Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mama Makes a Quilt {Again}

I had so much fun making quilts for the kids last year, and I really loved giving the kids something I had poured time, effort--and yes, love--into. So I decided that even though I stressed myself out sewing to the very last minute last year, I was going to make something for the kids again. I wasn't planning on doing another quilt set; but then I had a eureka-type moment when I remembered that Ryan had a quilt idea when Reed was a baby that never came to fruition: a dot-matrix style Tecmo Bowl guy quilt. And, since Star Wars VII was coming out right at Christmas time, I thought I could take the dot-matrix idea and turn it into a dot-matrix Star Wars quilt!

I found a pattern for a friendship bracelet that suited my idea nicely. Originally, I was going to make one large blanket with four Star Wars guys on it: Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader. I bought and cut allllllllll that fabric, then started sewing. Once I had Luke's quilt front sewn together, I realized that each guy was going to be big enough to be his own kid-sized quilt. Han Solo got cut from the list (sorry, Han), and I decided to make three small quilts instead of one huge quilt.

I sewed and sewed and sewed. My squares were only 2", each row has 17 squares, and the quilt is 36 squares long--so putting each quilt top together was a lot of work! Finally, though, I had three quilt tops. Next, I went in search of backing fabric. We made the 45-minute pilgrimage to JoAnn's because, though I do love Hobby Lobby in general, their fabric section is quite lacking. JoAnn's was like a fabric Mecca compared to Hob Lob. I honestly was a touch overwhelmed by the WALLS of fabric. Eventually, though, I found the Star Wars flannel and realized that to back my quilts with Star Wars fabric would cost $40 (!!!!!). I walked slowly away, holding my $40 fabric, and ran into the clearance fabric table that was fortuitously right next to the Star Wars fabric. I found a cool pattern that looked Star Wars-y that was on sale for only $3 a yard--a mere $15 for my entire project! Sold. I grabbed the fabric and waited in the very long line to get my fabric cut.

The next obstacle was the tying issue. I don't know how to machine quilt, and I didn't want to mess up my quilts by trying. I also didn't want to spend the small fortune I'd pay to have the quilts professionally quilted. Tying the quilts with yarn would be distracting to the pattern. Finally, Ryan came up with the idea to tie the quilts with embroidery floss, with the tied ends coming out on the back side. This method also posed a problem, in that I had to have the quilts face-up so I could see where on the body I was tying--but had to tie the knot underneath the quilt. Tying took way longer than planned, and again, I was literally tying quilts until the night before we left!

We once again let the kids open my "secret project" on Christmas Eve. We pulled the presents out while Lila finished breakfast and the boys were being so goofy with their boxes while they were waiting, as you'll see in the photos below. Finally, she finished and they all ripped in to the paper. They were so sweet and excited about their quilts, and they've even been using the quilts since. That's a win to me!

Next year, though, I really need to find a new type of project!

{Asher is Dark Side and Reed is Light Side, so the obvious choices for their blankets were, respectively, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Lila has always loved Chewbacca, so that's what I went with for her!}

1 comment:

Ross January Sadler said...

Oh my goodness. That is so cute! You did such a great job!