Friday, 12 August 2011

Dad's Quilt

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Dad's Quilt, originally uploaded by soja.

I grabbed the opportunity to get photos yesterday while we had some sunshine! Just as well as it has been grey and windy nearly all day today.

Mum loved her quilt, it is used everyday, and Dad feels the cold terribly as a result of his treatment so hinted that he really wanted a quilt of his own. I was happy to take up the hint, and it turned out that Dad had already thought a bit about this as he knew that he had some old, favourite shirts somewhere that were either too stained or worn to be donated to charity. In the end he gave me a pile of seven shirts of various thicknesses and cotton/poly blends.
I saved the thickest shirt for the binding and used the other six to piece the front. I was worried that there wouldn't be enough contrast, and Dad loves colour as evidenced by these shirts, so I added in the red print from my stash. I remember buying it from Whipstitch, but can't remember the designer/pattern details.
The design is based on a pattern in Karen Snyder's book "Bundles of Fun". She uses 12 fat quarters and makes a bigger square quilt. I used her technique, but adjusted the size of my strips, based on the size of my ruler (lazy ;-)), the material that I had and the final size of quilt that I wanted - big enough to cover up Dad on the sofa.
This ended up being the biggest quilt I have made, easily big enough for a single bed I think.
I used one side of a double duvet cover for the backing and the wadding is Quilter's Dream green batting, made from 16 recycled plastic bottles.
I quilted in straight lines along the zigzags, about 1/4 inch from each seam using two different variegated threads (Gutermann hand and machine 100% quilting thread), one blue/red/yellow and the other yellow/peach/orange.
Dad had seen this quilt at several stages, so I wanted to include a few surprises. I cut out some small appliques of motifs relevant to Dad's life, our initials (5 'A's), two cats (my parents have 2 cats now, and have had several over the years and two dogs (based ont their dog and mine) and some anchors (Dad was in the Royal Navy for 22 years and is still a member of the RNA/Vets club now). I used bondaweb to attach these to the back of the quilt and then used free motion quilting to go around the shape leaving a subtle motif quilted 'hidden'on the front of the quilt.
Dad was very happy when I gave him the quilt, then a few hours later he phoned me, thrilled, after my mum had discovered the quilting/motifs, he felt that it made it very personal to him. And of course, he had memories of the shirts, who gave them to him, where he brought them, where he wore them etc.
I was a bit worried about the shirts not being 100% cotton, but they are so soft from wear, and, after all, wasn't this how quilts were originally made? Recycling bits of worn out clothes?

1 comment:

Louisa said...

I love the collection of fabrics! What an awesome quilt!