FAQs and Concerns
Q – Why should I make a number?
A - First of all, it is a fun, dare we even say cool, activity, especially if done with another person, relative, or a group. Joining a mass of people who are all engaged in the same project is surprisingly rewarding. It’s creative, it’s educational, it builds community, and this particular project has never been done before.
Q – Who are the people that are sending in numbers?
A – Everyone and anyone. Quilters, hipsters, your neighbor, children, our governor, our senator, senior citizens, and a surprising number of participants from other countries.
Q – I don’t know how to sew but want to participate.
A – Do you have access to acrylic paint? A permanent magic marker or Sharpie? You can draw or paint a number on a 9.5″ square piece of fabric. No worries if it isn’t “perfect.” It is expected that the numbers will look as different from each other as the people who made them.
Q – I don’t have any fabric to do this.
A - Do you have an old towel? An old shirt? An old uniform? Do you know someone who sews? (Quilters are a great resource and will probably participate themselves). All you need is a 9.5-inch square piece of something known as “fiber” or “fabric.” We have already received pieces of clothing with various unusual materials (wood, for example, and highway reflectors) glued on. As long as it is waterproof, it is acceptable.
Q – Should I “finish” the edges of my square?
A - Not necessarily. Keep the raw edges raw. Finishing by folding the edges to the back will make your square smaller. Some people are zigzag-stitching their edges for stability, and this is fine. Others are, in fact, “finishing” theirs while keeping a 9.5-inch length, which is also fine. The bottom line is that we want a 9.5-inch square to work with.
Q – Can I knit or crochet a number?
A - Sure. As long as the edges are finished somehow so it won’t unravel. They will be sewn to another piece of fiber.
Q -If I am going to embroider my number, can I use a backing to strengthen the 9.5″ base piece?
A - Yes! The numbers are expected to come in with varying thicknesses and fabric. The Pi Ribbon will be strengthened with interfacing where necessary during the assembly. This will help smooth out the differences.
Q – My friend is an accomplished quilter and her number looks very precise and beautiful. I’m embarrassed about my own effort and how it will compare to others.
A - No worries. Your number is not expected to be a work of art. That is part of the point. Everyone participates at whatever skill level they have. All the numbers from all the participants is what makes the art. (And, the digits will not be seen up close for the most part, but from a distance. Imperfect stitches will not be noticed). Also, no one will know whose number is whose, AND it doesn’t matter.
Q – My art teacher wants to make this a school project. Is that too many numbers for you?
A - Excellent idea! We want as many numbers as we can get! However, please review the materials suggestions on the “How To Participate” page.
Q – Since these seem to be quilt blocks, should I use batting and backing for my square? A - Not necessary. These are actually not quilt blocks. They are just embellished squares of fabric, (which, of course, could become quilt blocks. But they will not be made into a quilt). No need for batting and backing and quilting through three layers. Having said that, several people have sent in squares with batting and backing, and we can still incorporate these in the Pi Ribbon.