The most popular post in my 10 years of blogging was about the restoration of my young niece's Blankie in 2007. Though comments have been closed on it for some time, I still get email about it! Eight years later, Rachel is preparing to head to college this fall, so I decided to make her a quilt for her graduation.
If you recall, in December I wrote a review of Sujata Shah's fabulous book, Cultural Fusion Quilts. I was really excited about the concepts in the book and wanted to revisit them ~ this quilt was the perfect opportunity. I chose the zig-zag design for both its ease of construction and its graphic possibilities and then started pulling large, bright prints from the stash.
If you're familiar with Sujata's block, you may have noticed I changed it to a nine-patch from its original sixteen-patch formation. This was because of my desired finished quilt size, 60"x72", which would neatly use 5x6 12" squares. If I used the original sixteen-patch block, the graphic prints I was using would have been chopped down too small for my preference. This choice, however, was a bit time consuming because while Sujata's blocks can be set side-by-side to get the zig-zag effect, I needed two different block sets to achieve the same graphic result.
It's been a long time since I made a utility quilt this size and I loved every minute of working on this one! The blocks went together quickly and I pin-basted for the first time ~ it's official, I'm a dinosaur! ~ before machine quilting it.
First, I stitched in the ditch around the block edges, vertically and then horizontally.
Then, I stitched a line through each light value zig-zag course, diagonally. My plan was to stop here as the three layers were more than sufficiently secured, but I thought it would look nicer with the dark zig-zags stitched as well and I was right. Because of the slightly wonky nature of the design, no marking was necessary ~ it was very enjoyable to see this coming together!
I chose this wonderful purple Tula Pink stripe for the binding. You may not have noticed, but one of my design decisions was to avoid any white or very light unpatterned colors. I'm not such a dinosaur that I don't remember college days and I wanted this quilt to be used with abandon ~ comfortable on a floor, around food, etc without worrying about occasional stains.
I loved this quilt so much that it was a little difficult to part with ~ wouldn't it look great on my computer room couch? Of course, I couldn't wait to gift it to Rachel and she seemed pretty excited when she opened it graduation weekend.
This is my favorite shot of the weekend. After she opened her gifts, I commented that the first graduation quilt I ever made was for my brother, her Dad. My nephew jumped up, exclaiming, 'We still have it, Aunt Jan!" He dashed off and came back with it, looking not unlike Rachel's original Blankie ~ patchwork side recovered, new binding attached, only the backing original. Thirty-two years later, well-used, the comfy cover to grab when watching tv down in the family room. That's why we make quilts, right?