I mentioned to the Mom that, if she didn't mind, could I make her 2 older children quilts also? I didn't want the new baby to have *all* the attention, ya know. She was delighted.
So, after finding out the 2 kids' favorite colors, I set to work on the boy's quilt. It was quite a struggle finding a layout because most of what I have is traditionally pieced or applique and not really suited for a lap quilt for a young boy. The recipient is 12 years old. He's not going to care about the piecing layout or if the quilt is appliqued; he'll just want a quilt that will be cozy. So, I didn't want to get real involved in some complicated laout. Eventually, I used the "Skinny Strips" pattern that a quilting buddy had shown us. What I liked about this layout is that it allows the FABRIC to be the star of the show ... and that turned out to be very important.
As for the fabrics, that was a real adventure in itself. The boy's favorite color is pink. Apparently a lot of his friends on his soccer team like pink also .. there are pink cleats, pink shoe laces, you name it. When the boy broke his arm a while ago, he opted for a pink cast. (It doesn't concern his Mom or Dad; they don't have a clue why the preference. Dunno. Doesn't matter.) Just to be sure I understood correctly, I asked him, "Pink? As in P-I-N-K?" (umm .. duh. like "pink as in b-l-u-e"????) He said 'yep' and I said, "all righty then!". :-)
He also liked the SF Giants and the SF 49er's. The Giants' colors are orange, black and white. ORANGE! Geez, ORANGE!. The Niners' colors are red, gold and black. O.M.G. How on EARTH was I going to incorporate all those colors and themes? I am SO doomed.
Then I found the focus fabric: flannel *pink* camo with skulls. It is absolutely AWESOME. It has several shades of pink plus black.
I discovered some 49er logo fabric: the black in the background coordinates well with the black in the camo and the gold in the logo is discrete.
I opted for a completely different idea for the Giants: they are represented by a generic baseball fabric, which fortuitously came on a hot pink background. All the pieces fell into place!
The backing was pink plaid fleece. I didn't use any batting because fleece all by itself is warm enough here in California. If I had used batting also, it really would have been too warm to use.
Then came the quilting; another big quandry for me. This is supposed to be MANLY quilt. I can't do feathers and flowers and swirly stuff for a 12 year old boy. Sheesh.
Then it hit me .. geometrics! Of course!
A definite departure from my usual swirls and flowers and certainly outside my comfort zone, but I was game. So, I came up with a basic geometric line design that isn't too dense. It involved blue marker dots to provide a placement guide and lots of ruler work, but once I had thought of the overall plan, it was relatively problem-free quilting.
The label was the next part of the project. I have a nifty alter-ego I use on my pirate labels. (In my mind, I defintely look like this person!) Because the size is on the large size, it needs a little bit of quilting inside to hold it to the quilt. But .. I have never really cared for the look of the quilting inside the label.
Then I found some fusible-backed fabric designed to be run through a printer. Well, well. That would solve all my problems, wouldn't it? I could write my message on the label, fuse it to the backing and the whole thing would be securely adhered! Awesome!
Ummmm .. not so fast there, Lone Ranger. I *should* have done a test piece with the fusible-backed fabric. What I found out, much to my dismay, is that this stuff is really, *really*, REALLY stiff. It'd be great on wall-hangings, but I was really ANNOYED with myself once it was fused to the backing of the quilt. There was *no way* to remove it, either.
But WAIT! That's not all! Oh no ... the mishap continued. I swear, I really miss my mind, ya know? This is a FUSIBLE fabric. You need to use a HOT iron to melt the fusing to the fabric. I know that. I've used fusible webbing many times before. It's not like this was a new concept for me. So, what was the problem? Well, the backing wasn't a cotton fabric ... it was a polyester fleece. As in, fleece can't take hot irons. That kind of fleece.
It was just a LITTLE too late when I realized this. ::sigh:: I lifted the iron from the label and saw the shiney imprint of the top of the iron at the top of the label. ::sigh:: What an incredible doofus I am.
There was no question that this idiotic mistake needed to be corrected .. but how? I couldn't undo the ironing part; the fleece was already ruined. BUT WAIT!! Desperate times call for desperate measures! I could do the old Watergate thing ... cover it up! :-)
And that's exactly what I did ... I used leftover fabric to put multiple borders on the label .. wide enough to cover up the messed-up fleece. Man, you can't even tell there's a screw-up underneath. It even looks like I *designed* it that way! Score! :-)
Somewhere in my Internet wanderings, I came across a Very Nifty Idea on a quilter's blog for putting a message on the binding. After you've folded the binding in half (wrong sides together), you use the built-in alphabet in your sewing machine to embroider a saying or the name onto the binding so that it shows up on the right side when the quilt is bound! What a fantastic idea! Unfortunately, even though I *KNOW* I printed off the blog page for my future reference, I can't find it anywhere. I must have really named it something strange because nothing is coming up using reasonable search terms. If anyone is aware of such a blog entry, I sure would appreciate knowing so I can give proper credit.
After a practice piece (yes, I learned my lesson!), I stitched "Jacob is Awesome" on the binding. It's very subtle; I'm willing to bet he might never find it. :-)
To finish the entire ensemble, I made a pillow case to coordinate.
Fortunately, I had enough of the flannel camo to be used as the body of the pillow case. The 49er fabric was the band and the baseball fabric was the accent strip. All in all, a pretty snazzy job.
I was very, very pleased to see that Jacob appeared to like his pink, sports themed quilt and pillow case.