Friday, May 17, 2013

May project: a very manly quilt

My husband (pictured above) doesn't much care for quilts. He tolerates my hobby, but to him, quilts are a little too feminine, a little too juvenile, and overall not his first choice in bedding.

But why let that stop me?

I've compared myself to the Cake Boss in the past, and I've found that Buddy Valastro and I have another thing in common: if we tell someone that we have a gift for them, they pretty much know exactly what it is. Any time Buddy said "I have a surprise for you!", the recipient would be like "It's a cake, right?" So as my husband's birthday approached, I'm sure he knew what Quilt Boss had in store for him. 

This quilt has been in the works for a while - the earliest drawing I have of it is from two years ago. The layout was inspired by this picture:

...which can be found here.

And since it's been so long, you can imagine how relieved I am that it's done! The quilt is twin-size - my husband works a rotation schedule where he lives in a dorm at work for two weeks at a time, and I thought that maybe it would be nice to have a touch of home on his bed. Or, he could stuff it in his closet and lie to me about how much he loves it, and I would never know the difference.

And even though my husband doesn't like quilts, I made sure there was nothing here he could complain about. I used all his favorite colors. There's not a single print in here that could be considered too cutesy, babyish, or girly. I even found a great fabric by Echino featuring manly colors and realistic looking helicopters. (His hobby, which I put up with, is flying RC helicopters, so this fabric was destined for him.)

Usually he prefers to use a plain fleece blanket, so I backed it with pieced fleece in coordinating colors:

I wish someone had warned me about fleece, because there's definitely a learning curve. I liked that I didn't have to use batting in the middle, which made for a nice light quilt, great for a blanket hater. I didn't like how stretchy the fleece was. Just imagine, that colorful rectangle started out straight. I like my tops and backings to match up a little better than this - those wrinkles aren't the end of the world, but they're irking me. Using a fleece backing was my "something new" for the month - in the future, I'd probably do it again, but not on a quilt this large.

Even though Mr. Youth Hostile doesn't have much feeling for the quilt, he was pretty happy with the matching pillow I made. The form inside is a down pillow, which he loves. When he found my stash of pillow forms, he asked that I make a cover for this one so he could use it. That's the only time he's shown any interest in this little sewing thing I do, so I figured that it was right to make him the cover he asked for.

So I said that this quilt and pillow gave him nothing to complain about. Well, that's not quite true. They put a wrench in his packing plan, and didn't fit in his suitcase this go-'round. He had to leave them home this time. So for now, they'll hang out in the guest room.

Did you notice that we're only halfway through May, and my monthly project is already done? Guess I need to start something new...stay tuned.

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