When it comes to big events where a gift is required, I tend to go for handmade things. Collages, stitchery of some sort, quilts. As was the case of a certain recent Bar Mitzvah. When I heard it was a Godzilla theme, I thought “how great if I could find Godzilla fabric and make a quilt!”. Easier said than done it turns out. An online search only turned up one option – IKEA, and the fabric wasn’t even released yet. I waited and finally made the trek south. At first, it was nowhere to be found, but I’m nothing if not persistent, and turned over every bolt until we found it. The good thing about IKEA fabric is its width and price tag, and unusual patterns (also great for purse making). This is what I came home with:
Then came the figuring out of what to do with it. I generally don’t like to follow patterns – I’m not that precise. I usually just buy stuff I like and go from there. Here I’m laying out pieces to see what might look good.
At first I’d thought I’d mix it up with big squares and smaller 4-square blocks. I tried that…
but I thought it was too busy. So back to bigger blocks of various sizes.
I didn’t do this consciously, but I like how it looks very comic-strip-ish. Bold and graphic, suitable for a Godzilla-loving 13 year old boy. Once I got the main section (the part that would lay on top of the bed) laid out, I pieced it, and went on to add borders for hanging over. Then it was off to the fabric store for backing fabric and batting. I first thought I’d do something black on the back, maybe flannel, but that would gray out the white fabric on the front. I didn’t feel like making the trek back down to IKEA or I would have gone for the striped fabric for the back too. Instead I found a green that was close to the green in one of the patterns on the front. On to the tricky bit.
Normally I would probably send this out to be quilted by someone with a long-arm machine – which makes dealing with this much fabric MUCH easier. But in the interest of time and money, I opted to straight line quilt it myself. So that meant cramming a twin-sized quilt…
into a regular sewing machine…
Don’t get me wrong – my new sewing machine can kick some serious ass – but that is a SHIT TON of fabric to maneuver in a very small space. I rolled one side like so…
I straight-line quilted it vertically, not going for precise lines because I like the movement the wiggly bits gave it. I also grew some new muscles pushing and pulling all that fabric. Seriously.
Onto the binding, which in the past I have always finished by hand. This time I wanted to do it soley by machine for added durability and speed.
Cut and pieced and ironed the binding strips, and sewed onto the back of the quilt edge. I wish I had made it a smidge wider because it was a bear folding that over to the front edge for finishing. I chose green thread for the front edge stitching (going for contrast) but I wish I had stuck with orange. Live and learn.
The finishing touch, and then off to San Francisco and the long-awaited big event! We did end up having to go back home to get it when we realized en route to the airport that we’d forgotten it!
And the big reveal!
UPDATE! Photo of the quilt in action: