The box of fabrics collected by Kris from Joey's friends arrive a few days ago and with the ones sent by all my quilty friends, I have 121 squares. As soon as I got the chance I laid them all out on my great room floor to get an overall sense of the colors I have to work with.
Kris originally wanted black sashing and border; she had seen one with that color online, but after seeing this picture we both agreed that while it would look very sharp it would also look a bit dark overall. The one she had seen online was a girl's quilt so the majority of those squares were pastels or brights. Charcoal gray was the next option, Kris was fine with that choice, but for some reason I wasn't in love with it.
On Friday I had gone to my LQS to drop off teacher quilt #2 to my long arm quilter and while there I took a good look around to see if I could come up with another idea. Two other options practically smacked me in the face....Red (a darker shade, not fire engine red) and deep Gold! I don't know why those colors hadn't occurred to me before. Red and Gold are obvious possibilities since both colors are important in the Asian community, they would both look great with these squares and would keep the quilt from looking so dark.
Kris and I emailed back and forth, I made up a sample visual to help her see the effect, she liked them both and in the end she left it up to me to choose. I kept looking at the picture and I couldn't decide either. So the following morning I tried again, opening up the picture on my screen and see which one was the first my eye envisioned.
Red it will be! I had found a great backing choice, an Chinese calligraphy print in white and gray with back and red characters, but Kris preferred a print without Chinese callighraphy. She did love the Asian backing idea though. After combing through a ton of websites and emailing her a few choices, we narrowed it down and again she left the final decision to me. Let me tell you...finding an appropriate Asian print suitable for a 9 year old boy wasn't easy. The vast majority of Asian prints are very feminine, with lots of flowers, fans, etc or they are Japanese in nature and have things such as Geisha on them, certainly not right for a Chinese person. I really wish they'd come up with some other ideas. Forget about finding fabrics indicative of other Asian countries like Vietnam. Anyway this is the fabric I ultimately chose for the backing.
I think it works very well for this young boy. Dragons are protectors and they will help protect Joey as he battles his disease. I found a good Red tone on tone for the front, ordered them both and as soon as they arrive I can get started on this very special quilt. We've chosen to do it in simple sashed blocks so it will sew together quickly. I want to get the finished quilt off to Joey as quickly as possible.