Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Whale Story

The stuff diet is complicated.

Iris found this stuffed whale in a recent toy roundup. I thought it would make a fine starting point for another read me a quilt. Unbelievably, I didn't have any whale fabric in my stash collection and Hancock's of Paducah was offering a free shipping promotion.  Therefore, this whale batik leapt into my virtual shopping cart.

How did a stuff diet lead to purchasing more fabric?
Moreover, the READ part of read me a quilt required a whale-themed book.

How did a stuff diet lead to book shopping?

I couldn't find anything suitable.  Fortunately, a non-quilter that attended our guild's quilt show donated Down to the Sea with Mr Magee to our guild for the program.
Near the end of the book, the whales wave bye-bye with their tails.  A Google image search for whale flukes turned up this iconic image and the quilt designed itself.
I got the idea after lunch one day, found the image, designed the layout and selected fabrics by 3 PM, and finished binding it at 2:30 AM that night.  There was a 2-3 hour break to prepare, eat and clean up dinner, but otherwise the creative fever wouldn't let me quit.

The stuff diet will take forever if I put this much effort into every little stuffed animal.  On the bright side, I only used one yard of newly-purchased fabric and found a good use for yards of fabric, batting and thread cluttering up my sewing room.
  • Finished size 41" by 52.5".
  • Imagery courtesy The Smithsonian Institution. which acknowledged NOAA for exhibit materials.  I infer that the image originated from NOAA.  (In my prior job, I interviewed the NOAA historian and he said that the NOAA photo library is free for public use.  I should send him a link to this post.)
  • 2010 read me a quilt
  • 2011 read me a quilt
  • the first 2012 read me a quilt
  • It had been my habit to make only one read me a quilt per year, but CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) had appealed for more gifts and clothing.  During this recession, they are seeing an increase in children entering the foster care system because of parental drug addiction.  Please consider donating cash and time to help CASA.
  • Is anyone interested in posts about digital object preservation such as my notes from interviews with NOAA and NASA archivists and historians?


  1. I love this-coincidentally-I am designing a similar quilt. That tail is a powerful image

  2. I love the image. Beautiful quilt.

  3. I really love that quilt!

  4. Great reuse of fabric, lovely quilt and such a generous donation. Good Mum.


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