Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

80th birthday signature quilt

My parents will both turn 80 on their upcoming birthdays, Dad in November and Mom in January. In honor of the occasions, my brothers and I are having a celebration the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the Village where they live.

For reasons unknown, I decided we needed to make a signature quilt for them--a quilt the guests can sign or write something (short) to them. Ideally, the quilt would be made ahead of time, people would sign it at the party, and Mom and Dad could take it home with them. However, ideal seldom happens and this, instead, is a work in progress. Pieces of fabric have been sent to out-of-town guests who have requested them, to be included in the quilt, and there will be pieces at the party for those present to sign. The blocks will, unfortunately, have to be completed after the fact.

This is not quite the correct overall diagram of the quilt top--I made it larger and need to re-scan the diagram, but this one will give you the general idea. I will change the picture once I have a chance to do that. The quilt will be 11 blocks wide and 12 blocks long, making it large enough for their king-size bed. The large block in the center I will explain a bit further along.

This diagram is of the border layout.

The solid black lines between the blocks and in the border will be black-on-black rose fabric. It is difficult to see but I hope the design will show because it really is beautiful fabric.

There will be three different seven-inch square blocks used in the quilt, a butterfly, a fan, and a flower. The fabrics used for the background of the blocks are those three prints, each with a black background.

These are the fabrics and the paper-pieced pattern for the butterfly blocks. The solid blue at the top is the one guests will write on. The gold and the darker blue will be used for the other parts of the wings. The body, of course will be black. This is my working pattern and the numbers are the order in which the pieces are sewn together. The pieces numbered "1" are the signature area.

Here are the pattern and fabrics for the flowers.

And these are for the fan blocks. Several of the colors in the fan fabric are the same as ones in the flower fabric, but I did not want to use the same solid colors. Therefore, I have picked up different colors for the signature areas—a darker raspberry pink and gold so far, though I am hoping to find the slightly darker green and perhaps off-white. I would like to put the purple in but I am afraid it would be too hard to read. Actually, after I posted this, I found another fan pattern which is quite similar but will be easier to make. :o)) One of these days (after the party!), I will post the new pattern.

The large block in the center will be the equivalent of 6 blocks. This is my original drawing, which has since been revised. I enlarged the quilt to 11 X 12 blocks, which is what made the center block 6 blocks in size, but the overall idea is still the same--someday I will post that revised picture, too. The center block will be one solid piece of fabric, which I am hoping my older brother and his wife will send me from China, where they are living for the next two years. If they are able to send more fabric than that, I will find other ways to incorporate it. There will be, either written or embroidered in the center, “Happy 80th Birthday” or something to that effect, with Dad’s name and birth date on one side and Mom’s on the other.

As blocks are finished, I will also add pictures of them to this story, so please be sure to check back, though it may take a while for that. I also need to finish a quilt I am making for Dad, and it is the priority at the moment.

If you are interested in seeing Dad's quilt, there also is a posting for it on another blog I am a member of, which I invite you to peruse. The quilt is finished now except for tying it (yea!!!), although the pictures are not yet posted.

I hope you enjoy my quilt project. As always, your comments, suggestions, etc., are welcome.