As of today, I’m 100% better after losing most of this week to the worst food poisoning I’ve ever had. It was so bad that I considered going to the hospital more than once! I’ll spare you the details except to tell you the silver lining, which is that I lost four pounds this week. Oy.
Let’s back up to Monday, before I ate the fateful cheeseburger that did me in:
I went out to Jersey to visit my dad who’s in town for a few weeks. We had plans to eat lunch together and then do a quick photo shoot. I brought my new lace shawl design (now officially named Loida) and the Anthro quilt to shoot.
As you would probably expect, my dad generally looks at whatever I’m crafting and says “that’s great” without really paying all that much attention, since he doesn’t care much about knitting AND he thinks everything I do is wonderful anyway . . . so imagine how surprised I was when I pulled out the quilt and he almost burst out crying!
While snuggling under the quilt my dad tells me that his mother, who I never met because she died when he was only 16, was a quilter! And not only that, but she used every little scrap of fabric available (they were very, very poor) to make one big quilt for each of her six children. Those quilts were like binkies to each kid, and were never shared or traded. My dad had his quilt until he was 20 years old, when he moved from Brazil to the US and couldn’t bring much with him.
As he examined details of my quilt he kept remembering details he’d forgotten about his, like how my grandmother always wore floral prints and how the “batting” was made from old worn out blankets. I am still kind of dumbstruck by the whole thing. Not only did I learn something about my grandmother that I never knew before, but my dad clearly has a very emotional connection to quilting that even he didn’t know he had!
Needless to say after all that, I’m making my dad a quilt.
I bought fat quarters of several random prints, so that the finished quilt would have a very “scrappy” look without being too busy. Each of the fabrics I picked has a specific reason: the yellow because it’s my mom’s favorite color, the numbers because my dad is a big money/finance guy, the green check because it looks just like a shirt he loves. I made sure to include some flower prints to remind us of his mom, too. The collection is very random but all in all I think it works, what do you think?
After figuring out the fabrics, I decided to do simple squares, and went with 7″ squares since that’s my dad’s favorite number (I realize that they end up 6.5″ after seaming, but too bad, it’s the intent that counts!). With some of the scraps I quickly pieced 4-patch blocks to add a little more interest, and then I started placing the squares on my design wall to figure out how they should go. I ended up pulling out one of the prints I started with because it was too prominent, and what you see above is what I ended up with (minus a square that fell off the wall just as I was shooting this picture!). I’m pretty pleased!
The whole top is now seamed and the flannel backing has been pre-shrunk, so the next step is basting and then quilting. I’m planning to quilt it in circles, which I’ve been thinking about ever since I saw it on the Film in the Fridge blog, so that will be a nice new technique to learn — my first time quilting something that isn’t straight lines!
Oh and speaking of new things, next Tuesday I start working part time at City Quilter. I know you totally saw that one coming ;o)