The Letter A…

As the ABCQAL (Abecedarian Quilt-Along) gets started one might well ask why I would make a quilt based on the Braille alphabet, besides it just being awesome. Well, when Thesaurus came out I knew I wanted to do an alphabet quilt, one to be a sort of companion to the tonal text print in the collection…

thomas-knauer-sews-thesaurus-tonal

The text in the print is comprised of one of my favorite obscure words for each letter of the alphabet, and since I chose abecedarian for the letter A it seemed an apt title for the quilt. And the Braille, well, I’ve been really interested in using different codes and languages as the basis for designs as of late, whether it be quilts, fabric, or embroidery. And Braille seems something of a natural fit for quilt designs as each letter can be transformed into a simple 2×3 block.

Oh, and Abecedarian. It means rudimentary or elementary, or a person just beginning to learn something. That also seemed to really fit this quilt design, or at least the simplest for of it (see below). It is a perfect quilt for someone just starting out to practice on, though the finished result looks far from simplistic; in fact I think this quilt really shows that a simple quilt does not have to end up being simplistic…

thomas-knauer-sews-abecedarian-final-1

So, that’s a little more of the background. And with each letter/block I’m going to share the long word from the thesaurus tonal. You’ll want to stick around for that because the word for the letter Z is my favorite!!!

So, here’s the block for the letter A. I am using pieced units for some of the squares; the blue-on-blue units will be used for the non-dot elements in each block and one of three whites will be used in the places there would be raised dots in Braille. It is pretty much the reverse of the original Abecedarian quilt, in which the prints stood in for the dots; I’m interested in seeing how the foreground/background issues play out in this next one when it comes together.

For the letter A there is simply a single dot in the top-left corner.

thomas-knauer-sews-abecedarian-a

And there you go: block one. Easy peasy. Tomorrow I’s give out the simple way to make the blue units I am using for anyone who doesn’t know along with the letter B.

Oh, and one more thing: the first of the Braille Along quilt is up (that’s what were calling the quilts some of my besties are making this month to go with the ABCQAL) over on ImagineGnats

thomas-knauer-sews-imaginegnats-braille-quilt

I love the simple elegance of Rachael’s quilt, both conceptually and visual. No can be a remarkable word, one born of profound reflection. It seems so apt for a quilt in so many ways; I love the idea of hiding under a quilt leaving it to say no to the world for me. But you should head over to Rachael’s blog and read what she has to say about it herself.

Thanks so much for taking part R, yay you times a zillion!!!

And for the rest of you out there, get going on the letter A…

-t

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2 Responses to The Letter A…

  1. 1
    Verona says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Possibilities are boggling my mind. A piece of art that expresses my despair at our election results… But what to write? Thanks for lifting me a little out of the doldrums this morning.

  2. 2

    I’m very excited about this QAL! I have a thing for codes, alphabets, puzzles and the like. I’ve started playing around with words and blocks…I just need to complete a couple of projects before I can justify starting another one.. If only there were three of me… Can’t wait read more and see more quilts!

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