About four years ago I made my dad a quilt for his 70th birthday. I was a new quilter and had this crazy idea that I would get some different novelty fabrics that represented different sides of him and somehow work them all together into the perfect quilt. Oh, how naïve I was! I had fish fabric, camper fabric, Route 66 fabric, and coffee-themed fabric. None of it went together. I cut it up and tried to work it into some kind of cohesive patchwork. As his birthday loomed, I was increasingly unhappy with what I was creating.
Painful though it was, I tossed it all in a bag and headed back to the quilt store to start over. And it was painful! We were a single income family and tossing aside over $100 worth of fabric was not an easy decision. But I wanted to create a quilt that I was proud of and that he would love. And what I was creating just wasn’t it.
I ended up finding a simple churn dash block quilt pattern. I have never cared for that block, but it turns out that I love it when it’s set on point! My dad is from the south, so Civil War Reproduction fabrics seemed a good choice. From there it came together easily. It was done in time for his birthday and I enjoy using that quilt every time I visit him.
But this is not that quilt. This is a much smaller version of that quilt, made from the scraps. It started out as a quilt guild challenge quilt that I never completed. The top has been done forever, but I made the decision to hand quilt it and for some reason it has been languishing in my sewing basket for a couple of years. I am on a mission to finish up my WIPs and this was an easy finish. I love the lipstick border on it. I’m not one to put borders on quilts, but I especially love this one. The best part is that it reminds me of my dad whenever I see it. I’m not sure if I’m going to leave it on the coffee table or hang it over my bed. We live in earthquake territory and if it came down in an earthquake, at least no one would get hurt.
So, what happened to that bag of novelty fabrics? I pulled them out a few months ago and picked the Route 66 fabric to be the center of an Ohio Star block and am making my dad another quilt for his 75th birthday this year. And I might sneak that fish print onto a pieced back.