Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Grandmas and Quilts Just Go Together

I love, love, love my grandma!  She lives in West Virginia and I'm in California.  She's super feisty and is always doing something!  She is always on the go, keeping busy, doing things an 89 year old shouldn't.  She even travels to CA a couple of times a year to visit with our family. She just had her 89th birthday and unfortunately she wasn't feeling very well.  She has a very bad back and will need to rest a bit.  I wanted to send her something special as an early Christmas gift that she would be able to use while she recovered.  

My own mom has been crazy busy making beautiful quilts for all six grandkids.  She always makes each kiddo something special for Christmas.  This year she went a little nuts and bit off quite a bit.  However, as of 2 days ago, she is finished with all of them!  Not only did she make each of the grandkids a special quilt, each quilt is made specifically with each childs' interest in mind.  So for my three kids she made an owl themed quilt for my daughter, a puppy themed quilt for my oldest son and an elephant themed quilt for my little one...all of these things are their FAVORITES!  I've been hearing about these quilts for months.  She's been telling me all of the details and texting me photos of everything.  I decided that it would be fun for me to attempt to make one of them for my grandma too!  I didn't want to bother my mom since she already had her hands full (even though I know she wouldn't consider it a bother) so I decided to try to make one on my own.  And guess what!  I totally did it and it's super cute!!!  I used this pattern ~ McCalls Crafts 3901.  

I am just an OK sewer.  But I have been branching out and I've surprised myself at what I am actually able to do.  I stick to basics but this quilt actually is very basic.  It's a ton of cutting, sewing straight lines and clipping a bunch of seams.  

Here it is...nearly finished.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo after I washed it.  Washing it makes all of the ends around the squares fray and get shaggy.  It looks way better so you'll have to use your imagination for that.  Sorry...

I started off with a really pretty peacock fabric and used it for my starting point.  My grandparents had a farm and they had peacocks.  Growing up we always had peacock feathers in our home and my brother and I loved finding them on the farm.  Once I saw the beautiful peacock fabric, I knew I wanted to do this for her.  In fact, one of my cousins named her Grandma Peacock.

My next job was to find 7 other fabrics that would coordinate with the peacock fabric.  I was lucky enough to find 2 companion fabrics, then I just found fabrics that had similar colors and patterns.  After everything was cut out I did an assembly line.  I sewed rows together first, then went back to sew the "X" on for the "quilting" and after that I sewed my rows together.  

Here are a few close ups (pre-washing) to show the different peacocks.  I bought slightly more fabric in order to have them centered.  

There were 4 different peacocks total.  Again...use your imagination.  The raw edges fray after washing and it really brings the quilt to life!

I'm not sure if this will make sense or not, but when I was selecting my fabrics I tried to find 2 that kind of went together.  If you look in this photo you can see the fabrics above and below the peacock are similar in color and pattern size.  My goal was to have the quilt feel balanced since I was using so much pattern.

The McCalls pattern tells you how to set your squares out.  The only thing I did differently is I used quilt batting between the layers rather than interfacing.  I wanted to give the quilt some weight.

I got it shipped off to my grandma and my cousin was nice enough to film her opening it.  She absolutely loved it.  Here she is proudly displaying her new's backward buy hey, she's 89 years old and if she wants to wear it this way, I'm not telling her any differently!

After Christmas I'll be sure to post photos of the quilts my mom made for the kids.  They are SO good!

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