Monday, April 15, 2013

For Your 80th. Birthday


I'm just going to jump right into it otherwise I'm libel to get a little wordy over this project.  Pictured here are blocks taken from a quilt that was given to my Great Grandmother on her 80th birthday.  My aunt removed the blocks from the quilt and sent them to me so I could put them back together in a new way for my Granny's 80th birthday.  The problem was apparent to me right away, when I remembered that my Granny's birthday was a mere 4 weeks away.  Now before I continue on I would like to mention that the time constraint and ensuing stress were essentially all my own creation.  

So I picked out some fabric and sashed the blocks as was originally requested.  I had decided that the shape of the blocks really lent themselves best to a bed runner than anything, plus who really needs a quilt like this?  Then I was struck with an epiphany so brilliant I blinded myself to the complexity and absolute sheer ridiculousness of tackling a project of this magnitude.  So admidst massive renovation projects, two kids and all their activities, and the endless calls of a busy life, I decide to make these...


So what?  Big deal it's not excessively complicated... That is if I were only making 18 identical blocks, but nooooo.  I chose to make 18 completely different blocks, 9 inches square with the same overall theme.  18 blocks for all my Granny's special people.  I was lucky enough to have acquired a book called 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins.  This book made the whole thing possible giving different measurements for every usual block size.  To save on your having to read an essay on the difficulty I had with this project lets just say that every block I created was both a huge accomplishment and a crushing defeat as I still had 'x' amount to go.  In the end I did finish all the blocks.  

Just because I know someone is going to want to know what these blocks are called here are the names of the blocks the book gave me. Right to left.

Top row: Fireflies, An Original Design, The Chinese Block Quilt, Hovering Hawks, Sunshine, Summer Winds

Middle row: Grandmother's Favorite, Indian, Indian Plumes, Jacks Delight, Double X #4, Duck and Ducklings

Bottom row: Fox Paws, The Wedding Ring, Carol's Scrap Time Quilt, Cat's Cradle, Kansas Troubles, Winged Square

The names of all my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephew were written using a printout of their names, a light box, and a permanent fabric pen.

So I'm not gonna lie, I love it!  I'm not really sure how big a bed runner should be but this one ended up being approximately 22" x 82".  The points are not perfect but damn near.

Can you recall the original blocks I was supposed to use?  Well I couldn't very well put that ugly (Orange? What was I thinking!) thing on the back of my new creation.  So the ONLY option obviously (roll eyes) was to tear apart the the old bits again (which are getting quite worn I might add).  I decided to only use the blocks pertaining directly to my Granny and send the rest off to her sister (my great aunt, only fair really).  So now I have six of these blocks to work into the overall design... ding ding ding! Corduroy and horses of course!  I cut the corduroy the right size used turned edge applique for the cream blocks (I'm down to 3 days at this point with quilting/binding/shipping still to go).  Just because I have no time left and I love to push the envelope I also added some pretty cool applique horses to the back.


I quilted the runner with a stipple (originally I was going to use cross hatching but I decided there was enough squares here so a stipple wouldn't come amiss).  Well that's all I'm going to type about this project.  Note to self, corduroy sucks to quilt.

The runner arrived on time (barely), and Granny's 80th was celebrated with a great salmon dinner by my aunt, family, friends, and surprise guests.
Granny and Granddad's Block
Wow it all seams so simple explaining it to you but honestly I antagonized endlessly over every decision.  I'm proud of what I did and I'm happy I gave it my all into the creation for my Granny and Granddad who have taught me more than I even know.

12 comments:

  1. Well done on tackling all those intricate blocks! They look fantastic and the whole project, despite having difficulties along the way, has turned into a fabulous work of art for your Granny to keep. It's very very good!!

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  2. What a lovely, lovely project! Your blocks are perfect and I think making things for those special people in our lives is the best part of having the skills we do.

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  3. Ho-ley! What a memory quilt. I'm sure your granny will love it. I'm sure there's a tear or two as well. It's a fabulous quilt.

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  4. She is GOING to love it! I love your process! Thanks for sharing! I made a memory quilt of sorts for my MIL (it is somewhere on my blog) and I used a crossword puzzle theme; it was for her 80th and she was floored and didn't want to use it ;). You are so creative!

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    1. Crossword sounds like a cool idea too!

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  5. A fabulous creation! Those books of blocks are handy to have around, I too have one by Judy Hopkins and a few others with hardly a repeated block in any of them...

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    1. Yeah I wouldn't really call myself a traditional quilter but sometimes you do have to do something different and it's good to have the book when that time comes!

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  6. What a story! And what a quilt! You sure don't shy away from difficulty, do you? Fabulous job!!

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    1. Thanks! No I seem to breed difficulty.

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  7. Loved your story Sam, thanks for getting in touch. Email me when you get a few moments?

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