Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jackson's Quilt

One of Jackson's Christmas presents was a small quilt. It was probably slightly smaller than a crib sized quilt. I used the firetruck fabric to make him a pair of pajama pants and a cover for a small pillow. Then I got the wild idea to attempt to make my first quilt. I learned a few lessons along the way, but I really enjoyed making the quilt and I can't wait to make another one for Summerlin!

My Grandmother (my dad's mom, whom Summerlin Grace is named in honor of - Summerlin was her maiden name and Grace was one of her favorite names) was an avid quilter - as was her mother and probably many generations before.  She made all three of her granddaughters a full size quilt for our 16th birthdays - along with quilts for many other family members.  I remember going with her to the church reception hall to assemble the "quilt sandwich" - the backing, batting, and pieced together top.  Working on Jackson's quilt brought back many memories.

I have always been appreciative of the quilt she made, but I have so much more respect for her labors now.  She pieced the quilts together by machine, but all of her quilting stitches were done by hand.  Think about that for a minute - quilts large enough for a full size bed with nothing but hand stitching.  HAND STITCHING.  Holy cow, no wonder why she worked on each one for over a year (or two).  She let each of us help select the pattern and some of the fabrics/colors.  I choose a double wedding ring pattern with pinks, greens, yellows, and blues.  I wish she were still alive today so that I could apologize for selecting such a complicated pattern.  I can't believe she willing made such an intricate quilt for me.  That is love.  Maybe I will eventually get to that level, but for now I'm happy to machine stitch.

I like to think that she is looking down on us now and smiling that the family tradition of quilting is still being carried on.  I wish she were still alive so I could call her to talk and ask her questions - but mostly so that she could share in the joy of my sweet babies.  But like I just said, I like to think that she's looking down and seeing it all.

Close view of the fabrics used and stitching.  I made this quilt entirely by machine (with the exception of a slip stitch on the binding).  The firetruck fabric is a jersey knit.  I will NEVER again attempt to quilt using any jersey knit.  It has way too much stretch in it.  I drove me crazy and no matter how careful I was, not all my corners matched up perfectly.  But, it's for a two year old and he loves it, as do I.

 View of the backside and binding.

Close view of the backside and binding.  I was very pleased with my slip stitch to finish the binding.  It took a considerable amount of time, but was still enjoyable.

The finished product.  I made the "pattern" up.  The squares are 5"x5" and the red pieces are a combination of 3"x3" squares and 3"x5" rectangles.  If I were to make this style quilt again, I would make the larger squares bigger - 6"x6" or 8"x8".  I selected the sizes I did because I had to make sure I had enough fabric.  I was avoiding another trip to the quilt store.  This was an excellent beginning quilt style, but I'm excited to try something different next!  What's your favorite style/pattern?