This quilt is actually a recreation/update/huge improvement upon one of the first quilts I ever made. On the original quilt (which I will not show here) the letters were painted and the blocks included the names of the elements and their atomic numbers.
I had been toying with the idea of including all of that information again, but I was so inspired by this quilt by Maritza Soto that I decided to go with a more stylized and patchwork-y take this time. What I love about Maritza's quilt is that her letters are scrappy without being wonky. I also like that she added more weight to parts of the letters, making them look like a patchwork typeface.
Once I started sketching out prospective block designs, I quickly realized that parts of my letters would have to be as small as 1/4". After a couple of practice blocks, I also realized that my skinny letters would be more legible if they were made out of a single fabric. (Each finished letter measures just 1-3/8" x 3"!)
To maintain a scrappy element (pun!) in the blocks, I decided to add a little bit of a coordinating print fabric to each one. For the Noble Gas blocks, the background is Kona Indigo. The letters are made with the Sally's Skirt print in ink from Sweetwater's Reunion collection, and the scrappy bits print is Pie Basket in the New Day colorway from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley.
Like most renditions of the Periodic Table, mine will include little blocks with a different background color for each group of elements. Here's a little peek at some of the other fabrics I've picked out.