Friday, September 30, 2011

sewing for a big boy

My son is 17, which is strange since he was just a little baby...yesterday.  Right?  No?  What happened?!

He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  Always smiling, always happy, always by my side.

He made me happy, as he did everyone around him.

My grandmother will be 101 years old this winter, and in her honour I want to include just one more baby J photo.  This one is from our first mama-and-baby trip to New York to visit my grandma, when J was just 6 [oops] 9 months old.

He had just discovered how to get mobile -- not by crawling, but by rolling.  It was a very funny stage.

He's come a long way -- but I can still see the little guy in the young man: he is still very unconventional and he still does things his own way. He rolls where others crawl.  So to speak.

Anyway, he is almost grown up...and he wants a new quilt.  Isn't that nice?  My 17-year-old WANTS A QUILT!!  Yay!

Feeling under the weather one day recently, he huddled in bed with the two quilts from our living room sofa, "Leafy Greens" from May 2010:

and my orange string quilt, from spring 2011:

Of course, the boy does have a mom-made quilt already: a zig-zag quilt made when I was very, very new to this quilt-making enterprise, in March 2010, in what I then thought of as his colours (earthy, muted, dark).  Apparently the boy is hungry for some colour!

Inspired by the sofa quilts, it is green that he wants, so it's green he's going to get.  To my absolute delight, he sat down with me and the stash and chose fabrics he likes!  He even chose a Bella Solid (prairie green) from my colour card!  How fun!!

I suggested a reprise of one of my favourite scrappy blocks in Scrapbasket Sensations, seen here in Ms H's quilt earlier in the summer:

I'm now making up green scrappy blocks (with flashes of black and brown, as the boy desired).

If I wasn't in a constant state of sleep deprivation I could have avoided chopping the very first block too small.  Oops.

These are supposed to be 11.5" square, but I cut my first one to 10.5".  I'm just not working at full brain power these days.

The question now is whether to chop them all down and widen the sashing -- which could be very nice -- or to go a bit wonky, with the majority at 11.5" and perhaps just a select few at 10.5", maybe framed by an inch of brown or black or a darker green -- or maybe something lighter, like the white and green striped fabric used in many of the blocks?

However, I'm not convinced that my son would like wonky -- and I'm not sure I want to mess with the effect of these blocks against a single sashing/background colour. I know it's going to be hard for him to picture the finished effect I'm proposing --  so I haven't mentioned my little dilemma to him.

I'm just going to have to make an executive decision here.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Input from the executive advisory board is always welcome!


Michelle @ the quilted tortoise said...

Do you have enough fabric to redo that block? If not I think the wider sashing would look lovely. How wonderful to make something for someone you love so much!

Michelle @ the quilted tortoise said...

Forgot to say how much I love the orange string quilt!!!

Jan Maree said...

isn't it lovely when they ask you for a quilt - especially the boys!

Catherine said...

presumably you don't have enough material left to do another square? its a real shame, but i would say cut down to 11 or 10.5 rather than go wonky. Those finished quilts are fab

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

I would go for either the smaller blocks or a narrow inner border rather than the orange string quilt!

Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) said...

Ugh, I know it was a bad cutting mistake -- and on the very first block too. Blah. I don't have fabric left to make more blocks. I suppose they will all need to be cut down to 10.5". Blah blah blah.

On a cheerier note: thanks for the kind words about the other (finished) quilts! I really appreciate that -- and of course each one of those projects included at least one "oops" moment, so all tends to work out in the end :)

Sheila said...

Any chance that you know how to use Adobe Illustrator? You could take pictures of the blocks and try a few digital mock-ups before you cut any more...

You could also put a border on the one that you cut too small, and just include it as-is. It would be like the amish quilts that have ONE square in the wrong colour because the quilter ran out of fabric. It might even improve it, you know? Perfection isn't everything!

Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) said...

My son knows how to use Illustrator (he's the computer whiz in this household)...but we don't have it on any of the home computers. I think I'll have to remain old school; I still haven't had time to break out the EQ7 (birthday gift last month).

BUT: I love the way you're thinking, Sheila, and that's one of the options I had in mind when I first realized I had made that cutting error. Rather than try to make the smaller block look purposeful, by cutting a few more at the smaller size and positioning them at the corners (or some such arrangement), or by cutting all the blocks small, I *could* just have one oddball block. It could work, and it might be good for me to break out of my symmetry comfort zone.

Oh, what to do, what to do?

LizA. said...

Assuming you cut them all down to 10.5", do you have enough of the solid to make up for the lost inches in one or both of the borders?

Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) said...

Thanks Liz! I do have plenty of the Bella solid -- and some other green solids that look nice with it, so I could be a bit creative with the outer border.

Tong said...

If you don't think your son will like wonky, then I'd say cut down the blocks to 10.5 and make it up with wider sashing. You are so productive!

And yes, J was a beautiful baby! I love the first picture of him sitting so happily in his little tub with a leg propped up!

Jennifer said...

if it's only one block that got trimmed too small, i suggest that you throw it out and make a new one at the correct size.

quirky granola girl said...

i was going to suggest putting the small one on the back and making a new one for the front, but after reading that you don't have enough fabric, i change my answer. i'd sash the little one, put it in the bottom right corner and embroider some mommy love around it. like his name, the date and your name. or some other message just for him. :)

Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) said...

Oh my goodness, QGG, you read my mind!!! That is so strange. You just suggested *exactly* what I proposed in an e-mail to Sheila. Freaky! This must mean that it's the right course of action. Thanks!

Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) said...

Oops, no, it was an e-mail to Liz...but still, you read my mind :)