Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Of sports and quilts

Every year I make quilts for graduating high school seniors at my church.
This son is one of them!
He has developmental delays so it is a REAL occassion in our lives.
When I asked him what color he'd like his quilt to be....
he surprised me.
"Can I have a sports themed quilt?"
My spirits SUNK.
What do you imagine when someone says sports theme??
Cheesy fabrics?
That's where my mind went.
How am I going to do the GOOD mom thing
and still make a quilt that I'll be happy making???

I began by making some blocks.
stripes, shirts, plaids, greens, blues...little bit of red....
Great BOY fabrics!

I have quite a collection of shirts and stripes.

Here's the DREADED fabric requested.
(He plays these three sports
in a league called "challenger".
It's the BEST thing for kids with disabilities!!)
Will I add this fabric around the outside???
Sorry friends.
I bet lots of you LIKE this fabric
and then there's the REST of you
who think I'm a terrible mother.
I'd love to know where YOU would put it.
The minute I hit publish I started feeling bad.
I think writing this post was VERY GOOD medicine for me.
Feeling like I need to get my priorities straight.
I will HIGHLIGHT the fabric he wants
and think about how HAPPY he will be.
Thanks for the kick in the pants blog.
When we write...we bleed sometimes.


  1. I've tried putting requested "camouflage quilt" fabric and requested "superhero fabric" on the backs of the quilts, only. In BOTH cases, the guys laid the quilts "BACK side" up on their beds. Now I cut requested fabrics up and incorporate them with guy colors into blocks for the front and large pieces of requested fabric pieced into the backing.

    1. Exactly. My son has this very ugly quilt that I bought as a top on eBay to practice machine quilting. When I gave it to him, I told him it was a camping quilt. I am horrified that he keeps it in the living room. His reason: it's extra long & covers his legs when he has the recliner laid out. Little did I know! I couldn't pry that quilt out of his hands if I tried.

  2. I think I'd make three more blocks for the front - using one of each for the middles - surrounded by stripes/plaids. And then get creative on the back - using all three. Strips of each separated by a dark color or one color with a few ball shaped appliques made with each of the three. Congrats on your son completing his high school journey!! The Challenger leagues are terrific. A round of applause for your whole family - I'm sure your son had lots of support. Well done!

  3. I think you are are wonderful mom honoring his wish. You could make a two sided quilt and put them all in the back. I love all the blocks and colors.. It is is fabulous quilt in the works! Congratulations to your son!

  4. I agree - make it two-sided... perfect solution!

  5. I've only ever used my sports fabrics for I Spy quilts... sorry Beth, I can't help.

  6. I think your blocks are little and scrappy enough to add these fabrics in. I have a niece who is a baseball fanatic and I added baseballs to her wedding quilt. The 'theme' of the fabric didn't matter because the colors worked. What she loved was cuddling up with the quilt and being able to pick out different fabrics. I always take Bonnie Hunter's advice. If you don't like the fabric you're not cutting it small enough.

  7. I love the blocks you have made up--they're wonderful! I'm like you, and don't know what to do with the sports themed stuff (and other themed fabric too). You might could make a reversible quilt? Maybe keep the other side very simple.

  8. I'd sew the blocks you have made so far together, add 3 very wide borders--one of each fabric. Then, I'd get another sports fabric to put on the back.

    It's his quilt. He should have what he wants.

    You sew lots of quilts where you get to be the boss of your creativity. Let him be the boss of this quilt. He'll love it more and in the end, so will you.

  9. congratulations to your son! I think you could incorporate it into the scrappy blocks

  10. I love what you are doing! From my experience, when I've used fabrics someone else liked or wanted, by trying to make it a quilt I enjoyed making, it really pushed me & those are some of my favorite quilts. Think of the balls as polka dots, maybe add more dots -- I bet you will love it!

  11. Your blocks so far have a lovely vintage look I think. If you cut the sports fabric up to put in blocks, the pieces might be a bit small for your son's taste or to recognize clearly. So I'm with those who are thinking two-sided quilt with large pieces of sports fabric as the reverse side, and maybe a few of the Log Cabins joining the big pieces to unify the two sides.. Should be a fun quilt!

  12. You are being too hard on yourself! Not wanting to make a quilt that is not your style in no way makes you a bad mom; at least, that is what I told myself when I cringed and whined the entire way through a purple quilt for my oldest daughter!
    I would put the dreaded sports fabric as the center of a few squares and then as "logs" in others. Spread the ugliness around!
    You are truly awesome!

  13. We know you love scrappy, so why not ask us (your blog readers) to send you some baseball, soccer, and basketball fabrics? Then you can put them into a scrappy border, or back, or whatever.
    I have some that I would be happy to send you,
    (I wanted to make my son a quilt--but he preferred a plain blue puffy thing from Target...)

  14. My Dad's sister made my son this really ugly camo quilt out of polyester. He had that quilt for years and loved it to death. Go figure. He then wanted me to make him a camo quilt. I used fabrics that looked like guy fabric on the front and a flannel camo on the back. He loves it.

  15. I smiled hen I read your post. I purchased that very same soccer fabric for my grandson who loves soccer, and have used in in everything from his Christmas stocking to pillow cases. I think I still have a piece leftover for another project..


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