This is a guest post from our friend, Karen.
We made my great-nephews new drapes; six year-old Alex chose space fabric. The morning after we hung them Alex exclaimed, “I love my new drapes!”
What could we do but promise a matching quilt for Christmas? We shopped for intergalactic fabrics. I began piecing, modifying the Big Block pattern from Black Cat Creations, to show off the fabrics.
When it was time for quilting, I wondered how to make this quilt – ordinary by day – magical by bedtime. Since Alex is such terrific boy, I wanted his quilt to come alive. I wondered if there was such a thing as glow-in-the-dark thread.
Sure enough, Superior Threads sells a glow-in-the-dark thread! I ordered a 500-yard cone. After quilting the first block, I couldn’t wait to see if it really worked.
But we live in a well-lit house! The only place dark enough for a test was my bedroom closet. I dragged the quilt through the house and when I turned off the lights, I was astonished to see my quilting actually glow!
I continued to stitch and stitch. Each new block required another trip to the closet. On the solid blocks, I wanted the appearance of exploding stars and comets racing by. In the corners I attempted a “matrix” look, to bend time and space - an Einsteinian concept I do not understand.
When the blocks were finished, I used the thread on the sashing, each strip requiring yet another trip to the closet.
One evening I turned out my studio light to head for bed, but had forgotten my phone. When I returned a moment later, the top of my thread bucket was glowing! I couldn’t let this go to waste, so the next day I trapped all that thread waste under tulle and quilted it down with invisible thread to make a pillow. You can almost read by its light.
I needed a name for Alex’s new quilt. Proving that a little knowledge is dangerous, I chose another term from physics that I cannot begin to comprehend: String Theory.
Alex was thrilled when his Christmas gift finally arrived. He focused half the lights in the house on his new quilt while he waited for darkness to fall.
And then it was dark and then his new quilt glowed!
Postscript: A week later I received a message my niece, “Lights on all day to get it ready for the night. Can I get a tax break for this kind of homemade solar project? :)”