Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Dad's Quilt

Front of quilt with panel of birds and berries
We planned to go to Ohio the end of July for a niece's wedding and a couple of family reunions. I had picked up some fabric a couple years ago at the Rusty Barn Craft and Sewing Festival that is held every year at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in January that made me think of my dad. I had already made a quilt for mom and gave it to her a few years ago, so I've wanted to make a quilt for Dad. I decided I needed to get this quilt done for my dad, as he's not getting any younger (in his late 80's).  I worked very hard the beginning of July to finish his quilt. I'm glad to say I did get it completed and was able to surprise him with it while visiting with him in Ohio. I hadn't told Mom about it, either, so she couldn't let the cat out of the bag.

Back of quilt with panel of  birds and fruit
My dad watches birds around his house and has a couple feeders set out. When I'm home visiting with him, he's always pointing out the various birds.He also enjoys gardening and has a huge vegetable garden, as well as, several fruit trees, bushes, and vines. He grows plums, peaches, kiwi fruit, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, and mulberries.

I found two different lines of fabric that both had birds and fruit on them.  Since I couldn't decide which one I liked the best, I got both of them. I bought the main panel of each line and a coordinate to go with the panel, not knowing how much I needed, as I wasn't sure what design I would use for the quilt. One panel has a larger frame of birds and berries, surrounded by smaller frames of birds and berries with a border at the top and bottom. The other panel is a latticework of birds and fruits like apples, plums, and pears. The birds are typical of birds found in Ohio, like robins, bluebirds, jays, chickadees, doves, and goldfinches.

I ended up using both lines of fabric, making a reversible quilt. I used the panels in the center and surrounded them with borders until I created a nice size lap quilt (about 55" x 70"). The coordinate created the outer border for each side. I had to really piece the front one, as I didn't buy as much of this coordinate as I did of the one for the back. I just barely had enough fabric! Phew!! I was sweating bullets with that one. Since it'd been 2-3 years since I purchased the fabric, I seriously doubted being able to find more of it, even online. Finally, I quilted it with an allover pattern made of swirls and leaves from a design I learned in a Craftsy class on free motion quilting by Angela Walters. The label has a hand-drawn cardinal in a tree branch, as cardinals are the birds that Dad brings to my attention most often when I'm there. He has a pair that frequent the trees and bird feeder in his back yard.

Dad with "Birds of a Feather" quilt. 55"x70".
Cotton fabrics, wool batting. Front of quilt.

Dad showing back of "Birds of a Feather" quilt. 55"x70"

My dad was very surprised with his quilt! He is enjoying using it while sitting in his chair watching TV in the evenings or taking a nap during the day. I'm glad I was able to make him something from the heart and quilted with love! My dad means a lot to me!!

No comments:

Post a Comment