Wednesday, January 5, 2011

the zigzag quilt

This is it, the big one! It turns out I only make one big impressive gift per year and this year it was for my brother. I had been asking him for a while if he wanted me to make him a quilt and to let me know if he did and over the summer he mentioned that he needed a new blanket for his bed and I jumped right on it. We went through a few color options, first lime green and gray, then purple and gray, but I couldn't find enough good purple fabrics and he told me that he trusted me. I initially wanted to do a different pattern too, but the design would have been hard with it being such a large blanket.

Obviously it had to be kind of a manly blanket, but also had to very much reflect my brother and I am happy to say that it does. I used a tutorial linked from crazy mom quilts for a zigzag quilt without using triangles (thank goodness!). I had wanted to try it for a while and a combination of solids seemed perfect. I wanted a neutral color, a bright color and white and the neutral needed to be dominant so as not to make the blanket too loud. The brown, white and green worked perfectly. I obviously had to make the pattern larger and well, my calculations were a bit off so the blanket is much larger than I thought it would be, but really it's just better to snuggle with that way :) Of course I didn't have anywhere to lay it out in it's entirety....since finished size is roughly 69"x100" (it was only supposed to be 63"x88" haha) so basting was rough, but that's okay. And I've started pin basting since I am pretty sure that spray is bad for the lungs, so for the sake of my baby girl and the fact that it is too cold to open the windows I made the switch; it was quite an experience.

I have this picture of before it was trimmed and basted and quilted and all that

And this of him opening it Christmas day. I may or may not have forgotten to take pictures before wrapping it....I was so focused de-fuzzing it and getting it wrapped before the cat got to it again and so we could leave the next morning...
Unfortunately this blurry picture is the only one that shows the white binding. It looks really awesome though, promise.
Of course the reason for the white binding and not the green polka dot I had originally picked out is the back. I was searching and searching for the perfect back and somewhere along the way I came up with the brilliant idea of plaid. It's manly but still cuddly...and trust me, my brother is a plaid kinda guy. Naturally I wanted brown, white and green, but it was nowhere to be found. Seriously, nowhere. Even on the internet! I thought they had everything on the internet! While at a local quilt shop, I stumbled upon this pink, gray and black plaid and it just screamed to be used...but I couldn't bring myself to do such a mis-matched back. Until I talked to my sister who reminded me that it is very appropriate for my brother, both pink plaid and mis-matched. So I got it. And I love it. It is like two separate quilts really, but somehow they work together.

Of course it was way bigger than anticipated so I had to add a bit on to the backing, hence the squares of pink/gray/black/white. Not my favorite part, but it looks good.
As for quilting, it was a beast, but I decided to just trace the top of each non-brown zigzag, so every other one. It kept the quilting light so it still moves well. I had to use white thread on all of them so that it would look good on the back...and I had wanted to just do both sizes of each white zigzag but it left the stitching too far apart.

So that is the story of this years large quilt gift. The lesson here is really not to forget to take pictures of big, pretty, impressive gifts before you give them. I have already gotten word that it is a warm snuggly blanket :) Next up. the smaller gifts!

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