Well, if you don't know from reading my Facebook, my grampa has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and has been given a prognosis of about 2-3 months. Well, I've been telling my parents to keep me informed on what's going on and Dad IMed me last week, saying that I should come as soon as possible to see Grampa. He's worried that something sudden, like a heart attack, might happen, or that Grampa might get so sick he forgets everyone. This happened to someone Dad knew and he doesn't want Grampa to forget Mike and I before we're able to see him. So I said we could be there right away, but Dad doesn't have time off, so a weekend was a better idea. We'll be going up to NorCal Friday afternoon and spending a lot of time there on Saturday.
Well, I'm pretty far away, and Grampa can't talk on the phone, so while I can visit for this small amount of time I can't actually *do* much. As a crafter, my idea of helping is making something. So I called my Aunt Yvonne, also a crafter, and asked her what I could do. A scrapbook page? Some sort of frame or something? What? She suggested a quilt, if I could manage it, to put over his legs while he sits in his chair and watches TV or plays his handheld games. She said she knows it will be a stretch, but he would appreciate it a lot to have something like that that I made myself.
I can do that. But, if you have any idea where Big Bear Lake is, you'll know that I'm a *little* secluded up here. There's no craft store, there's no WalMart, there's no NOTHING that might sell me fabric of a manly nature for a proper quilt. BUT, shoved over in the corner where I keep my fabric, were several of Mike's old flannels. He wears one nearly every day, since I met him over 10 years ago, and sometimes they rip or he outgrows them. I've been saving them so I could make a quilt because they're perfectly soft, and they're manly, so there you go! Aunt Yvonne said that was a perfect idea.
The cutting in the beginning had to be done with scissors. It was a bit tough cos my wrists aren't that strong, but there's seams to work around and whatnot and you can't do that with a rotary cutter. I had five flannels and one pair of sleep pants to work with, that's it. Mike calculated how many squares of fabric I'd need and I set to cutting.
Problem is, cutting is BORING. I HATE the cutting part. It's so tedious. I had a really hard time concentrating on it, which of course makes me feel terrible because this is for Grampa after all and if all he's (not even) asking me for is a tiny quilt then the least I can do is get it done.
I powered through the boringness late in the afternoon and got all the squares cut and ready. Then it was on to chain stitching! It's so simple, just put two random squares together and sew them, then do it with two more, and two more, never cutting or breaking the "chain" between them. Then all you have to do is sew six pairs together, take another pair and add a free square to it, and so the line of three to the others and you've got a nine patch!
Like this one. Twenty nine patches in a 4x5 strip configuration and you've got yourself a quilt top. Tomorrow when we go down the hill I'll be getting some backing, maybe a nice fabric for a border (cos that's a bitch to make out of old flannels) and some sort of binding. Sadly my Wednesday is packed and Thursday we're going down in the evening to see Harry Potter so while the beginning of my week I could do this no problem, the hard *quilting* part of this project will need to be crammed into Wednesday night and most of Thursday. It's going to be a stretch.
But its' worth it for Grampa.