My husband takes walks. Daily walks where he brings home dozens of flower and leaf photos. He specializes in color, in contrast, in finding whatever others pass over as they zip by in their cars, Southern-California style. He brings a lot of joy to my life and to those who know him.
He also single-handedly decorates our house for Christmas, with lights and a forest of little pine men: his nutcracker collection, gathered from far and wide. And so this Christmas, even though he was always around the house (due to covid and being newly retired), I decided to make him a quilt, a cozy flannel quilt — his favorite.
I’d had my eye on Bonnie Sullivan’s Woolie Flannels Over and Down Under pattern, and had purchased the pattern, the jelly roll and border fabric waaaaay back in March, thinking I’d sew while he was at work. Hahaha.
So December 8th, I cut the bazillion little squares from a jelly roll then lost my mind once or twice trying to get it up on the design wall. (Yes, that little stitchery does say “Choose thy Love…Love thy Choice.” It’s from my cross-stitch days and I still believe in the saying.)
How to sew this together? I decided to do it in nine-patches, and then sew the outer rectangles together. I listened to audiobooks, kept sewing.
Still sewing after several days, I made a sign and taped it to my sewing room.
I realized after I finished the center, that it would not be nearly tall enough for him. I ordered some more black herringbone woolie flannel, praying that the dye lots would be close enough. The order got caught in the Great Christmas 2020 Mailing Slowdown, and I checked my email everyday to see where it was. Finally, after a loooong (felt to me) wait, it showed up a few days before Christmas.
But luckily the hard work of piecing was over, so I sewed a great large swath of the border fabrics on the sides, top and bottom, then moved the Mrs. Claus sign over to our guest bedroom, also known as the Quilting Room. I pinned it all together on my kitchen counter, took it back upstairs and went to town on the quilting. One long day later it was done. I chose to do a very large meander on it, because I wanted it to feel soft and snuggly, and I knew that loosely quilted quilts feel that way.
One day when he went back up to his office at the university, I bound it, then machine-stitched that down, and even got it wrapped and put beside our tree (the large red package).
Of course, you all know Dave from the great job he does supporting me in my quilting adventures, as well as scoping out great photography locations. He is a premier member of the Husband Holding Quilts Association.
Here is the finished product, about 85″ high, 65″ wide. I ran it through the washer and dryer to crinkle it up a little bit before giving it to him. Merry Christmas, Dave!
And here’s his gift to you: a couple of more beautiful photos, published on his Instagram account of @toxdae (he’s a toxicologist by profession). Follow if you want a bouquet in your feed.