Unfortunately for the last few weeks I have not been able to quilt much, finding myself under the influence of lots of work, family and friends visiting from out of town, and preparing for my son’s birthday party.
Every day for the two months leading up to his 5th birthday, my son would repeat his wishes just to be sure we were clear on what he wanted. “I want a new scooter, a bounce house and Boco and Stepney (Thomas the Train engines)”. Well, as the day approached we were able to find a scooter, got the bounce house rented and delivered to our backyard, and my husband tracked down the train engine named Stepney. We discovered, however, that Boco the Train, which our son had spotted in one of his classic Thomas movies, had been discontinued. By the time we found our way to track it down on Amazon, we had missed the deadline. “Oh well” we thought. It would be a good opportunity to talk to our son about counting our blessings for the gifts we do receive.
The infamous Boco
Little did we know that Aunty Linda had a trick (and her talent for quilting) up her sleeve. She used the beauty of technology and her inkjet printer to find pictures of Boco the Train and created a wonderful birthday quilt. I gasped as I watched my son open the gift, genuinely surprised and awed at the perfect gift. The next morning our son turned to my husband and I and smiled saying, “I got everything I wanted for my birthday! Im so happy”.
Thanks to Aunty Linda for her thoughtfulness, creativity, and her great stash of materials and cool quilting techniques.
The birthday boy
Handprints to make it extra special!
Getting ready to baste!
My mom (Grammy) has also been inspired to get into the QUTI fun. She decided to make a very special gift for her sister who has been a life long horse lover. So we went on a fun field trip to the fabric store unsure if we’d find enough fabrics that would work together (the pattern we selected called for 1 yard of 8 different fabrics). Our heads were soon spinning with too many choices! I had my first expereince of realizing how one can get “lost” in a fabric store for hours. We found beautiful fabrics and even one that had horses galloping on it. Being the very linear thinking ladies that we are, we really pushed ourselves to think outside of the box a bit and mix up our choices. The combination of our fabrics looks fantastic!
We certainly learned a lot of valuable lessons while tackling what turned out to be a big quilt. As we’ve heard experienced quilters say, there’s always a mistake in each quilt but that’s what makes it so special. Well, let me tell you, if that’s the case, this is a really special quilt! In all seriousness, the quilt turned out great.
Learning how to join two pieces of batting.
Linda was a great coach every step of the way. She taught us how to combine two pieces of batting, how to add fun embellishments, and ways to organize our project once we’d finished cutting. One evening, while quilting together at Grammy’s house and enjoying a little white wine, we found ourselves in a mini dispute over the definition of columns vs. rows, but it resulted in us cracking up and asking, “Are we talking about the same thing?”
We’ve got a few last touches to add, but we can see the finish line and we aren’t even going to wait until Christmas to mail it. We’ll be sending it to my aunt in a few short weeks, and I have a feeling that she will treasure it.
My favorite model trying out the quilt!
Great horse fabric!
My dad (aka Poopsie) was witty, silly, loyal, hard working and a dedicated family man. He battled colon cancer valiantly but unfortunately he passed away in October 2003. We shared many of his treasures and clothes with family and still get a chuckle now when we see a relative wearing one of his shirts around.
As my younger brother’s 21st birthday was approaching last month I thought about what I could possibly give him, aside from the traditional celebratory 21 year old beverage of course. That’s when the inspiration hit me. We had saved some of my dad’s clothes and stored them in a closet. My mom and I got out the bag and had a great walk down memory lane as we pulled out each piece. There were the various Tshirts he’d gathered over the years from his favorite spots on Maui where he spent most of his summers growing up. There were the aloha shirts that had been his work uniform for many years as a car sales finance manager. It was the two pairs of pants we found at the bottom of the bag that were the most priceless.
My dad was always a jokester and he saw an ad in a magazine years ago for seersucker pants which he thought he could single handedly bring back into fashion. So partly as a joke and partly out of a serious love of seersucker material, he placed the order and they became quite a conversation piece.
We had a beautiful collection of dad’s clothes and although there was a brief moment of pause and reflection before I made the first cut, we felt such great energy and joy as we repurposed dad’s clothes to make my brother a memory quilt!
Black material provided the perfect masculine border and due to my procrastination, I ended up putting in a marathon 10 hour sewing day to get it done in time. I finished it off by adding a personal message with my fabric markers and my brother was genuinely touched by what turned out to be the perfect gift.
And we actually ended up with extra squares of dad’s clothes, so now we’re planning to make other fun gifts for Christmas.