Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Light Box!

Sometimes you just need a certain tool to do a project.  It’s specific to the job at hand and you know they make it.  Maybe you’d be lucky to find one in town, at an affordable price, but you know it’s not going to get a lot of use, and besides: you need it NOW!

I’m back to work on my next quilt – it’s a wedding quilt for my nephew who married his sweetheart almost a year ago.  I gave them a gift and asked them if they wanted a quilt as well.  They enthusiastically said yes!  They were very specific what they wanted – a wall hanging of a West Coast scene with ocean, mountains, sky, sun and an arbutus tree (also known south of the border as madrona) in the foreground.  I have it mostly designed now and today I started in on it.

Here's the design all drawn on freezer paper.

Here’s the design all drawn on freezer paper. There are lots of little registration lines as well as the design here. It’s about 36″ wide.

I’m using a technique developed by Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry called “Applipiecing” which she uses for a good many of her quilts.  Basically, you cut out your templates from the freezer paper, attach the fabric, turn in one edge of it (using spray starch), and zig zag it together again.  I’m doing most of the quilt this way.  It’s pretty important to be able to see all the registration lines through the fabric to fit it together again, and I was having to hold it up to the ceiling light – it wasn’t working at all!

I needed a Light Box!

I’ve been coveting one for a while now, but surely there was a way to do it quickly, easily, and with what I already had?  How hard could it be?

I got a neck light from Ami Simms when we visited her in the spring; I use it at night when I’m working on my hexagons. It’s really really bright and really really small.

This is the Sew Easy neck light. It uses two AA batteries.

This is the Sew Easy neck light. It uses two AA batteries. It illuminates like full daylight when it’s turned on.

I found a small plastic box I was using to store stuff and emptied it out, turned it over, put the light underneath and VOILA!  A perfect light box for my project!

Here's the design all drawn on freezer paper.

My new light box!

I can see my registration lines through the fabric now.

I can see my registration lines through the fabric now.

I’m going to let Ami Simms know about this – I just know she’s going to be able to sell a whole bunch more of these lights when they find out about this!

And here’s how far I got today on this project.  The ocean is just over half done.  This won’t take long at all, at this rate!

002 piecing ocean

More pictures to come!

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3 Responses to “Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Light Box!”

  1. Pam P Says:

    What a clever little cookie you are! Brilliant solution to an immediate problem. Another example of the creativity of quilters.

  2. Jan Rhoades Says:

    What a clever Klutz you are…but then, we all know that. Well done and very inventive too. I have a light box but for the few times I need it, it mostly just gathers dust. Well done you.

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