Monday, November 11, 2013

Latest quilting project

A week or so ago Yellowdog Granny mentioned she would really like to make sure some nursing home residents had a decent Christmas. They had been living at West Rest Haven in West, Texas, and had their lives thoroughly disrupted when the fertilizer plant there blew up in April of this year. The nursing home was destroyed: windows blown out, ceilings collapsed. Amazingly, no one at Rest Haven was killed.

My first thought was to take the easy route: the next time we went to Marquette we'd stop at the Tourist Trap in Ishpeming and pick up something uniquely Yooper to send. But that seemed too easy, too facile. I've been to West, it's a nice little city, and shopping seemed a little too mindless. These old people went through an unbelievably traumatic experience, and it seemed like if I was going to do anything for them I should put a little effort into it. Then it hit me: the fabric stash. I've worked in nursing homes. I know one thing that residents can always use: lap robes. Making lap robes is like making crib quilts -- they're even the same size.

I've mentioned the fabric stash before. Thanks to my aunt Thelma's love of fabric sales, I'm never going to run out of yard goods. The stash includes everything from what appears to be an entire bolt of some fabrics to remnants of a yard or less. The one thing most of the fabrics have in common is they're prints that would have been popular in the 1950s, '60s, and maybe early '70s. There was also some odd stuff, like a stack of upholstery fabric samples. It's always kind of a challenge figuring out just what to do with some of it.

Well, the upholstery samples went into this one. I had been trying for a long time to figure out what to do with them (I'm too much of a fabric hoarder to ever throw anything away) because there weren't enough for anything big, but they weren't appropriate for the typical small quilts I make, which are almost always crib quilts. Combined with the corduroy sashing, the end result is a nicely masculine lap robe.

This little project barely made a dent in the fabric stash, so maybe over the winter I'll make a few more lap robes to donate locally. After all, they do say charity begins at home.

If anyone's interested in the technical details, the lap quilts consist of the usual front, back, and a batting. They were machine pieced and assembled without a binding: front and back were placed right sides together, the batting laid on top, and the quilt sandwich sewn on three sides and then turned right side out. They were ticked using crewel yarn and then the remaining open end was sewn shut. Here's what they look like on the flip side:

And, yes, we really do have that much snow (about six inches) on the ground now. I don't think it's going anywhere until maybe next May.

1 comment:

  1. I have never attempted quilting but I love the idea of making the lap blankets and donating them. One more thing to put on my retirement list...I am inspired.


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