Thursday, June 8, 2017

Getting Carried Away in EQ7: Lars's Quillow Design for June 2019, Yea or Nay?

Considering that it takes me at least two years to make a quilt from start to finish, I thought I should start thinking about Lars's high school graduation quilt.  Every year in June, our church does a big celebration of our graduating seniors during worship service, and each student's family presents their child with a special quilt.  There's a blessing, baby pictures up on the screens, and it's basically a big tear-fest.  You're supposed to make a quilt that folds up into a pillow (hence "quillow"), but I'm not into that for several reasons: 1. Sewing the pillow pocket on the back of the quilt would mess up my quilting design 2. My son isn't even going to make his bed, let alone carefully fold his quilt up just right so that it fits into the pocket.  So I spent a few hours with my EQ7 software program today working on a design for a QUILT, not a QUILLOW.  Here's what I have come up with so far:

Stained Glass Quillow Design for Lars, 68" x 102"
And, as you can see, may have gotten carried away...  I have to keep reminding myself that, unlike my elaborate window treatment designs for clients' interior design projects, I can't just drop a quilt design and fabric off at my drapery workroom and wait for the miracle of installation day.  If this is going to be Lars's Quillow Ceremony quilt, then I have to actually make it myself, and I have less than 24 months to do it.  Most of the kids get T-shirt quilts or simply pieced designs incorporating their school colors, maybe personalized with an embroidered monogram or Bible verse.  But I am a quilter, and I can't make that kind of quilt for my son.  Not for such a special occasion, not for a quilt that will be blessed and consecrated and sent out with him into the big, wide world, serving as a visual reminder of who he is and where he comes from.  I designed one of these for the son of a friend of mine last year, using Ohio State colors and inspired by his favorite Bible verse:

Bobby's Quillow from 2016
I love how it came out, and so did my friend and her son.  I want the Quillow quilt for my own son to be just as meaningful.

So, first of all, you need to know that Lars has always been very artistic and he doesn't shy away from bold colors.  No muted "masculine color scheme" for this kid.  Lars designed those crazy blocks all by himself during an EQ7 intermediate patchwork design class we took together at a quilt show back in 2014.  He was using the Merge Blocks feature, and came up with this:

Lars's Original EQ7 Design
Not bad for a 13-year-old, wouldn't you agree?  I've wanted to try to make this someday, and Lars's graduation quilt seems like the perfect opportunity.  For his Quillow design, I enlarged the blocks because there are a LOT of small pieces and I'm not certain I can even MAKE these crazy blocks, let alone make as many of them as I would need for Lars's original design.  Then I recolored them to create a stained glass, cathedral window effect with a subtle cross.  I showed the design to my son and it meets with his approval.

So... REALITY CHECK: These are all of the quilting projects I have going on right now, and how much work is left on each one:

1.     Butterfly Bear Paws: Top finished; need to cut and attach borders & quilt.  Started this 3 years ago.
2.     Math Quilt: Probably should add borders, then ready to quilt.  Started this 3 years ago.
3.     Jingle BOM: Needs inner borders, top assembled w/setting triangles, deal with bleeding red fabric, & quilt.  Started this 4 years ago.
4.     Pineapple Log Cabin: Need to make 11 more blocks, assemble top & quilt.  Started this 3 years ago.
5.   Anders’ Modern Building Blocks: Bought all the fabric, but only one block made so far.  Started 8 months ago.
7.     Frankenwhiggish: I predict that I will still be working on this hand applique project until I die, and someone else will have to finish it for me.  Started 3 years ago.
8.     6” Sampler: Continue making blocks until I have enough for the Queen bed in my guest room.  Started in 
9.     *Storm at Sea: Cut out fabric and start piecing blocks
10.  *Lars’s Quillow: Not started, but needs to be done by end of May 2019!

Asterisks indicate projects that I've purchased fabric for but have not yet started.  The ones in red I'm hoping to finish by the end of this year because honestly, enough is enough, right?!  Keep in mind that I have a home and a business to run, and limited "free time" for quilting each week...  And that I still have not finished that skirt I was making, and I have enough garment fabric and patterns in my stash that I could clothe a small army (IF I found time to sew any of those things!)

  So, what do you all think?  Should I go with my current design for Lars's quillow quilt and just get cracking on it, setting other UFOs aside, ignoring menial tasks like house cleaning and bathing, and make it happen one way or another?  Or do I need to go back to the drawing board and come up with something less ambitious and more realistic?


Fred and/or Marlies said...

Speaking from the vintage position of grandfather I would not burden him with religious symbolism unless that is something he specifically requests. Let him design something that he really wants and keep your personal preferences out of it.

Graduating high school is the first step towards personal independence and leaving the nest. It happens to all of us. Give him the rope he would like to have.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

it is very ambitious and I can see why you say it takes you two years to make a quilt. I probably wouldn't go with such a difficult design but that is me. A question though - how is it expected that everyone gives their child a quilt at this time - really most people do not quilt so are they expected to have someone make one for them - and then if one person doesn't get around to it that child is left out

Diane in TX said...

I love the way that you colored and resized Lars' design. If you can get busy and set everything else aside then go for it. Remember how you finished the caroling dress in time to wear it caroling? I suggest deadlines: center blocks pieced by September, all blocks pieced by Christmas this year 2017, top pieced by March 2018, borders, if any, by June 2018, quilted by Christmas 2018, bound and labeled by April 2019.
Don't you have a second son, a few years younger? He will want and need something similar, so keep that in mind as you design. You might be starting second son's quilt as soon as Lars' quilt if finished.
So that might mean 4 years before you get back to your projects.
At least you will not have to reserve time with a long arm quilter!

Katie said...

I think you’re going to have to make it. If you’re like me, once you get a fabulous idea in your head nothing else will measure up. :-)

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

Nope, no way I'd go with something less ambitious (unless those blocks are impossible to make). It's a quilt based on something your son designed so it has meaning to him already. The time you put into it will make it that much more meaningful. I agree with Diane, setting deadlines is a great idea. You can do it!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Love it! Maybe just a weeeeee but difficult but worth it!

Shar said...

I do love your design for Lars. There are a LOT of pieces. Don't forget that you need to add quilting to the mix and the busier a quilt is, the less you see of the quilting.

I have sons 36 yo and 34 yo and I made them quilts at graduation, too. They were tailored to the boys and definitely original. But the quilts no longer look like they did when I gave them. And my sons aren't big on keeping stuff clean and they're boys, and well, you may get my drift. Used and Abused. Something to consider. (Neither are married, either, so no help there.)

Rebecca Grace said...

Yes, Diane, Beth, Katie and Jenny -- I’m kind of leaning that way. Lars is excited about having a quilt based on his design, and he thinks the secondary design with the cross is really cool. So as long as I can figure out how to make these crazy blocks, I think I'm going to go for it and use Diane's goalposts. I’m going to have to be a lot more disciplined with my sewing time, though! And just think, I have the WHOLE INTERNET to keep me accountable to those goals…!!

colleen said...

I don't know if it's possible but if you are able to paperpiece some of the blocks or parts of them would that be helpful for you making this quilt

And I love the comment about having to make your younger son his quilt right after

When it rains it pours......if you can get cracking on this quilt and get it done early or sooner than needed you might be able to finish and quilt your bed quilt first as a sort of practice

The adventure begins