Gerald and I moved into our first house, a rental, almost ten years ago. At the time, we had no furniture between us. We had to buy a mattress to have something to sleep on and a couch to have something to sit on. Oh, I remember that couch. It came from the goodwill and it was red and green plaid. Man was it ugly. Of course, we couldn’t afford to buy all the other furniture we would need, so my Dad drove down to North Carolina from Buffalo with a truck full of stuff – dressers, tables and chairs. For the drive down, my Dad used an old blanket to keep the furniture from getting scratched. It was my brother’s NFL-themed comforter from when he was little. The Football Blanket.
By the time the Football Blanket reached us, it was already out of commission. Heck, my brother was in college at the time and hadn’t used it for years! But for whatever reason – most likely because it featured the New York Giants, Gerald’s favorite team – we started using it. For the last few years, the Football Blanket has actually been Gerald’s blanket. The one he sleeps under every night (yes, we have separate blankets). It’s sooo old and threadbare. It’s totally faded and pilly and gross. And it’s a child’s NFL-themed blanket from the 80’s!
For a loooong time now I’ve wanted to get rid of that blanket. Call me crazy, but I wanted something more sophisticated. Something that goes with my house. But you can’t just throw away something without having a replacement, right? Yeah, I know I could have gone to the store to buy a blanket. And I can buy sweaters at Old Navy and socks at Walmart. But it’s in my blood to think “make” before I think “buy”.
And that is how I came to make this latest quilt. Gerald and I have been discussing a replacement for the Football Blanket for years, so the fabric I used has been in my stash for a long time. Recently reorganizing my sewing area and working at decorating the house was the impetus for finally getting this project going.
Gerald doesn’t care much about how things look, but the feel of the blanket is very important to him. Jerry has a quilt I made that is very light and lofty, and Gerald wanted his blanket to be like that. Unfortunately that meant high-loft polyester batting. I considered ignoring this request, but I do, after all, want him to use the blanket. So I used the high-loft poly batting and vowed to make all quilts for the rest of my life with wool or cotton batting.
The batting made the quilting a tedious process, but I do like how it turned out.
I made the polka-dot binding with some pre-made bias cut fabric that I found at the thrift store a while back. I love how it swirls around the edge. When I was going through the stash looking for something for the back of the quilt, I found a sheet (partially used for lining a curtain some time ago) that was almost exactly the right size.
How serendipitous! And guess what? Gerald used the blanket last night! I didn’t badger him with questions about his sleeping experience this morning, but I think he just may like it. Only time will tell.
Two questions remain. 1) Will I really be able to say goodbye to the Football Blanket? Today is trash day, yet I can’t bring myself to take the darn thing out to the trash can. Emotional attachments to things are pointless, and yet.
2) Was there, perhaps, another reason I finally finished sewing this blanket that I’ve been meaning to sew for years? Perhaps a new pile of fabric for a quilt that has actual piecing involved? Perhaps?