Sunday, December 20, 2015

The 24-Hour Quilt

Thirty-plus years ago, when I was pregnant with our first child, I made a little quilt for the new baby.  At that time, it was rare for parents to know the sex of their baby before its birth, so I used red fabrics to make a bright, gender neutral quilt.  Simple pattern, six-inch squares and a diagonal pattern, tying the layers together with yarn, nothing fancy ... made to be used.  Use it we did, for all three of our daughters.

Daughter #1.  Hard to imagine that this little cherub is all grown up, with two children of her own.


When Drew (grandson #1) was born, he used this quilt, too.  Caleb (grandson #2) has it now, and he takes it along with him everywhere he goes.  It's a bit threadbare now .... the fact that Caleb picks at it has accelerated the decline.  

This picture is about two years old.  The old quilt is a lot more worn right now.


Because the old quilt is now little more than a rag, I decided to make a new quilt for Caleb for Christmas.  Like the original, I wanted it to be simple ... shouldn't take too long to make a small quilt like I had in mind.  A quick trip to the fabric store, and this is what I decided ...

Rainbow colors, in a mix of patterns ...


Six-inch squares, with a diagonal pattern, and half squares on the border.


As with most important projects, I had help.

Dorothy holds down the layers, as I sandwich the top, batting, and backing.


Pinning the layers, with Maggie's help.


I used yarn to tie the layers together, just like I did with the original.

Alice and Maggie supervise while I mark where the yarn ties will go.


Four knots per square.


A quilt hoop helps hold the layers straight while I tie them.


With all the ties in place, I trimmed the batting and backing, then used the sewing machine to attach the binding.





It took a couple of hours to carefully fold the binding to the back and stitch it in place by hand.  Dorothy kept me company while I worked.



After a quick trip through the washer and dryer, the quilt was finished.  



24 hours, start to finish.  I even surprised myself with how well this came together and how little time it took to make it.

I know that Caleb will love it ... but I don't hold any hope that he will agree to replace his old quilt with this one.  My vote is that he will now carry both quilts wherever he goes.

24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. I am pretty pleased with the way this new one came out.

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  2. Lovely story about the original quilt. I made my babies quilts and knitted and sewed all kinds of things. I think the new quilt is just perfect and will be loved!

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    1. Another example of our parallel lives between you and I, Julie dear. I made so many of our daughters’ clothes, most of their prom and homecoming dresses, coats and toys for dogs, home items, and so much more. A fabric store is a wonderland … so many wonderful possibilities!

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  3. It's perfect!! You make it look so simple, but just having done one myself for the first time for a friend, I know that it takes talent, something I lack. Mine turned out pretty well, and yours I know will be a keepsake and treasure for the years ahead!

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    1. Sewing squares takes a bit of precision ... I don't know about talent. This new quilt should last for a long time, unless Caleb picks at it. :)

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  4. Love that the old quilt has been so cherished through the years! Bet that new one will be, too!

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    1. We have so many pictures of all five babies with this quilt. It was a go-to item to keep them warm, as a place to play on the floor, and as a comfort item. I hope this new one fills that role and that the old one can be retired with what little dignity remains.

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  5. What a sweet post about a little old quilt, and a little new one. You did a wonderful job with both of them. I love the yarn ties.

    Happy Christmas dear Connie ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thanks! Tying a quilt is a whole lot faster than quilting it. I probably could have quilted this by machine, but I prefer some sort of done-by-hand way to secure the layers ... hand-sewing is my favorite, but that is SO time consuming. Not something to be done with this one, as I started it with eleven days to go till Christmas.

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  6. Where would we be without our helpers!? The quilt is beautiful - so is the old, loved one. Merry Christmas

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    1. Without these helpers, projects would be completed faster and easier ... but without the company and the comedy relief. What I couldn't show you was how Dorothy was chasing my hands across the quilt as I smoothed the layers before I pinned things together. Never a dull moment here at the 'Manor.

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  7. I also made quilts for my grandsons. You did a very quick job, I'm not so fast in sewing, haha. Certainly Caleb will love it but, I know from experience, they never give up their old and worn blanket for a new one. So handy and cute to have these furry friends around when you are busy, love it.

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    1. Doesn't matter how fast you are. I know that your grandsons' quilts are treasured. When Caleb opened his present yesterday, he knew right away that this new one was like his "red blankie" (has he calls it.) He agreed that he will put away the old one, but I doubt that will truly happen. As long as the old one holds a relatively rectangular shape, that is.

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  8. I love both the original and the new one! I will follow your example on tying when I make a quilt for my future niece/nephew in spring. I've done hand quilting and, to date, I've made one--yes, that's right--one quilt. LOL Hand tying would probably increase my production. ;-) Love your helpers!

    Merry Christmas!
    Shirley

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    1. As long as you use polyester batting, you can get away with tying a quilt and not have the stuffing get all bunchy after it's washed a few times. Caleb's quilt used the lo-loft type, so it's softer and not as thick.

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  9. So cute! And so special to have something made by a treasured loved one! I'll bet the grandkids absolutely love coming to your house!

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    1. Grandkids know where all the good stuff is here. Snacks and cereal are in a lower cupboard where they have access to them, toys are in an armoire in the family room, and up in 'their' bedroom, and we are always very happy to have them.

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  10. Wow, I LOVE it!
    and I love the story of the old quilt too.
    I'm crazy about quilts but I just don't have the patience to try something like that and even if I did, I know I'd mess it up! LOL!
    Love your helpers! I have a few of those myself. ;)
    xo

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    1. Quilts have always had a special allure for me. As a child, I had a quilt made by my great grandmother on my bed. I buy old quilts whenever I find them at a good price, no matter whether I need another one or not.

      No such thing as messing up a quilt. However it comes out is okay, especially with one for a child like this one. It's gonna get 'loved' like the old one did.

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  11. My grandma always used to tie her quilts, too. I still have two of hers, both made out of old overcoats. One definitely needs the back side replaced, as it looks a little like Caleb's original quilt! I don't think the fronts will ever wear out. I'm not sure what fabric those overcoats were made of but they seem indestructible!

    I love the colours you chose for the new quilt, and I'm sure it will be loved just as much as the original. :)

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    1. The only intact fabric on the old red quilt is the gingham that I used for the back and for some of the squares on the front. The other three patterns of calico are the ones that self-destructed. All that's left of those fabrics are the seams where they are joined together. I had no idea that gingham would be so durable.

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  12. What a glorious quilt, Connie, it is sure to become another heirloom. Happy holidays.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you! As expected, Caleb loved the colors ... but it was our daughter that truly appreciated the fact that this little quilt is a one-of-a-kind creation. I don't make stuff with that thought in mind, though. I mostly do what I can to make something that matches the idea in my mind.

      Heirloom? Is that another word for worn out and loved to death? (just kidding)

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