A quilt for my father-in-law

Behold! Here is a quilter in her natural environment — a quilt shop. See me, enraptured by the bolts and fat quarters, inspired by the shop samples, seduced by the promise of another exciting workshop!

To tell the truth, I’m actually on the job, gathering info for the store’s quarterly newsletter. It’s kind of fun to write it, because I get a sneak peek at all the latest products and upcoming classes. But I have promised myself, I am not buying more fabric, kits or patterns until I have finished up the many projects I have already half-completed, and/or used up my bulging stash.

So when I decided to make my father-in-law a quilt for his upcoming 70th birthday, I turned to my stash. There, I found a gorgeous jellyroll of autumn batiks, purchased quite some time ago simply because I loved the warm colours. Time to turn them into something charming and masculine.

I played around with ideas for a while, skimming the Internet for inspiration, and came across a photo of a pattern much like this, which was described as “keys”. I think it looks like puzzle pieces. Another quilter at the retreat said the blocks look like capital F’s. Whatever you want to call it, the blocks were easily constructed using jelly roll strips, although I had to add in other fabrics from my stash in order to make enough blocks. One jelly roll is not enough to make a quilt. You really need two, or preferably three jelly rolls. In which case, you might as well just buy yardage. But anyway.

I pieced the individual blocks (ie, each pair of interlocking pieces) at home, then brought the blocks to the retreat, where I laid them out on my friend Megan’s design wall, worked hard to “randomize” them, then sewed them together. I had to buy some fabric to add borders — I didn’t have enough of anything that went with the quilt — so in the next few days, I need to finish the borders off… by the time this post is published, it should be his birthday and he should have opened it! I will try to remember to add a pic of the completed quilt top.

Unfortunately, after he receives it, I’ll have to take it back for a while — I couldn’t get a date to have it machine quilted before the end of May. But I hope that in about a month and a half from now, he’ll be napping happily under it!

And I can feel good that my long-hoarded autumn batik jellyroll has been put to a good use. One more thing that has graduated from stash limbo to the paradise of completion. One step closer to being able to buy new fabrics again!

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