WTF 2020


I finally finished my 2020 wall hanging yesterday, a piece I started almost exactly one year ago. It pretty much sums up my feelings about the pandemic, racial injustice, and getting laid-off from my already work-from-home job. 

This was a challenging project on many levels. I had a general idea of what it would be, but didn't know how to create the letters in patchwork. Plus I had to work entirely with materials I had on-hand. Luckily I do have a good sized stash of scraps, and was able to pull similar solid colors to piece the letters, along with a few yards of solid black for the background.

These letters were inspired by an old American wood type font called Italian from the 1830's, a bold and graphic lettering with huge serifs. To create the letters in patchwork, I hand-drew paper pieced patterns on graph paper for each one. I think I spent one whole day just planning and drawing out each of the letters. Here is a bit of the paper piecing process below.

I use a wafer light box when paper piecing to help line-up the pieces.

I definitely got better at creating the letters as the project progressed, finding better ways to create each letter with less steps and pieces. The letters were each like a little puzzle to finish.

The final challenge was only having a vague plan about what the finished piece would look like. So once the words were finished, I had to experiment with what came next.

Thanks to Isaac for providing a little chonky cat censorship on the finished top!

Basted and quilting started a few months ago, using scrap batting and piecing the backing from stuff in my stash. Quilted with Isacord polyester from my thread stash.

Hard to see in the pictures, but the letters are simply outlined in matching 1/2" quilting, while the background is covered in 1/4" horizontal quilting. I wanted the letters to really stand out against the background, and the quilting really helps accomplish this visually.

This piece is, well, just what I wanted it to be. It pretty clearly says just what I was feeling through the past 12+ months, and I'm enjoying the sentiment in my studio.

2020 (2020-2021)

Erika Mulvenna

Wall hanging, cotton and polyester

53" x 54" unframed


This is ABSOLUTELY perfect! It's been a slog hasn't it? And this sums it up pretty succinctly. I follow you on Instagram and ran across your blog when looking for Sacred Heart designs, your 2015 wall hanging made from drunkard's path blocks is really spectacular, I may try to make one like it. I'm a big fan of all your work. Love ya, mean it.
Erika Mulvenna said…
Thank you so much Susan! I follow you right back on the IG, I ❤ seeing your kitty. :)
Sarah C said…
This is so glorious I can't even handle it!

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