Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quilts for Guys: Modern and Man-ly & Vintage

 My dad's baby quilt--1930's

I kept my hand in the photo for a size reference. 
Tiny, precise stitches, oh my!

This simple chevron quilt was made for my dear
Dad back in the 1930's. With all the popularity
of chevrons this year, it's worth noting the date.
Thanks to Grandma, it was preserved with the 
rest of her treasures, and passed to me.

My father has a special birthday this year, and I 
wanted a gift to both honor him, and show my love.
I'm a 'more Modern' quilter, and a special quilt 
made sense, but my dad is a very traditional guy. 
I have a hard time doing Traditional quilts. 
Could there possibly be a happy medium?

Add to it a few criteria--

*Must look like a man's quilt

*A quilt he would actually use

*Large enough to cover up with 
in his favorite chair

*Not cumbersomely large

*Something my mom would feel
comfortable washing

I didn't have loads of time when I started planning
this. I went to my stash, and looked for fabrics I 
felt were more masculine. This absolutely needed
to be a #SewYourStash2015 quilt. I had to be able
to say, "Dad, I didn't buy a single piece of fabric
for this quilt", and not have my fingers crossed. 
I'm not very good at lying.

My stash is full of brights and colors. 
They wouldn't do. Why not brown? 
My browns were even a little intense,
but by then I had an idea.

I would do single fabric blocks on low-
volume backgrounds. 
I had a starting point now.
Could I make it 'more Modern'?

I played around with a few test blocks.
I loved the simple cross block!

I pulled a stack of 30+ fabrics that were a mix
of Traditional and Modern, and planned my
pattern in a way to make it beginner friendly.
My brown strips were all 3 1/2".
My low-volume background fabric strips 
were 3 1/2" and 2 1/4".
12 1/2" blocks (or 12" finished size) would be
perfectly simple for a beginner to calculate.

Up went my design wall, and all the blocks were 
completed within a few days of haphazard piecing.
From a distance, it has very Traditional feel.

Up close, you can see some fun prints!
A few Cotton+Steel and Moda GrungeBasics
backgrounds to kick it up--
a lot of subtle texture and depth,
but I still wasn't sure I hit the 
'less Traditional' and 'more Modern' element.

Words of Wisdom

I want to note that I made more blocks than 
I actually needed for the finished size. It gave me 
the chance to switch things around and edit
the few I found didn't belong. If you do this
as you're making your blocks, you do a better
job of your final composition. How many of us
have had just enough blocks to sew it all
together, but realized one or two just weren't
what the quilt needed, and we couldn't face
making a couple new ones?

Surely none of you, right?

My hand is waving in the air, folks, so I 
learned to do a few extras as I went along. 
In the end, two blocks didn't make the cut, 
and I had one extra left.
Orphan blocks always find a home in 
another project.

I kept my quilting very simple. Straight-line
quilting around 1/4" inside the crosses starting 
at the quilt edges side-to-side and top-to-bottom. 
Then I went back and sewed 1/4" to each side of 
the block seams.
I used a 3.0 mm stitch length on my 
Janome Memory Craft with a walking foot.
I used a heavy weight cotton quilting thread.

Saving it for last, the backing is my favorite part.
I felt the brown needed a kick, and I 
auditioned a lot of colors. I kept coming back 
to the simple blue in the baby quilt, and
thankfully I pulled this from my stash.

I feel like I hit the Man-liness factor!

I think he'll like this, and 
that's what counts.

The Doxie's and I have stacks of work
today, so we're off to the studio while 
wash this quilt today.

*Machine wash in a front loader
with a big squirt of Dawn blue
dish washing liquid. Tumble low
until damp, and line dry.

So, come on, Doxie Girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up today with~
Sew Fresh Quilts
My Quilt Infatuation


Shasta Matova said...

That is such a smart idea to make extra blocks! I am working on the Elephant Parade quilt, thinking of other animals to add to it. I think I will make several different ones and see which ones I will let join the parade. Love your cross quilt. It is modern and traditional - timeless!

Shauna said...

I love it, the browns are perfect and the mix of modern and traditional really work. great jot

Ruth said...

Looks great and yes manly! i really like the addition of the darker backgrounds, creams against the whites.

Shannon @ Modern Tradition Quilts said...

Two great quilts in one great post! Great work and very manly.

sandi s said...

I love the baby quilt made for your father. It is precious! I think the new one you made him is wonderful! Hugs,

Rachel said...

Very manly. :) I like all the dot fabrics that made the cut! Looks good. I'm sure he'll like it!

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

I think it turned out beautifully - the crisp lines and colors work really well. I can certainly picture my father sitting in his chair covered by the quilt with a book and a cat in his lap, so I hope your father gets much use and love out of it. :)

Jayne said...

It looks fabulous! Your dad is going to eat this up!! Totally a 'guy' quilt!

MegsAnn said...

That baby quilt is lovely! It's interesting how things come back in style and people think it's a new thing. Thanks for sharing your process on his new quilt. It's scrappy and simple simultaneously which is a great combination.

Chitra Gangadharan said...

wonderful quilt for your father. Thanks for sharing the details.

Julierose said...

Oh I love those "crosses (Plus") quilt blocks--I like the white surrounding them a lot..I have a lot of modern fabrics and don't know how to begin to use them. Can I steal/ use your plan? hugs, Julierose

Lisa J. said...

I love love love this quilt. I like that the background colours change and I love all the crosses.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Love the '30's quilt, it's simplicity is very 'now' ! And your Dad's quilt is great, a nice mix of traditional & modern! Linda

Melissa said...

Oooh, very masculine! I have trouble making things that my hubby will like, but he would like this pattern

M-R Charbonneau said...

What a very lucky man -- a quilt made for him by his mom and by his daughter! You did a great job with this, Julie! Making extra is a great tip too. So glad you linked up to TGIFF!

Patty said...

You dad is a lucky man. The quilt is beautiful and a great mix of modern and traditional. I had not heard of using the Dawn dishwashing liquid in the clothes washer. What is the purpose of this? I had always been told to not use the dish soap in the clothes washer. I do like to use Dawn to wash my hands because they don't feel dry afterwards. Does it make the quilt feel soft also?

CapitolaQuilter said...

I've always planned to make a "left overs" quilt because I have block from just about every project ever made. Great choices and the finished quilt meets all points you were after, success!