Ella’s hand hovered over the buttons, ready to sort. From Eva’s position in the armchair, she could oversee our work while texting, facebooking, and doing homework. I sat on the floor with a box of crocheted flowers. It was time to embellish.
Choosing embellishment is my favorite part of making any wallhanging, because of the sheer potential and unpredictability. I also love having my daughters’ advice, because they help me see things differently.
For instance, I imagined this Valentine’s quilt as a dream in pink, red, and cream. Then I found the applique daisies inherited from my mother-in-law. They had yellow centers.
“Yellow?!” I thought at first. A few minutes later, I was thinking, “Hmm. Yellow. Ah, yes.”
We took great care selecting yellow buttons. Some were way too bright, some were too big (but tucking them under the edge of a flower reduced their impact), a few were just right. We added crocheted flowers with yellow in them. Suddenly the quilt took on a spring-like, gardenish feel, unlike the straight-up Valentine-colors theme I had envisioned.
Ella supplied me with many pink and light pink buttons to surround the heart, and red and purplish buttons to hide in the background. She found every single red sparkly button in the pile.
“Mom, it needs some green,” said Eva from on high.
Ella got busy finding green buttons and I looked for crocheted leaves.
The flowers, leaves, and buttons cascaded from top left to lower right, looking like a pretty garland. Yes, they were pretty, but kind of dull, just slashing through at an angle like that.
Ella, inspired by all the buttons, ran off to find some fabric to make a quilt of her own. I searched for an element to counterbalance the diagonal garland, rushing across the face of the quilt.
“Eva, what do you think of this pomegranate?” I asked.
“It sure is big,” she said.
I took it off. “Well, when you take the pomegranate away, the quilt looks all empty and sad,” said Eva.
I put it back on. “That’s better,” said Eva.