I just got back from a local sewing machine store where I dropped off my latest quilt for Project Linus, an organization that collects handmade quilts and blankets and distributes them to children who are ill, going through a crisis or otherwise in need.
I had heard Project Linus is very much in need of quilts for boys, so that’s what I tried to make. My personal palette of mid-tone greens, blues, oranges and pinks doesn’t really scream “boy,” so it was a bit of a stretch.
But I went through my stash to see what I could find. The colorful print is an Alexander Henry that I had bought a few years ago with no plan in mind (there rarely is). It had enough colors in it that I thought I could mix in a bit of my palette along with more masculine colors. The red and green were both in my stash, too, so the only fabric I ended up buying in quantity was the navy and the backing. (However, whenever I try to buy in “quantity,” I never seem to get enough, so I ended up having to dye more fabric to match the navy. You’ll see in the lower right of the quilt above, I didn’t get it quite right the first time.)
Then as I was nearing the end of the top, I realized I really needed some more of that Alexander Henry fabric. So the project sat in the to-do pile for a while. After at least a month the nearly unheard-of happened: the fabric was still at the place where I first bought it! Cabin Arts, in Burlington, Kentucky, had just a yard and a half left. What luck!
So I finished up the front, and used a blue fish fabric for the back (fish are masculine, right?).
The idea of doing a strip design came from a blog series called A Quilt to Give by Nancy Zieman, who was also making a charity quilt. Her quilt was a lot more intricate than mine, but I did take to heart some of her thoughts on charity quilt making. In my own words, those thoughts are 1. Use your good stuff. Those kids deserve it. And 2. Include a label. It lets the child know there’s a person behind the quilt who does care. So I did sew on a label, using the sentiment that Nancy sewed onto hers. Writing on fabric is always tough, and this doesn’t look great, but I wanted to keep it as personal as possible.
I don’t finish as many quilts as I’d like and not nearly as many charity quilts as I’d like. But, until I finish the next, I hope that some boy (fingers crossed) will enjoy this one.