November 5, 2011

Breaking Dawn Charity Quilt: Aro's Gift

The present itself was not overtly threatening. Extravagant, yes, almost frightening in that very extravagance. The threat was in the parting line of Aro's congratulatory note, written in black ink on a square of heavy, plain white paper in Aro's own hand:

I so look forward to seeing the new Mrs. Cullen in person.

The gift was presented in an ornately carved, ancient wooden box inlaid with gold and mother-of-pearl, ornamented with a rainbow of gemstones. Alice said the box itself was a priceless treasure, that it would have outshone just about any piece of jewelry besides the one inside it.

The necklace was simple—gold woven into a thick rope of chain, almost scaled, like a smooth snake that would curl close around the throat. One jewel hung suspended from the rope: a white diamond the size of a golf ball.
–Bella Cullen, Breaking Dawn, page 531-532

From the beginning of signing up for this block I didn't really ‘feel’ it, ya know? I opted to take this block because someone needed to do it and I had gotten the block I really wanted and knew exactly how I was going to do that one. This one did not come so naturally. I did know that I was going to a jewel, I even knew what I was going to use for it. I have this prism that hangs on my studio door and in the afternoon it shines rainbows on my cutting table. As much as I would miss it, I just
thought it looked like the jewel that was described in the book. Anyway, I put it off and thought and put it off. Then the deadline was getting close so I had to bite the bullet and just make the thing.

I looked around for a paper-pieced pattern for the box but just couldn't find one. My idea was to make a box and put a velvet lining on the ‘inside’ and then attach the prism in the middle. Well, I just couldn't find a pattern I wanted so that put me off for a few more weeks because I felt stumped again. So I decided that I would appliqué a box instead and then keep my idea of adding the ‘jewel.’ I don't know why by I kept coming up with this sort of engagement ring box in my head so that is what I tried to make. I used a black velvet with a gold sort of hinge on a pink satin background, I thought the pink satin would represent the wedding part of the gift. Well, it ended up looking like a morbid clam. It was hideous! I showed it to my hubby and said ‘what does this look like to you?’ If he had just been able to identify it as a jewelry box, I might have kept it. He just stared at it like a dog does when you whistle at it and said ‘I have no idea.’ I immediately threw it in the trash and went to bed. The next morning I decided to start over. I grabbed my copy of the book and found the description of the box and decided to go more literally with the design. I saw an old sort of pirates chest type design with jewels embedded in the wood. Since I can't draw to save my life, I started googling clip art for pirate's chests and found a few that I liked and took different elements from them and put them together to make a pattern. I used some fabric that was the border print for the New Moon quilt for the wood grain and some other random browns.

Then I ran off to the craft store to try and find something to accent it with to give it that sort of gilded gold feel. I found the ribbon and scored double with these ‘jewels’ on a string for the trim too. So I get the box made, and go to add the prisim and low and behold, the one thing I was sure about just didn't work. So it was back to the craft store to find something that would. I added the chain and the note and called it good.

I know that was a long winded story, thanks for hanging with me for it.


Elizabeth said...

Angie, Your sparkly is exactly what I pictures too, but I can see why it wouldn't work.

I love the fabrics you used for the box and I think it turned out really well! The background fabric really gives it a rich look and makes the box stand out. The lining/inside of the box is really pretty and I especially like the final touch of Aro's note.

xo -E

Joyce said...

I think this block is really cool. It definitely has an 'old world' feel which I expected from Aro's gift.
I'm also glad you shared the whole story. Sometimes it's a long journey to get a block done. This is lovely!

Sarah K said...

Great information! I learned and many great ideas here. Thanks for sharing!
aro 2014