.
During the pandemic, a lot of fabric companies were producing health-care related fabrics in support of the frontline "heroes" and now, with the pandemic behind us, most of these fabrics can be found in the clearance sections. Being a health care professional who worked throughout the pandemic, I figured it was time I bought some. This particular vendor sells their fabric by the half yard, so I bought 1 yard each of the two "heroes" fabrics and choose 1½ yards of the coordinating red fabric. I planned to make a 3-yard quilt and wanted to make sure I had enough fabric to do a French (double fold) binding.
Just wanted to point out something interesting about the blue fabric. While the white fabric is just stethoscopes, in addition to healhcare-related items, the blue fabric also has shopping baskets, gas pumps and garbage cans (see the items I've circled). I have to laugh about the garbage can because initially I thought that it was because we did produce a lot of garbage in healthcare because of all the disposable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that we used. But then I saw the other non-healthcare symbols and realized that this fabric company chose to recognize other "essential heroes" as well, like the garbage collectors and the people who work in grocery stores and gas stations. Yes, those are essential as well and I'm glad this fabric recognizes that. 
I wasn't planning on using this fabric right away, but then when Nurses' Week came up, I figured it was a good project to work on during that week. I purchased some deep pile textured minky (it was more like faux fur) in red for the backing and chose the Corner Play pattern from the book Pretty Darn Quick
As I began working on the quilt, I thought about the fact that this year is the 40th anniversary of my graduation from nursing school, and I decided that it was a good thing that I had purchased red as the third fabric and the backing fabric, as 40 is the ruby anniversary. So I decided to make this my quilt in celebration of my ruby anniversary. Hence the name Fanshawe (the name of the college I graduated from) 40. 
I chose the Lady with the Lamp pantograph. 
It has stethoscopes, nurses' caps, ECG tracings, needles and syringes (which look to me like the Empire State Building on its side) and bandaids. 
With regular minky, the quilting design is very evident. But because this one was deep pile and textured, you can't really discern the design at all. And for the most part, it's not that obvious from the front either. 
Which brings me to something I've been thinking about: I'm getting kind of tired of pantographs. Don't get me wrong - I still love my pantographs. But I used to really be all about my novelty pantographs, coordinating the panto design with the quilt top as much as possible. But sometimes, like It's a Grey Area, the panto is too busy and actually detracts from the quilt top. I think sometimes an alternate design that instead enhances the pattern of the quilt top would be better. And when, like this one, you have to look hard to see what I've quilted, what difference does it make if I've quilted nurses' caps and stethoscopes? I guess maybe I'm getting to the point where I want to branch out and do more with my quilting, more to fill in the negative spaces with fun designs and enhance the other spaces  as well. But I need to practice my free motion quilting more. And I don't really want to do that on quilts that I'm giving away. I want to get caught up on some quilts and then do some that will be just for fun, for experimenting and finding out what I and my Amara can accomplish together.  And I need to be braver about it, and quit defaulting to my pantograph comfort zone. 
But back to Fanshawe 40 - if I thought regular minky fabric produced a lot of fluff, this was a whole lot worse. I actually took my little hand vac and had to vacuum off my cutting mat after trimming the quilt. 
Look at how deep that pile is and how much fluff is on my leader! Once I had the binding on, I tossed the quilt in the dryer on the "air only" setting to hopefully get rid of any loose fluff left on the quilt, and took the lint roller to all of the cloth leaders on my longarm frame. 
But this I couldn't get rid of so easily! I have never had that happen before where the dye on the fabric actually stained my longarm machine. And I certainly didn't expect it from a synthetic fabric. I tried washing it with straight water, and it took a minimal amount of the colour off. Then I sprayed some Fantastik on my cleaning rag and tried that, and that didn't take any more off. Ah well, if water and Fantastik won't take it off, it's unlikely to rub off on another quilt, and that would be my main concern. Having a stained longarm is really not that big of a deal since it doesn't affect its function. It's only cosmetic. 
Now, I have a graduation quilt to finish for a great nephew, so I'd better get back to work. 

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