A few weeks later he brought me a bag of t-shirts, and asked that it be large ("king sized"). The only problem was most of the shirts only had pocket sized emblems. How in the world was I going to make this large? Well I needed large sashing to start with, so I determined to use the shadow box idea, where it looks like the block is floating above the surface. But this wasn't even going to come close. A week later he brought me a few more and I asked him was there any chance of getting shirts with large pictures? We talked and I thought of putting something large in the center, with the small emblems around the edge. He asked if I could put the name of their division and showed me one of the shirts had the information needed. Definitely, that would work. So I took a picture of the wording on the shirt, printed it out and traced the lettering onto another sheet, then blew it up again. Using Steam a seam II I cut out the lettering from some mottled black fabric that I was using for the shadows. I almost forgot to reverse the tracing, fortunately as I was about to start cutting I noticed the problem and was able to pull off the backing sheet and flip it over. I would have been so irritated had I cut all those letters out backwards! Sometimes my brain does kick in to gear in time.
Before I fused them down I laid out the blocks I had to see what sort of arrangement made sense. I only had 4 large pictures and several small ones. I had decided to use some denim colored fabric I had purchased as wide backing material. I had several long pieces left from trimming a couple of other quilts that worked perfectly and another largish size for the center that wasn't big enough for more backing (yeah, repurposed). The black I had purchased a bolt when a LQS was going out of business, so the only thing to purchase was the batting and backing, which ended up being extra wide flannel on sale, total materials purchased was less than $30, everything else was scraps from my scrap bin or stash.
When the blocks were laid out with a large center section reserved for the letters I had an odd space for one more small block. Hey, why not make an airplane block. So I went searching through my various books, then the internet for something I liked. I found a quilt online that I felt didn't look too juvenile, snipped it, resized and traced to make a paper pieced block. The inspiration quilt also had some blocks that looked like propellers that I also liked so I made some of those too. For the lettering I decided not to zig zag stitch around each, but instead just straight stitched near the edge. The fusible material is permanent but I wanted to be sure they wouldn't come lose. After washing the edges made a nice little fuzzy edge that went well with the denim background.
So here is the finished quilt. It won't be presented until early December, but the person who commissioned it was thrilled. It turned out about 90x100, not king size but large enough. I was tickled, when I showed him a picture of the quilt before it was finished, he asked how I was going to sew the blocks down. He thought they were floating loose, how's that for a good optical illusion!