For My Brother-In-Law

On Monday afternoon, I finished this quilt.  It’s one of the softest, snuggliest quilts I have made, mostly due to the well-laundered nature of most of the fabrics.  The top is compiled of shirts from the BIL, with just a few added fat quarters.  The back is a flannel sheet I found ages ago, then set aside for…  I didn’t know why I kept it, until I started this quilting gig.  Then it became the backing for my brother-in-law’s quilt.

What I didn’t know at the time was just how fortuitous that sheet would be…

I’ve been inundated in this sewing gig for six months now; on 1 February, I took my daughter to Joanns, and the rest has been chronicled for most of the adventure.  I got back into blogging to denote this quilting saga, about as lengthy as my Alvin’s Farm series.  But in the long term, six months is a pretty brief period to be involved in a hobby, be it sewing, writing, or underwater basket weaving.  Six months is half a year, and I’ve lived ninety-five of those, so when considered in that manner, my sojourn into quilt-making has been not much more than a speck.

But from little specks, mighty things grow.

Babies have been on my mind lately; babies and novels (oh my goodness, novels…), and quilts.  Quilts start from a fabric or two (0r ten or fifteen or…), then morph into these big, or medium-sized, or small blankets (or wall-hangings).  They evolve in similar ways as babies and books, for it’s one square sewn to another, as cells converge into a skeleton and organ groups and sentences are built into paragraphs and scenes and chapters.  And just like babies and books, once a quilt reaches completion, it is given away, or I give mine away, or I’d not have the room, or the excuse, to make another.  Babies grow up, leave the nest, start their own (grandchildren are so appealing to me right now).  Books are published, then enjoyed by readers.  Well, some books.  Some books, like some quilts, hang around, their purpose more for my own comfort, growth, and practice.

But you get the picture.  As for this quilt, the fabrics were all from shirts my BIL once wore.  Some of those shirts were more loved than others, but he has a fondness for plaids, and he likes green.  Now, I did not have any inkling to those facts when I chose the flannel sheet, nor did I plan out if the camo remnant that serves as the binding would be a good match for that sheet.  However, in the process, it seems the greens are very compatible.  The front is…  Well, I think it’s busy.  My youngest loves it; I think if she didn’t have her whale quilt, she would try to find a way to snag this one.  What I love is how darn soft it is, which isn’t the case of my pre-washed quilt.  Those fabrics were only laundered once, for shrinkage.  These shirts have been worn over and over, and not just by my BIL.  He bought many of these at thrift stores; he loves shopping for bargains, especially plaid bargains.  When I took this quilt from the dryer, I marveled at how malleable it was, as if this was the 800th time I had pulled it out of that machine.  Now it’s waiting for my brother-in-law to get back from holiday.  He doesn’t even know it’s finished.

The dark blue and cream squares were fat quarters, along with the lighter blue underneath the camo.  This project could have used a few more solids, but I think it's all right this way.

The denim blue and cream squares were fat quarters, along with the lighter blue underneath the camo. This project could have used a few more solids, but I think it’s all right this way.

Hee hee!  Surprises are wonderful, especially when quilts are involved.  Plus I learned a great deal while making this quilt.  I learned that if I’m using a poly-cotton blend, to test that blend with a nice hot iron.  If the fabric shrinks, choose another fabric.  Thankfully I had shirts to spare, and leftover squares aplenty.  Cutting shirts into squares is tedious, but you would be astonished to find just how many squares of fabric remain.

This stack is waiting for me to get busy.  So, away I go!

2 thoughts on “For My Brother-In-Law

  1. laura bruno lilly

    Your sojourn into quilting may be a mere flash in the pan, but your output is a scrumptious feast!!!!!

    The BIL quilt is the most comforting-looking of them all…so see you’re getting better and better with that needle.


    1. Anna Scott Graham Post author

      Yes, if nothing else, the last six months have rendered concrete results! 😀

      It’s a funny sort of quilt, but the softness factor is off the scale. I’m looking forward to making my sister’s quilt; it will be made up of Hawaiian shirts, all pre-owned. 😉


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