A Quilt for Elizabeth

an old family favorite

My husband has a few family quilts given to him by his parents. They are well-worn, and we continue to use them on our beds and for snuggling up to watch a movie. My favorite keeps finding it’s way into the bedroom of my 16 year old step-daughter, Elizabeth. A few months ago, I asked her what it would take to get our quilt back, and she said I would have to make her one.

I took Elizabeth to the fabric store and showed her all kinds of wonderful modern prints. Chocolate browns and cherry reds, beautiful blues and greens, large prints, dots and stripes, and more. I had hoped she would be interested and inspired by all those wonderful choices, but each time I showed her a fabric, she shrugged or shook her head, saying, “Not so much” or “No. Definitely not.” I finally gave up and made my way to the checkout stand to buy the fabrics that I loved. And that’s when she spotted it–her ultimate quilt fabric, right there in the bargain bin marked $2.00 a yard. She snatched up the bolt and hugged it to herself. “This one!” she said, handing it to me.

Elizabeth's fabric pick

I have to admit; I was quite surprised by her choice. I expected her to go for  modern fabrics, but she chose an old-fashioned floral print. “This is what a quilt fabric should look like,” she informed me. Well, who knew?

“Are you sure?” I asked. And then I saw that look in her eye as we stood in the checkout line. She kept running her hand over the fabric adoringly. Yep, she was sure.

My next thought was about how I was going to find fabrics to go with it. I had only a few traditional prints in my stash. Then a fabric swap solved the problem. I hosted a jelly roll swap with some quilters at Quilters Club of America, and I was able to put together a complete jelly roll of 40 unique fabrics.

Elizabeth's quilt in progress

Elizabeth went through the swap fabrics and my stash and picked out her favorites–34 different jelly strips. Get this: NO DOTS! Apparently, she doesn’t think they belong in a quilt. What is wrong with young folks these days?

In addition to having very strong opinions about quilt fabric, Elizabeth had firm ideas about quilt patterns. Only traditional would do. We agreed to follow a pattern of another household quilt–a four patch on-point traditional design. I topped off Elizabeth’s fabric selection with 6 more prints so I could create the required 156 four-patch blocks needed to make a full size quilt. (I also added in some dots; how could I get through such a big project without them?) Then I started cutting, pinning, and sewing. My goal is to finish the quilt in time to give her as a graduation present.

So that’s my next quilt project. Not exactly the modern design I had pictured in my head, but anything to make our Elizabeth happy.

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