May 4, 2023

I am working on a “cousins’ quilt”, where nine of us all contribute a couple of blocks and I put them together and quilt.  We’ve made four quilts so far for other relatives who may need a bit of comfort.  This recent quilt is for a cousin who is also a musician and I wanted to finish the quilt with a border of the notes to the song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.  I tested drawing the notes with an ink pen, but the work smeared when washed.  Next I attempted to embroidery the notes, too tedious and time consuming.  I searched the web for fabric markers and found a wide variety but was uncertain which was the best option.  Finally, I went to an art supply store and got professional advice and purchased the pens.

Next, I explored using the kitchen window as a backlight, totally uncomfortable and prone to slippage.  I wondered if my iPad could be used and sure enough there are apps available to transform your iPad to a backlight.  Who knew?  But the iPad wasn’t bright enough to shine through the fabric.  So I ended up drawing the notes with a paint pen, free-style, and kind of “back to the beginning” only with the right tool.  I completed the entire border just a little bit ago and it looks pretty darn good.

I believe my greatest strength borrowed during this endeavor was good old-fashioned persistence.  I also used the right tool. I admit my level of persistence borders on obsessiveness, at times, and I did ask myself, more than once, if it was time to quit.  I would put things down and move on to something else, but the idea of the design kept coming back. Now that it is complete, I am really glad I stuck with it.

I was also forgiving of myself when an experiment failed.  I didn’t get annoyed or even disappointed.  Finally, I think the notes to the song are a pretty clever design for the border, and the song itself is apropos of my persistence and accomplishment, “if birds can fly over the rainbow, why then, oh, why can’t I?”