Monday, May 18, 2009

The Cheater Quilt

When I graduated from high school (yes that's me above), my grandfather knitted me this blanket to take away to college. He taught himself to knit years before and for my very special blanket, he used a picture from a coloring book to create his own pattern of Tinkerbell (brilliant, right?). I was the 2nd grandchild to receive one (my older sis got a Pooh Bear 4 years before) and my brother received the last (Cleveland Indians...Wahoo Wah!)

We have since lost my grandfather to Alzheimer's and he is always missed and remembered fondly as an amazing man. Perhaps I connect most with his creative abilities. He was a Marine who taught himself to not only knit, but to play the piano and paint. So I wanted to carry on this special tradition. Knit, I cannot....but quilt? I could try!

So as a gift for the first high school graduate in my family since my brother in 2001, my cousin is getting this: I dub it The Cheater Quilt!

I had the best intentions to piece and quilt but am under a bit of a time constraint and trying to actually quilt with my machine proved very difficult. But with practice I will get better. So instead, I made the front one color (fabric A) and the back another (fabric B). I had to do the math (I consider myself a "word person" and I had multiple trips to the fabric store) with 44" wide fabric I got 4 yards of A and four yards of B. I split both fabric A and fabric B into for pieces measuring 22"x72" and stitched them together to create a front and a back that measured 88"x72"....almost exact to the 72"x90" twin batting! Very important....get a good iron and press your seams. It just makes everything lay better....sewing 101, I know.

So actually quilting this thing was not easy and after attempting one 9" design I was done. Instead, I tied little hot pink ties all over the top and it looks quite cute! To do this, use a tapestry needle and yarn...make sure the knots are square knots!! Otherwise with wear and tear, they'll come undone. For those of you who did not spend years in the girl scouts/boy scouts/traveling the world on a sailboat, learn to tie a square knot here.

Once all the knots are tied, it's time to bind. I needed 2.5 yards of fabric C to make sure the binding was without seams. I split the 44" fabric into 8 strips of 5.5 inches each. With wrong sides together I sewed them into 4 strips and then folded them in half again. Lay all layers of fabric and batting inbetween and stitch. I actually stitched the bottom and the top of the binding...again, it just made for nicer finishing.

For the initial block, I traced a computer print out onto fabric C and hand embroidered using a back stitch. The block was then stitched on using a small zigzag stitch on my machine. The effect, I think, is quite cute. I'm sending it to Cleveland tomorrow and I can't wait until she gets it!


  1. I remember that blanket and I love what you did with the quilt. You are so talented, it's disgusting and a great writer, gaaaaaahhh :) Hugs

  2. I love the quilt! Somehow I never received a blanket from grandpa... How did I miss out? My request was too late.