Sunday, January 11, 2015

A First and A Success: A Real Man's Quilt

In all my years of teaching I can't tell you the number of times I've heard the boys in my classes say: "Men don't sew. They especially don't want any handmade quilt!"   I can't wait to show them examples of guys who sew, and who sew quilts!  One of the last quilt shows I went to, in Middleburgh NY,  had a collection of quilts sewn by men and the room they were in was called THE MAN CAVE. It highlighted quilts all made by men. I think that's great. Here are a couple of their quilts. Both are very different and not typically what you would think a quilt looks like, but this is just two of many.

Now on to my purpose for this post. To the young boys in my classes, this next quilt might be more to their liking. My son's girl, Kelly, a very ambitious full-time college student, decided she wanted to make a special gift for her brother. I knew she was looking for some special printed fabrics awhile ago, and knew about the gift for her brother, but when I saw the beginnings of her quilt well into December I was floored. She wanted to make it for a Christmas gift! Had she ever made a quilt before? No. Oh boy. I didn't see her for awhile, but knew she was really busy. No.... really, really, really busy. In the weeks before Christmas she learned a few things about quilting from a neighbor and was determined to get it done in time.

The beginning of the quilt show the cut pieces on the ironing board. Below you can see the
pieces sewn together. In the pictures to the right they've been cut and sewn into a different design. 

Check out the fabrics? Can you see the country theme?  And that's my grand puppy, Buddy! He's a good dog.  He really wants to help. Although in the picture above, he was just too tired to lend a paw.

Looks like the border has been sewn together and plans are underway for the focal point. That's right, Chevy trucks are the big thing around here.

Kelly has certainly been very busy. The stress of cramming for finals and then for the holidays, especially when you want to make something personal is starting to show.  Her tutor helped her create the Chevy symbol and quilt a John Deere border around it. It was then appliqued to the tire rim fabric.  I think Kelly did an awesome job of picking out fabric that were representative of her brother's interests.  Isn't that was quilts are all about?

Here she is learning by doing.  Now comes the sandwich: quilt top, batting and backing.
Buddy is testing this time to see how comfy it is.

Merry Christmas brother.
Here's the finished product and Jeffrey with a big smile on his face. Now that is the true symbol of success. The quilt came out just wonderful. I think the black backing and border really help highlight the colors and chevy symbol. 

Now I ask the boys in my classes: "So what do you think about this quilt?"  I've actually showed some of them a few of the pictures. They say, "Can we make that instead of pillow?" Oh, no. What did I do to myself?!

At the end of each blog post, I try to think of a few lessons learned while creating a project. For thisparticular one, well, I guess there is some; but for a  first time quilt without any real sewing knowledge, the lesson is: 

If you can dream it, you can do it! Kelly wanted to do it and she did. FANTASTIC, Kelly. I am so proud of her. And Buddy, of course. 


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