Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Grandpa's Blanket

I love blankets – all different kinds whether they are handmade quilts or store bought fleece or old downy comforters. A good blanket is always dependable and comforting – like a good hug from a friend or family member.  I find the process of making a quilt to be the same – dependable and comforting.  Describing the quilting process this way may seem odd to some but I enjoy taking something apart, cutting it into tiny pieces, and painstakingly putting it back together again into something new and different (and maybe even a little meaningful). 

One of my favorite steps is taking something like this:

And making a nice neat pile like this:

And eventually, all those neatly cut pieces are pieced together into a finished product.  I'm calling my first finish (and first link to Freshly Pieced WIP) “Grandpa’s Blanket” as that is what my son has named the quilt. "Grandpa's Blanket" helped me reach a couple of quilting firsts -- this is the first quilt I attempted to do any quilting “outside the ditch” as well as attempt a real binding.   

More importantly, I made the quilt as a way for me and my son to remember my dad who recently passed away after an 8-year battle with cancer.   My dad helped to create the foundation I have built my life on by teaching me to accomplish my goals piece by piece.  When I was young, he always told me when things were overwhelming to make a list of what needed to be done, and knock each step down one by one. In addition to the strength he showed me, he taught me there is no better way than a hug to show someone they are safe and loved. 

The front of "Grandpa's Blanket" was made from 20 different shirts of my dad's – and now that I am thinking of it this way – it’s almost like twenty different hugs all sewn together as one.

The back of the blanket is an old airplane blanket from a trip I took to China when I was 15 (almost 15 years ago).  Even before being diagnosed with cancer, my dad and I deemed this his “fighting blanket” and it became our go to blanket to cure all ills (from being cold to fighting cancer).   

I think my dad would like the idea of the front of the quilt serving as a reminder of the comfort and support I could always find in him... while the back will serve as a reminder of the courage and strength he showed and taught me. 



  1. Hi new bloggger!
    What a great idea to make this quilt for your boy. I love the quilt also because of the story behind it. I love your description of blankets:dependable, comforting like a hug from someone dear.

  2. Oh how fun! love the theme, the colors, it's all good. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Welcome to blogland! What a great way to surround yourself with love from your Dad! Nice job!

  4. This has to be one of the most beautiful I have seen in a while! You have done a wonderful job...it's perfect! Enjoy it!