Hi Quilting Friends,
Have I ever mentioned that I have the very BEST Dad in the world? Well, if I haven’t mentioned it, then I should have. Dad just celebrated his 84th birthday in December, and he happened to be here, unexpectedly visiting me, all the way from Montana, on his special day. And I happened to have a special gift for him, one that I had been working on for several months. Here’s a picture of us, with Dad’s new quilt, at his birthday party:
Here’s a bit of the back-story, regarding why Dad happened to be here (unexpectedly) on his birthday:
I just celebrated a milestone birthday, a couple of months ago. You know, those birthdays that end in a “0”. AND I happen to have Susan, the BEST sister in the whole wide world. Susan can be extremely sneaky, a skill that she has honed over many, many, many years of stealthiness. We’re all SO glad that Susan usually uses her sneaky, stealthy skills for good, and not for evil.
Susan is SO sneaky, in fact, that she was able to get our (sneaky!) parents AND both of our (sneaky!) brothers to
come sneak all the way from Montana to Houston to surprise me for my birthday. My sneaky younger son came snuck here from San Antonio. My sneaky husband, our sneaky older son, and my sneaky niece, along with her entire sneaky family were also involved in this very sneaky undertaking.
Boy, was I surprised! I had no idea. Not. A. Single. Clue! Here’s a photo of me from my sneaky surprise birthday party!
So that’s how Dad just happened to be here for HIS birthday, which is only three days after mine. Everyone stayed for the weekend and we celebrated Dad’s birthday together too! Here’s a funny family photo from the birthday celebration, with our parents and siblings! I think that it is a hoot that our parents made almost the same face for the silly picture.
Anyway, back to Dad’s quilt! I can be sneaky too. (It must run in our family, probably a dominant gene or something like that!) I had my Dad in mind as I created these fun tool patterns. Dad was always fixing or building something when I was a kid, and he still likes to create and fix things. I sewed up each of the tool blocks as I drew them, using this great “Nuts and Bolts” fabric from Northcott Fabrics to inspire my fabric choices for the pieced blocks:
I used a silver Kona cotton solid for the tool block backgrounds, along with colorful solids and blenders for the tools themselves. The sashing is a beautiful blue blender, the “plain” blocks are my inspiration fabric, and the setting squares & binding are made with another coordinating print from the Northcott “Nuts and Bolts” collection, white with tiny screws, bolts, and nuts. I decided to quilt “in the ditch” around the blocks, and then I added some diagonal lines of quilting, about 1/2″ apart, in the background of each tool block.
Here’s a photo of the finished quilt. Sorry that the picture is a little bit crooked; I was trying to sneak a quilt photo before Dad got to my house that morning, in keeping with the theme of our weekend.
Mind you, I still had one more block to quilt and a binding to stitch on when it became apparent to me that we would be celebrating Dad’s birthday together this year. My original plan was to finish the quilt that weekend, and then send it off to Montana, in time to be Dad’s Christmas gift, so I really wasn’t ready yet. Luckily I was able to sneak away with my oldest brother to stealthily stitch the binding down by hand, while we watched our beloved MSU Bobcats in their playoff game against North Dakota State. Sadly, the Bobcats were defeated (sigh) but it was a win for me because I was able to finish Dad’s Tool quilt, just in time for his birthday. (By the way, he absolutely LOVED it!)
This next bit is just for my Dad, so you don’t need to read it: Happy Birthday Dad, with Lots of Love! I’m SO glad that we got to celebrate our birthdays together this year.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing the terrific tool quilt that I made for my terrific Dad. You can read more about the tools on our previous blog posts, here and here. If you have someone special who absolutely needs a quilt made with tools, all of the tool block patterns are available from our pattern shop.