My back is doing so much better this week, but I have to tell you about the offending project that did it in. I was working on a quilt for my brother’s birthday. This little baby has been on deck for two years and I promised Mike in March that I’d have the quilt finished for his special day. I’m proud to say I got it to him only eleven days late. (YES!)
This gift also comes with one of the sweetest stories that I have the privilege to share.
Originally, the quilt was made up of plain brown and plain yellow cotton fabric. It was SO simple; a large panel of the brown on one side and a large panel of the yellow on the other. It also had a brown squirrel or chipmunk or some other rodent type creature appliquéd in the center of the yellow fabric. You’ll have to use your imagination since there are no photos. I won the quilt at camp some time in the early 80’s and had no idea it would still be a part of my life 30+ years later. And I’m pretty sure had the original quilter known that it would still be a family treasure, they would’ve put a little more time and thought into the fabric and style of the quilt too. How do I know? Read on…
When I got home from camp, some how my brother commandeered the quilt and it forever became his. Fast forward a decade and a half and he was getting ready to head off to college and still scrunching his 6ft long body under this tiny square quilt. He desperately needed something more, so I made a blanket from the yellow and brown cotton.
I added additional flannel squares to it to make a larger, more college-worthy quilt.
And had I known that I’d be writing about it today, I probably would’ve put more time and thought into the fabric and style of the quilt. I picked fabrics that had yellows and browns in it. They also had a lot of dark blue. This was the first quilt I had EVER made and I went VERY simple.
I really had no idea what I was doing. I even used yarn to “quilt” the fabric together like the original one had been done.
Jump ahead another 15 years and I again found myself with Mike’s blanket in my possession. My brother is now married with a family… and his quilt is disintegrating.
Interestingly enough, the original yellow and brown cotton fabrics are still holding up. It’s the flannels that I used that have begun to fall apart.
The hardest part of redoing this quilt for a second time was figuring out the fabric. My brother asked that I use as much of the existing quilt as possible so I wanted new fabric that would compliment it. Also, since my sweet sister-in-law not only married my brother, but apparently this blanket, I wanted to create something that she would enjoy having in their home too.
My favorite line of quilt fabric is by MODA so I set out to find something in their line that would work. The MODA fabric I found is beautiful with a masculine vibe and something I would love to have in our home. I’m hoping that Mike and Gina like it as well.
I was able to cut apart the old squares and intermix the new fabric for a cohesive look.
The final quilt is updated and free of frayed edges.
Photographing a piece at this scale is a bit of a challenge. Here is a closer look.
For the back, I just pulled in a simple chocolate fabric that I had also used on the front.
I just got off the phone with my brother and he is thrilled to be reunited with his first love.
Happy Birthday, Mike!
Are you a quilter? What is the most challenging project you’ve done for a close family member? Do you have a family treasure that continues to boomerang into your life? I think sometimes those items come with the best stories.