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Love Is Love

June 23, 2016

I spent most of Sunday, June 12 in blissful ignorance.  I usually spend my sundays listening to CBC radio (The Sunday Edition, Spark, The Vinyl Cafe, Writers and Company…it’s the best lineup of the week) while getting things done around the house.  But for whatever reason, I spent that day in contemplative silence.  I didn’t turn the radio on, I didn’t check Facebook or Instagram, I didn’t read the headlines.  Instead I read a book, and did some sewing, and spent a few hours outside with Stella.

It wasn’t until after dinner that I went online, and a cryptic post by a friend sent me to Google.  As I read about the scale of the violence, about its motivation, I felt such despair.  The hate expressed by the murderer in Orlando was for how people loved one another.  How they LOVED.

The idea for this quilt was almost immediate.  A simple repeating phrase to emphasize the simplicity of the statement: LOVE IS LOVE.  I’ve asked my fellow Toronto Modern Quilt Guild members to contribute blocks as well, because if ever a quilt needed to be a community effort, this is it.  I hope this quilt, this small gesture in a very large world, will join with a million other small gestures to tip the balance on the side of love.

Love is Love

I would be thrilled if other people made blocks as well, so I’ve posted the pattern for the blocks here for others to follow.  (If you end up making some, and want to share them on social media, feel free to tag them #loveislovequilt and #quiltsforpulse so that others can see them.)

The goal is to make these blocks in bold, bright colours.  No black, white, grey, etc.  It is also important that the letters be legible, so contrast between the letters and the background is important.  You can achieve this in different ways, such as using a cool background and warm letters (or vice versa), or using a light background and dark letters (or vice versa).  Generally, prints that are on the smaller side, and that don’t themselves have a lot of contrast within them, will work best.  Make them as scrappy or as solid as you’d like, just keep them bright and cheerful!

Each of the letters “finish” at 3″ x 6″, so they should be 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ before you join them all together.  This is a good place to check your dimensions, since you can cut the joining pieces a bit thicker if you tend to find your seam allowances are a bit bigger than a scant quarter inch.

I pressed all my seams open, but do what works for you.  As long as the blocks are the correct size when you’re done, how you got there doesn’t matter. :)

Ok, let’s get on with it!

LOVE

L

Main fabric:
1 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
1 – 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″

Background fabric:
1 – 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″

L

O

Main fabric:
2 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
2 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

Background fabric:
1 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

O

V

Main fabric:
2 – 2″ x 2 1/2″
2 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

Background fabric:
1 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
2 – 1″ x 1″
2 – 2″ x 2″

This is the only block that is a bit tricky.  Draw chalk lines on the diagonal on the 4 squares of background fabric.  Then put them on opposite corners of the main fabric pieces that are 2″ x 2 1/2″ (right sides together!), with the diagonal lines parallel to each other.  You can see this in the second step of the diagram below.  Then stitch along those lines, but ever-so-slightly shy of them, so that you end up with a scant seam.  You can them trim the excess triangles before you move on to the next step.

V

E

Main fabric:
2 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
1 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
1 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″

Background fabric:
1 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″
2 – 2″ x 2 1/2″

E

Putting it together

Background fabric:
5 – 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
2 – 1 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

The LOVE block finishes at 8″ x 17″, so yours will be 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″.  I would suggest joining the letters together first, without the last 4 border pieces, and then checking your size.  At this point you should have a unit that is 6 1/2″ x 15 1/2″.  If you’re a little shy, you can always cut those last four strips a bit wider to make up the difference.

LOVE

IS

I

Main fabric:
2 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
1 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

Background fabric:
2 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

I

S

Main fabric:
3 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
2 – 2″ x 1 1/2″

Background fabric:
2 – 2″ x 2 1/2″

S

Putting it together

Background fabric:
3 – 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
2 – 1 1/2″ x 9 1/2″

The IS block finishes at 8″ x 9″, so yours will be 8 1/2″ x 9 1/2″.  Just as with the LOVE block, you can check your size at this point:  you should have a unit that is 6 1/2″ x 7 1/2″.  Again, if you’re a little shy, you can cut the last four strips a bit wider to make up the difference.

IS

And that’s it!  I look forward to seeing how people reinterpret the blocks for their own tributes to the victims and survivors in Orlando.  Once I gather blocks from my fellow guild members I’ll be sure to post some ideas for how to put all the blocks together, so stay tuned.

Love is Love

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