Here's the first tablet (16" x 16"). They're called tablets because much of what we know about ancient cultures was inscribed into clay tablets. These tablets are designed to be substantial physical objects. The cloth is wrapped around a center material that is a composite of wool, clay and wood pulp, ie: ceiling tiles. I cut the 24" x 36" tiles into 16" squares, glue 2 of them together for each tablet, and have something solid, not too heavy, and not too dense to get a heavy needle through. They feel like tablet, and they can hang on the wall. (I didn't use the industrial felt that holds This Too Shall Pass tiles because it's not quite stiff enough - while the felt works great in 6" squares, it would bend at 16").
So - each one is printed, painted with dyes, repainted with dyes (dyeing a second time gives much greater depth of color), embroidered and sewn onto the composite material (which is covered with a woolen layer before the cloth layer). This is really the second version of the first, because the first version wasn't quite right:
It looked good printed on the cloth.
And it looked fine as I was painting in the dyes..
But then I realized that the finished image was a real problem. The red circular frame (the Largely Illiterate Population arc) combined with the red robe on Moses created a color block that overwhelmed the image. Plus, the ten commandment tablets (the same color as the tabelcloth) leads your eye right out of the picture. Not good.
So - turn Moses around and give him a new robe..
...reprint the image on cloth, re-paint, and then embroider, and it works! Here's a detail photo:
A photo of the embroidered section, without the sides, for a slightly closer look:
So that's what I've been doing for the past year or so - the quilt and my tablets. The quilt took almost 9 full months, and each tablet seems to take about a month. So far, I have 6 completed, with several more in various stages. My next post will show my scribes tablet.