Sunday, September 29, 2013

A masculine quilt

I have a new finish to show you.

I want to give a quilt to my nephew for Christmas this year.  Last year, it was my turn to give his brother a Christmas present, and I gave him this quilt.
This is not the new finish, this is last year's Christmas gift.
Keep reading for this year's Christmas gift!
It's made with upcycled Hawaiian shirts I got from a friend whose husband stopped working at Trader Joe's, where Hawaiian shirts were his uniform. I wondered if a quilt was a dorky gift for a young man in college, but, apparently, it was well received, and is well used.

For this year's, and this nephew's offering, I started out by asking my hive-mates in the 3x6 bee to make quilt blocks for me in autumn colors on black or gray backgrounds. the bold colors were a stretch for some of my partners, but they came through with some striking, powerful blocks. It was a good head start on a manly quilt.
Nope, this isn't it, either.
These blocks are on hold for another day,

Then I became part of a newly-formed online bee we call Stars in Their Eyes, and I changed my mind about what I wanted to make for Alex. For my month in the bee, my bee-mates made the most gorgeous feather blocks from Anna Maria Horner's feather bed tutorial.

I love their blocks, and happily made more to complete a quilt top that I thought my nephew would like a lot.

I took the quilt top to my lqs to get advice on how to quilt it. As we discussed ideas, my advisor wondered if the purple feather might be too feminine for my nephew. Of course, Alex is more mature and worldly than that, but that comment was enough for me to justify keeping this quilt top for myself. I love it so much!

Aha! New plan! I had these blocks, some of the first I'd ever made when I first started quilting, and from the first online tutorials and quilt-along I ever participated in.

They were made using the same batch of Hawaiian shirts I used for nephew Christopher's quilt. The linen was found in a big bolt at the thrift store. I like that the two brothers' quilts relate to each other.

I put the blocks together with a beautiful plaid fabric my sister Laura gave me a few years ago from her overflowing stash. I love the beach-y looking blocks with the mountain-y plaid. The backing is a plaid flannel, also from Laura's stash.

The quilt is straight-line and in-the-ditch quilted. My goal was to stabilize the linen, which has a tendency to unravel, and to enhance the fabrics and the block patterns.

The recommendations for the batting is that quilting lines be no more than 4" apart. Only one of the blocks has a center square larger than that.

To tack that block, I free-motion-quilted in the center. Because the fabrics are from Hawaiian shirts, I googled "Hawaiian symbols," and found a tribal turtle drawing that I like. I printed it, then cut out a stencil from it, and drew it onto the block with a washable marker. Then I fmqed around it.

Once washed, the ink was gone and the turtle motif is subtle. Part of me wishes I'd painted the turtle, because I like the bit of blue there, but I'm glad the turtle doesn't compete with the traditional blocks and the lovely fabrics.

The men in my house agree that it's a very handsome quilt. I'm proud to give this one to nephew Alex. I think he'll like it!



I love the quilt that you are NOW giving to your nephew and like too that it matches his brothers quilt. I am also glad your keeping the feather quilt for yourself. I absolutely love all the feathers and had so much fun making them. I am so excited how you put it all together. Are you going to do a border around it? I can see a bright border to really make it pop! However you do it, it is one striking beautiful quilt.

Needled Mom said...

That will make a fabulous gift. I LOVE the feather quilt!

Vera said...

Lovely project. The one from last year really is interesting but the others are pretty as well. Well done. BTW do you know you appear as no-reply while commenting elsewhere?

OPQuilt said...

I love stories and I love the story of this evolving quilt. I don't think I could have parted with the AMH feather quilt, so I'm glad you kept it for yourself. And I like the new tonality of the quilt in the subdued hues much better than the bold oranges and blacks, although they are very striking.

Fun story, and beautiful quilt!


Cristine said...

Another masterpiece...beautiful details Linda