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My back is doing so much better this week, but I have to tell you about the offending project that did it in.  I was working on a quilt for my brother’s birthday.  This little baby has been on deck for two years and I promised Mike in March that I’d have the quilt finished for his special day.  I’m proud to say I got it to him only eleven days late. (YES!)

This gift also comes with one of the sweetest stories that I have the privilege to share.

Originally, the quilt was made up of plain brown and plain yellow cotton fabric.  It was SO simple; a large panel of the brown on one side and a large panel of the yellow on the other. It also had a brown squirrel or chipmunk or some other rodent type creature appliquéd in the center of the yellow fabric.  You’ll have to use your imagination since there are no photos.  I won the quilt at camp some time in the early 80’s and had no idea it would still be a part of my life 30+ years later.  And I’m pretty sure had the original quilter known that it would still be a family treasure, they would’ve put a little more time and thought into the fabric and style of the quilt too.  How do I know? Read on…

When I got home from camp, some how my brother commandeered the quilt and it forever became his.  Fast forward a decade and a half and he was getting ready to head off to college and still scrunching his 6ft long body under this tiny square quilt.  He desperately needed something more, so I made a blanket from the yellow and brown cotton.

I added additional flannel squares to it to make a larger, more college-worthy quilt.

And had I known that I’d be writing about it today, I probably would’ve put more time and thought into the fabric and style of the quilt.  I picked fabrics that had yellows and browns in it.  They also had a lot of dark blue.  This was the first quilt I had EVER made and I went VERY simple.

I really had no idea what I was doing.  I even used yarn to “quilt” the fabric together like the original one had been done.

Jump ahead another 15 years and I again found myself with Mike’s blanket in my possession.  My brother is now married with a family… and his quilt is disintegrating.

Interestingly enough, the original yellow and brown cotton fabrics are still holding up. It’s the flannels that I used that have begun to fall apart.

The hardest part of redoing this quilt for a second time was figuring out the fabric.  My brother asked that I use as much of the existing quilt as possible so I wanted new fabric that would compliment it.  Also, since my sweet sister-in-law not only married my brother, but apparently this blanket, I wanted to create something that she would enjoy having in their home too.

My favorite line of quilt fabric is by MODA so I set out to find something in their line that would work.  The MODA fabric I found is beautiful with a masculine vibe and something I would love to have in our home.  I’m hoping that Mike and Gina like it as well.

I was able to cut apart the old squares and intermix the new fabric for a cohesive look.

The final quilt is updated and free of frayed edges.

Photographing a piece at this scale is a bit of a challenge.  Here is a closer look.

For the back, I just pulled in a simple chocolate fabric that I had also used on the front.

I just got off the phone with my brother and he is thrilled to be reunited with his first love.

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Are you a quilter? What is the most challenging project you’ve done for a close family member? Do you have a family treasure that continues to boomerang into your life? I think sometimes those items come with the best stories.