Monday, October 13, 2014

I Made A Thing Monday: Completion of the T-Shirt Blanket

Happy Land-Stealing Murderous-Bastard Day!

I mean, Happy Columbus Day.

Did you know that Seattle officially turned Columbus Day into "Indigenous Peoples Day"? I think that's brilliant. Last year around this time, my daughter's social studies class was doing the whole Columbus spiel. You know the one: he told the King and Queen of Spain that he thought the earth was round even though everyone else thought it was flat. He said that if he sailed west, he could reach the East Indies and come up with a better trade route. The King didn't want to do it, but the Queen funded it herself. Lo and behold, Columbus came across a bountiful land full of fertile fields, mountains majesty, and all the natives he could befriend! What a hero!

We told her the truth: that Columbus was indeed trying to find a way to the East Indies, but it had long been common knowledge that the world was a sphere. And he wasn't exactly trying to "discover" anything except a faster and more efficient way to bring trade goods from India to Spain. At the time, all of Europe was engaged in a sort of maritime cold war. Portugal, Spain, and England had all been developing trade routes and trying to outdo each other left and right. Columbus was hoping that he could gain worldwide notoriety by finding the best way to get to India without having to go all the way around Africa.

But he didn't land on what we consider the North American mainland - he landed in the Bahamas (technically more South America than North America). He immediately claimed it for Spain (haha). Then he went to a bunch of other islands, including some from the Caribbean. He insisted upon calling the befuddled inhabitants "Indios" because he refused to believe he hadn't reached the East Indies. As soon as word got back to European powers that he had found some new place, so launched the beginning of one of the longest and deadliest periods of conquest and slavery the world has ever seen.


Okay, history lesson is over. On to the fun stuff!

So, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my son asked me to make his "Big Boy Quilt" bigger for him. A few years back, I took some of his old and wonderful t-shirts and blankets and made this quilt for him:

This was more in the interest of maintaining the integrity of his hilarious and adorable t-shirts than it was an actual gift for him. That Mr. Happy shirt is basically my favorite thing that ever happened. I didn't put a tremendous amount of effort into it. I just stitched the squares of fabric together and added a batting and a backing. I didn't even quilt it, I just...half-assedly threw it together then tossed it under the Christmas tree. He loved it!! He sleeps under it every night.

Recently, he asked me to make it bigger. He's grown an awful lot (I'm no shorty and he comes up to the middle of my neck already!), and he couldn't sleep under it without his feet sticking out from the bottom. So I set him to the task of handing off the shirts he'd outgrown so I could have more material to work with.

After a few weeks of figuring out what the hell I was going to do with this thing, I finally finished it today:

I really just only added a couple of rows to the top, bottom, and sides. I found a more comfortable backing and added more batting and I actually quilted it this time (hence why it is so wrinkled and misshapen). I've never made such a big quilt before. All my quilts in the past have been teeny tiny doll quilts. Now I'm not saying that it's okay for me to do a piss-poor job on a gift for my son, but he's a grateful and sweet-natured chap. I knew he would love as long as it was bigger and had little pieces of his personality in it.

And love it he did.

It fits over his bed AND his long gangly legs. :)

Actually it's pretty huge. Almost twin size. I know that not because I measured it (psh, "measuring"), but because I used almost an entire twin-sized top sheet as the backing. 

He's a happy boy. He was very patient while I worked on it, often checking on my progress and making minor suggestions here and there as to fabric placement. He is pleased with the result, and that means I am too!

I'm pretty sure my daughter is crazy jealous of this quilt and is going to want one of her own. Little does she know, this experience has given me a jolt of confidence, and she might end up with a somewhat more "grown up" quilt under the Christmas tree this year...

Now I'm off to make pumpkin cookies for the neighbors - they sent their adorable daughter over to our door yesterday with a plate full of orange rolls. Truth be told, with all the baking I've been inspired to do lately, I had already planned on making them something as well. But they beat me to the punch! So we're sending over a dozen cookies and a nice card. They're such nice people. :)

Pumpkin cookie recipe, pictures, and methodology to come tomorrow...DO ALL THE BAKING!!

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