In September 2015, while I was pondering my intentions for the upcoming holiday seasons gifts, I decided I would only give handmade items. I made countless slippers for family and friends. However, my father-in-law presented a very special set of criteria. His health has declined significantly over the last years to the point where his waking hours are spent in a wheelchair. He is wonderfully cared for at home by his loving wife and family and a team of professionals.
My family and I have lived 5000 km away from them for the past 6 years and have been very little involved in providing the daily physical help, though we think about them often, there is little to show that intention. During the fall, the kids outgrew a lot of their clothes, my husband purged his closet and I looked through my fabric stash and selected some significant pieces of fabric for a quilt for Grandpa Joe.
Grandpa Joe’s Quilt details
Grandpa Joe’s Quilt is a lap quilt, 45″ wide on top by 45″ long in the middle while the short sides are 33″ long. The bottom of the quilt is purposely cut at 45 degree angle to accommodate the small wheels of the wheelchair and prevent the quilt from rubbing and getting caught in the wheels.
The quilt is composed of 8 12″X12″ blocks surrounded by a 3 1/2″ sash.
The backing was made with 100% cotton flannel from the first set of sheets the kids used after they grew out of their crib and into a regular bed.
Description of the fabrics used to make the 8 blocks
Source of Fabric from the kids:
- The lion and the camel came from a comforter cover.
- The zebra and wild feline flannel print came from leftover fabric used to make the kids pajama pants.
- The orange crab and red fly came from bathing suits.
- The blue and white strip and checkers came from shirts.
- The brown flannel with critters and the black flannel with nuts and leaves are from leftover fabric used to make the kids pajama sets.
- The shiny gray fabric came from leftover fabric used to make Harry Potter “Invisibility Cloak” costumes.
The remaining fabrics came from my husband’s shirts, comforter covers that needed a new life, leftover fabric from a previous quilt and a few others.
As the quilt took shape and the kids hovered around me while sewing, we talked about good memories of Grandpa Joe and the activities the kids where doing with these pieces of fabrics (school pictures, May faire celebration, learning to swim, swimming in the ocean in Hawaii, sleeping in comfy pajamas, dressing up and playing Harry Potter games or Knight games and more). With time and talk, the quilt became more than just pieces of fabric sewn together, it became a collection of good memories we were about to send to Grandpa to live close to his heart and carry all of our good thoughts for him. Once the quilt was finished, the kids told me how happy they were that Grandpa would now get hugs from them everyday for every stitch carries a hug. What can I add to this? I am speechless.